My Scariest Moments As A Mom.

You know, the first time you dropped your kid, you felt like the worst parent in the WHOLE world.  When you finally had the guts to tell someone that it happened, they laughed at you and told you some story about when the same thing happened to them.  And somewhere along the way, you start to figure out that kids aren’t really breakable.  However, it doesn’t make any of those moments any less scary.

This might make you think I’m the worst parent in the world.  But it’s real.  Something I need to get out there.

1. When Ronan was around 2 months old, I was carrying him in my sleepywrap.  I was doing errands around the house, having a good old time, holding my baby.  I felt invincible.  My fussy kid was happy, and I was getting things done.  I needed lunch, so I stuck some leftovers in the microwave and walked away.  A few minutes later, I went back to the beeps, pulled the door open, and smacked Ronan directly in the back of the head with the microwave door.  He cried for 30 seconds… I cried for 30 minutes.

2. One afternoon, before Ronan was able to sit up on his own, I had him sitting on my lap at the edge of the couch.  His legs were thrown sideways off of mine, facing towards the right.  I was holding onto his stomach and his back.  I went to grab my phone, to my left, and let go of him with my right hand, reaching across myself.  He overbalanced forward, and toppled off of my lap onto the floor.  I honestly cried because I couldn’t say I had never dropped my baby anymore.  I think my pride hurt more than Ronan did.

3. When I first went back to work, early mornings were really hard for me.  Ronan would wake at 7 am.  I would put a bunch of toys in the bed, line the free side with pillows, and go back to sleep.  This worked for several days, where I would come in and out of consciousness, notice him playing quietly right beside me, and be content.  Until one morning, no different than the others, where I gave him his toys, lined up the pillows and drifted out – only to wake up to at THUD… scream.  I didn’t even have enough time to figure out what was going on.  I JUMPED out of bed, ran over to the other side, picked Ronan up and sat on the edge of the bed.  We cried together for a long time.  From that moment forward, if I needed more sleep, we came into the babyproofed living room, and put a pillow on the floor.

4.  I used to love bathing with Ronan.  There was that point where he was too big for a baby bathtub, but not able to sit up on his own yet, so normal bathtub baths were a little difficult.  To bridge that gap, we would just bathe with him.  Always with the other person home, that could help us get the baby out of the tub safely.  One night, Brock was at soccer practice, and I decided to try it out myself.  We bathed, and it was fun.  It was easy!  When it was time to get out, I had two towels at the ready.  But do I get him out first, and set him on the floor?  Or do I get out first, then grab him quickly?  I decided to stand up with him wedged between my legs, and wrap my towel around me, then pick him up and wrap him in his towel, THEN step out of the tub.  Only, his balance wasn’t as good as I had counted on.  He leaned to the right, and I scooted my leg closer to re-balance him… and sent him too far to the left.  He grabbed onto my leg and swung around, landing on his back, face up in the water – eyes wide open, and face terrified.  I reached down, scooped him up, held him while he coughed out the water, and swore to NEVER bathe alone again.  Not long after that, Rona could sit on his own, and we started sitting at the edge of the tub only.  Of all of the things that have happened, this is by far the scariest to me.  My memories of it are the most vivid.

5.  A few weeks ago, Brock broke the baby gate leading up to the stairs.  We hadn’t had a chance to buy a replacement yet, so we had a kitchen chair turned on it’s side to block the stairs.  I was washing dishes, and keeping my eye on Ronan over the counter – he was playing quietly in the middle of the floor, babbling away to himself.  A minute or so later, I noticed he wasn’t making any noise anymore.  I heard a laugh that sounded REALLY far away.  I BOLTED into the living room and prayed that he was only on the second step.  I found him on the second to LAST step, laughing as he chased the cat up the stairs.  In my mind, over and over, I could picture him tumbling down the stairs.  It happened SO fast.  He was fine, and I was thankful his dad had spent the last several weeks teaching him how to go up the stairs.  This one still makes me a little breathless.

6. I gave Ronan a slice of apple, one of his favorite treats that he usually gnaws tiny little bits off a little at a time.  I set him down on the floor, and turned around to pick up.  He was happily eating, and I was getting a few things done.  I walked towards him and noticed that he had dropped the apple on the floor, and AT THAT MOMENT he started coughing the huge hunk of apple he had nearly lodged in his throat.  I picked him up and let him cough it out, and realized that there is a reason we ALWAYS supervise Ronan while he’s eating.  We’ve been VERY lucky that he’s never choked on anything, and I had assumed that he would eat his apple the way he always had.  But those little teeth in the front are made for biting of chunks, and he decided to try it that day.  I only imagine what would have happened if he hadn’t been able to cough it out, if I hadn’t noticed him at exactly that moment.  I don’t like to think about it.

I try not to feel guilty for these things… I try not to let them make me feel like a bad mom.  I’ve learned some very important lessons from them.  But they don’t go away.  They’re stuck in my head forever.  Hopefully to never be repeated.

What is the scariest moment you’ve had a mom?  How did it change the way you do things with your little one?

  • Cate

    I’m SO relieved that you wrote this!

    Let’s see…my scariest moments:

    1. I locked Simone inside the car when she was 5 months old. We’d been returning some clothes. I had my keys on the seat while I was buckling her into her carseat. I finished buckling her in, switched the manual door lock to “lock,” and slammed the door shut. It happened in slow motion–I realized I was locking my keys in with her as the door swung shut. My phone was locked inside, too. I RAN into the nearest store, near tears, tried calling my husband and couldn’t remember his number…eventually one of their security guards called Pop-a-Lock for me. I went outside to the car, cried a little, and waited. I got the car opened for free, but Simone screamed for 20-30 minutes while I looked inside the car and couldn’t help her. Oh, did I mention that was the day before my birthday? :-(

    2. A month or so later, Simone wasn’t very good at rolling and couldn’t crawl. I left her on the bed and went to the other side of the apartment to put her dirty diaper in the pail and wash my hands. She was furious already, so I didn’t notice a change in her wailing, but when I came back, she wasn’t on the bed! She’d fallen off the side and was freaking out. I cried a lot and nursed her, and she went to sleep.

    3. A few days ago she was playing on the floor while I paid bills. She started coughing, so I picked her up. She vomited all over the floor. I thought she was having a reflux flare-up, but she kept coughing and gagging. Eventually the light caught her throat in a funny way when she had her mouth open and I realized she had a piece of soft PLASTIC in her mouth (like the kind used to package CDs). I was terrified. I reached in and grabbed it. What if it had blocked her airway and I couldn’t figure out what it was? So scary!
    .-= Cate´s last blog ..Frugal Meatless Meals: Sweet Chili Lime Tofu =-.

    • Mandy

      Oh, Cate…

      I can’t imagine how scary it was to find that plastic in Simone’s mouth. I’m SO glad you found it!! Doesn’t it seem like so many of these things are close calls that could have been so much worse than they ended up being? I’m glad she’s okay.

  • stacy

    I’ve done a lot of those things with kailyn. I still, to this day can hear the thud and scream after she fell. That was three years ago.

    With adrienne… I haven’t dropped her. I was just thinking the othber day how when it does hapeen, its going to bad. Or maybe, I’ve realized what not to do since this is my second? I’m hoping that’s it.

    Sorry for typos, I’m on my phone!

  • Janus

    The scariest moment I had with my nephew was when he was about Ronan’s age. (He turns 11 in about a month.) At that age, he loved being picked up and lifted as high in the air as possible. (I can’t do that now; I would probably throw out my back — the kid was 5’0″ at Christmas.)

    Once, when my brother and his family were visiting my parents, I was playing with my nephew, and I was lifting him up in the air. Now, the ceilings in both the kitchen and the dining room were pretty high, but there was a low archway between the two.

    You guessed it. I lifted him at the wrong moment, and I hit his head on the archway.

    It took a while before my sister-in-law could convince me that I had not done any permanent damage. Once he stopped crying, I stopped panicking.

    My nephew seems to have gotten over the incident. Of course, the fact that I’m the evil uncle who loves to spoil him (and his sister) rotten probably helps.
    .-= Janus´s last blog ..Just Keep Thinking That =-.

    • Mandy

      Hah! Janus, there’s an episode of “Modern Family” that talks about that happening… it’s hilarious. The couple take their kid to the doctor to make sure she’s okay. The doc asks how hard she hit her head, and asks for a demonstration. The dad hits his head against the wall and says, “About this hard.” The doc looks very intently and says, “Can you show me that again?” So he hits his head against the wall again. Then, very concernedly, she asks him, “How are you feeling?” He responds, “I feel fine.”
      She stands up, walks to the door and says, “So does she. Your daughter is fine. Go home.”

      I probably laughed for half an hour over that one. Kids aren’t breakable! (Not that easily, anyways.)

  • Supa Beff

    When my son (now 16) was 5 years old, he wasn’t feeling well and I called his Grandpa (Papie) to look after him….I went to work….even tho I felt like I should stay home with him.
    When I came home from work, he was in bed. Papie said that he was in bed pretty much all day. His eyes were rolled back in his head and he was completely delirious saying to me “Beff, you need a haircut”. I called the doctor who said to bring him up to his office. I did. The doctor started to SWEAT profusely! He told me to take him to EMERG right away. 45 minutes later we were in an ambulance to a larger hospital. The next day we were air-vac’d out to Vancouver Children’s Hospital where he stayed on Life Support for weeks.

    The ‘moral’ of my story…I so forgot about all those silly little bumps and bruises that I ‘blamed’ myself for!

    He’s fine, and what I learned from that experience could never be described with words.

    • Mandy

      Beth… I’ve heard this story before. Probably on your blog. But I don’t remember, or maybe you didn’t say… what was wrong with him? What happened?

      I cant even imagine how scary that would be… and how it would force you to look at life a little differently from then on out. Who cares about a bump on the head, he’ll survive that. I hope I never have to experience anything like that. But you are such a strong, amazing mum to Scally that I can’t imagine you any other way. It helped make you into the incredible person you are today. <3

  • Janus

    It seemed worse because as I recall, I was trying to take him off my sister-in-law’s hands for a few minutes. You can guess how well that went once he started crying.

    At least I haven’t done anything like that with my niece.
    .-= Janus´s last blog ..Cold Kentucky Rain, Indeed =-.

  • Ericaw51

    I took my then 3 year old son to a water park one day. It was an amazing fun day and I decided to play with him a little, so I picked up his wet body and went to hold him by his feet so he would laugh….and I dropped him….on his head….on concrete! He screamed bloody murder, I pick him up and he has a huge purple egg on his forehead. He got over it but it took a while, and I felt like I had ruined the entire day :(