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?