I used to think the temporary insanity plea was bogus. I didn't think it was possible for a completely rational human being to lose all reason and touch with reality in an instant. I have changed my tune.
During the wee hours of Thursday morning (and I do mean wee: 1:30 am to be precise), I awoke with a jolt to the sound of my daughter's labored breathing. I leapt to my feet and ran downstairs. I found her sitting up in bed struggling for air. She was whimpering softly in a heartbreaking attempt at crying. This is where the sane switch was turned off in my brain. I freaked. Faced with the prospect of my daughter's impending death, I went ape-shit (sorry-I could not think of a better description of my state of mind). I screamed for Sean to come downstairs. He did, and in a sleepy haze, he attempted to comfort me. Big mistake. I bit his head off, chewed on it for a while and spit it back out. I was furious. How could I possibly remain calm? Couldn't he see that my daughter was struggling to breathe?
I ran upstairs, daughter still in my arms. I threw on some pants and some shoes and raced to the door. I couldn't go alone because I had fallen asleep with the aid of Ambien and could not be trusted behind the wheel. I waited for my casual, relaxed husband to tuck in his shirt and rouse my son slowly out of bed. I felt like he was moving at a snail's pace and it infuriated me. I have no idea what words came out of my mouth during the time that I waited for my husband to get his Zen butt out the door but I'm certain that they were not the words of a rational human being. I lost my mind. I was temporarily insane. No doubt about it.
My daughter had croup. Go ahead Moms, nod your heads in collective unison. Of course it was croup. If I had one iota of rational thought left in my brain during the time when my daughter was struggling to breathe, I would have considered this possibility and taken her outside for some cool air. I might have even noticed when her breathing improved in the short distance from the front door to the van. Like I said, I was temporarily insane. If I had committed a felony during that time, I would be in court right now trying to convince the judge/jury that I lost my mind for about 5 minutes on Thursday night. It's true. And it is a disturbing reality. My husband and I are left to wonder: What will happen during an actual crisis?