I feel like a terrible mother. In recent days I have caused my child pain. Not you-don’t-get-to-watch-Dora pain. Nor was it too-much-hummous-you’re-paying-later pain. I caused my child pure, preventable pain. And I feel terrible.
The first strike was on Saturday. I went to securely fasten my 10-month old into his stroller and his shirt had ridden up and…..I caught his skin in the buckle. (insert collective cringe here) He went silent, then looked at me and burst into tears. It even left a mark. It kind of looked like a hickey, which isn’t something you want to see on your baby’s tummy.
The next strike was worse. Different day but, alas, same baby. He was on his change table (yup, this is going that way). I had my hand on his stomach – probably on the spot I had disfigured the day before. I bent over to toss out a diaper and I picked up my hand for one split second. And in that one split second, my babe was airborne. I watched him tumble. Down down down. I tried to grab him but only managed to scoop him up the second he landed. Too little, too late. Once again, we shared the moment of silence followed by crazy waterworks.
Luckily his memory isn’t as good as mine and he’s over it. But I of course am mortified. Not only because I caused my child pain, but because these little nasties happened on my watch!!!
It was the same with my first. Fall over and slam head into wooden box (on my watch)? Check. Roll right off the bed (on my watch)? Check. Fall down the babyproofed stairs (on my watch)? Check. The irony is not lost on my husband. Obviously my man would sooner cut off one of his limbs than hurt his children, but he’s somewhat amused by the fact that all these accidents happen – yep, on my watch.
I have gates and latches and locks. I’m peanut-free. I hover – in a good way. I’m not completely insane about the whole thing – babyproofing, feeding or whatever safety issue turns your crank. I’m definitely cautious, careful and common-sensical. Or so I thought. But it seems my own clutzy tendencies don’t end with ass-over-tit tumbles, wipe-outs on sidewalks or bloody falls up stairs. (Yeah bloody. In every sense of the word) . I’m passing this shit on to my kids.
If my man was the one who accidentally screwed up – and left marks no less – he’d rue the day. The guilt may only last a few minutes but he’d be tortured for weeks. Possibly longer. Yep, I’d never let him forget it. My child would probably grow up knowing the one about his dad buckling his belly. But luckily, I think my guy’s memory is even shorter than my kids’. Chalk it up to having a lot on his plate. Or maybe just having a life.
I console myself with the fact that I can only do my best. And that one day we’ll look back and laugh. And of course that no one would even know about these…slips…had I not opened my big yap. Britney – I feel your pain sister. At least my fuck ups happen off camera.