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Paula

How to pick just one....

There's the time I let my 12 month old play with a straw - fun to chew on - in the stroller and she poked herself in the eye. Oops.

Or when she was 15 months and I wasn't paying enough attention and she "walked" off the bottom stair and landed splat. (Luckily the stairs and floor are carpeted.)

Or the time I took her out of the car seat and, playfully holding her parallel to the ground and pretending to fly, bonked her head on the door frame. In front of my husband who was HORRIFIED and gave me they what-possessed-me-to-reproduce-with-you look. In a panic, he asked if he should "take her somewhere" (pediatrician's office? ER? morgue?) as she screammed inconsolably. We tried everything to comfort her and when I was beginning to think maybe we should call the doctor he asked if she wanted some chocolate. The crying stopped, the tears dried. (WTF?! Why did it occur to him to offer chocolate?!)

All totally my fault and I felt then and still do feel terrible. Good thing kids are so resilient.

rachel

When my older 2 were 4 and 2 (or so), they were playing quietly while I cooked. They had come to get the pizza peel, but I didn't think about it too much.

I walked into the living room and found that they were sledding down the stairs on the pizza peel.

Bad mom moment? Since they were happy and not hurting anyone, I let them keep doing it. They are most upset that we moved to a house with the wrong kind of stairs.

They have taken the opportunity of me cooking to do a bunch of things (like cut eachothers hair), but you gotta cook, right?

They have all 3 fallen off the bed and down the stairs, but I thought that was just a normal part of life. I guess there's just more to feel guilty about!

mimi

One day last month it snowed about 3-4 inches overnight. I called the school and there were regular classes. So I sent the boys (6 and 8) down the block to the corner to the bus stop. They came back about 30 minutes later, shivering, telling me that the bus hadn't come yet. It was 10 degrees outside. And apparently there was no bus service.

Moxie

I must have suprssed this. It just came back to me. Let's hope my husband never reads this (he was upset enough about the choking on the teething cookie).

When El Chico was probably 9-10 months old, he was crawling around and the next thing I looked at him he had something dark brown in his mouth and he was sucking on it. "Oh, no! Where did he get chocolate!?" I wondered in a panic. But it was worse than that. Much worse. He'd gotten into the cat box. My son sucked on cat poop. For about two weeks I watched him constantly, ready to run to the ER at the first sign of any disease.

I've never told anyone else that ever. But now I've told the internet.

-AM

Okay, so I'm not a mom, but I'm scattered. So there was this one time when I was babysitting my three-year-old cousin who was a pill about bedtime routines (her parents' words, not mine). I was watching her at my grandmother's place while all the parents were out for dinner and a movie and a break from their kids. After fighting with me for fifteen minutes because she didn't want THAT toothpaste, she wanted HER toothpaste, I finally said "FINE! Pick out your toothpaste." So she did, and put it on her toothbrush. All of the sudden she makes a face and goes over to the toilet and starts making gagging noises. I looked at the bottle, and find out she'd brushed her teeth with ICY-HOT of all things. There was no Ipacac, since it was my grandma's (yeah, I know it's bad, but at the time it was the standard) so instead I called the ER and got chewed out by their medical techs about what a horrid babysitter I was. I still am mortified by the experience.

Amy

A few months ago I took my 19 month old and 3 month old to visit their great-grandmother at her retirement community. When I got there I realized I had forgotten the double stroller. To get from the parking lot to the main building you have to cross a fairly large road, and I knew there was no way my 19 month old would hold my hand while I carried his sister until we got across it. So I decided to run the 19 month old inside, then come back for his sister. We ran inside but when we got to the elevator, I couldnt remember the correct floor. So I trying to go as fast as I can to get back to my daughter, but every floor we stop on looks unfamiliar. And I'm getting more and more frantic, because my 3 month old is ALONE IN THE CAR. Finally I decide to just go back and get her, but I can't even figure out what floor to push to get to ground level!! I almost hyperventilated. I finally figured it out and we were probably only gone 5-10 minutes but to me it felt like an eternity.
Of course she was still happily sitting in her carseat, not even really aware that we had gone. And we were in a retirement community so I guess the chances of someone snatching her weren't that high, but still.

KT

Heh. I left the scissors and tape out after wrapping some christmas presents while the baby (I guess I should call her a toddler now, but I'm used to "baby") was down for her nap.

After her nap, she was delighted to pick up the scissors and wander off with them (I didn't notice) until she fell down and landed on them.

She had a small cut less than a centimeter from her left eye! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Darcie

I have so much Mother Guilt, I really can't share anything without feeling bad about it. So, I'll just say, thanks for making me feel not-so-freakish.

LisaV

Daughter #1 was 6 months old. She was sitting on my lap. Big family gathering. We were playing where I tipped her back, so her head hung upside down over my knees, and then I brought her back up. We did this ten times. The last time, somehow she flipped completely over and fell on the floor. Screaming baby. Horrified family members. My father says "she is not a puppy you know."

LisaV

Then I let her drink apple juice.

anon

I was driving on a local highway with my young eight-year-old friend in the passenger seat. We thought that the passenger-side door might not be closed all the way.

I told my friend to wait a moment while I checked my driving speed and the surrounding traffic situation, and then instructed my friend to quickly re-open the car door and slam it closed.

Now, I've done this while driving as an adult, and I can recall doing this as a child, with a parent instructing me just as I had instructed my young friend.

Well, I was at what I thought was an okay speed and there were no other cars around, and my young friend did successfully re-open and slam shut the door.

But! But there was such a feeling of resistance of some sort (which I don't understand -- we weren't driving backwards) in the split second it took for my friend to pull the door closed, a sensation I could feel from the other side of the car, that after my friend had completed the intended mission, were were both scared, really frightened.

I felt horrible! Why hadn't I changed lanes and pulled to the side of the highway to do this? We had not been in any kind of rush at all. I guess the answer is that I had previous experience successfully doing this, so did not consider whether it would be dangerous. It was simply, in my mind, the standard remedy to the problem.

But, oh, the two of us kind of sat there for a moment as I continued to drive, a bit shocked. I apologized to my friend, and acknowledged that I ought to have pulled over instead. I hope I asked whether my friend was okay.

What on earth would I have done had my precious young friend been hurt? Even though both the lap belt and shoulder belt were securely fastened, I still had visions of all sorts of scenarious, such as of the door wildly swinging open and my friend clinging to the door handle and dangling out of the car, or worse!

Another one involved holding a newborn baby while sitting on a rug, then trying to get up while I held the baby. I almost fell, in front of the parents and a roomful of guests to boot. I didn't, but I felt awful and awkward after.

Okay, well, slightly related to the general topic, a question (well, a long, compound one):

When did the regulations change to having to have the babyseat in the back seat? My experience is that even as recent as less than a decade ago, it was okay to have the babyseat in front, as long as there were no airbags. Then suddenly, it seemed to me, even young children had to be in booster seats and in back. I'm a bit bewildered and sincerely asking when did this all change? What are the laws now? Or is it simply widely considered common sense now?

I'm thinking about all the poor parents who make these mistakes involving the babyseat or generally something while the baby is in the back seat of the car and feel horrible later, even if nothing happens.

I understand that in the event of a crash, the baby is safer in back, but wonder whether the risks of having the babyseat in front is outweighed by all the other risks that come from having the baby in back.

I recall that when my sibling was a baby, we had a car with bench seats, and the babyseat was in the center of the front bench seat, first rear-facing, and, at about a year, front facing. This meant that the baby was right next to the driver parent. So, the parent could keep a better eye on the child. With hindsight, I don't think the front-facing was smart, nor that useful, except that my baby sibling enjoyed it, but otherwise this arrangement seemed good. It meant:

--The parent did not have to turn around to assist or attend to the baby while driving. (I've been behind parents who almost cause traffic accidents while having to do this, because it's a difficult thing to be doing. It seems more dangerous than cell phone talking or radio fiddling. I'm not making judgements, only observing that it is a difficult situation for a driver parent alone with a backseat-situated baby.)

--If the parent had forgotten to strap or buckle something, it was more noticeable, with no need to wait until getting to the destination to discover the unfortunate error. (There were fewer straps or belts with my baby sibling, though, perhaps, because there wasn't a detachable carrier.)

--If something went wrong with the baby, the baby started to choke or somehow got ahold of something, the parent much more easily noticed.

--The baby is right next to the parent, presumably happier, more comforted, making for a less distracted drive.

--And, I think most importantly, the baby was _right there_, so there was no way some awful thing like forgetting the baby in the car would happen. (I know of several sad cases where a parent, because of stress or a change in routine, simply forgets that the child is in the backseat, parks the car at the destination (work, or an errand), and leaves, only to be devastated later.)

I know this thread was not to include advice about what folks should do about their "bad moments" or judgements or anything like that, so please feel free to delete my comment if that is appropriate, but it is not my intent to include any such sentiments; this is a question/issue about which I've sincerely wondered and pondered for some years, on and off when events bring it to mind, and not judgementally, but really just question which was is better, and then here in this thread are so many examples that bring this to mind, so I thought I'd post and ask all you wise folks for information and, I guess, risk analysis opinions.

Odd note: When my baby sibling was a bit older, I can recall her _then_ being in her babyseat in the back seat with me. Weird.

I'm really not trying to say "we did it this way and we're okay" or anything, only using my experience as an example to weigh against others situations as I try to figure out this question. I am not judging -- I don't yet know which I think it better!

R

I was doing laundry one day and my 18 month old was rummaging in the other room downstairs, (where I keep my tools etc.). He was fairly quiet so I kept calling out to him, 'what are you doing?', and he'd answer 'fixing things', so I thought he was fine. Well a few minutes later I join him only to find him with a screwdriver in one hand an an open exacto knife in the other banging and carving up the old work table in there. I almost had a heart attack thinking about what might have happened.
Another time at around the same age,we were at the park and he wanted to ride the big slide. He'd ridden it many times before and loved it so I helped him to the top while another set of parents warned me that he was far to young to ride that slide. I just gave them a look as I let my little guy go. Usually he'd slide down quite slowly since the rubber soles on his sneakers would provide resistance so he wouldn't pick up speed. On this day, he was wearing a pair of Robeeze which provided NO resistance at all and he flew down the side and shot out about 7 or 8 feet before landing really hard on the gravel and banging his head. He was screaming his head off and I was praying for the ground to open up and swallow me so that I would not have to look at the other parents. He was not injured and the next day he went right back to riding the big slide again, with his sneakers on of course, but I never saw those parents again.

amy in BC

Hmm.. first born doing his first roll RIGHT OFF the dresser where I would change him at 2 mos. Having him FALL down some stairs in his carseat not a week later.. At 9 mos pulling a honking shelf down on himself, being afraid to pull it off of him lest I killed him.. :(

Letting go of my twin girls' stroller for ONE second and having it careen OFF the sidewalk, fall sideways and being unable to right it without the help of a passing car.

When they are so little and helpless situations like this KILL you...

cherylc

The most recent thing I can think of was last week, when I was trying to pick up my almost four year old. She's getting big and I'm kind of small, so I really heave her up. Well, I forgot I was heaving her up on the left side of the hall, where the ceiling slopes down, and, you guessed it, clonk! Right into the ceiling. She said I hurt her neck, and I felt so bad. I know the ceiling slopes in our upstairs hall, what was I thinking? She seems to be okay now, though.

The other day, I did something, I can't remember what, and I said, "Oh sweetie, I'm so sorry..." I paused, and she said, "You feel terrible." I could almost hear the adolescent sigh.

Amie

I feel like mine will be the worst. Of course I have had the usual, all my boys rolled off the bed or the couch.

The worst was when my oldest was about 15 months. I was sewing so I had the iron on to press seams. I had a gate up so he could not even go into the room where the iron was. Well, I finished sewing put everything away and took the gate down. I forgot to shut the iron off. Of course my little guy touched it and burned his hand. I felt like horrible horrible horrible.

Kate

Hate to play "I Can Top That" with you ladies, but here goes...

When my son was 6 weeks old, we made our first solo outing to Target together. Yeah, it doesn't sound like a big deal, but trust me- with his oxygen tank, miles of tubing, a diaper bag, plus the baby in the carrier, it was quite the adventure.

He was a perfect angel while shopping. Didn't make a peep.

After we were done, I loaded all the gear and shopping bags into my trunk, walked the cart back to the cart corral, got in the car and started to drive away.

That's when I realized I left him in the cart.

Bad mommy, BAD!

Linda

A couple weeks ago, I took one of my pre-prenatal multivitamins, the ones I took before trying to get pregnant. They're "super" vitamins with way more than the RDA and extra trace minerals and whatnot. I forgot that they turn my pee bright yellow until I saw it (my pee, yes) and then noticed that both girls had bright yellow pee when I changed their diapers. I checked the bottle and noticed the huge "DO NOT TAKE IF PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING" warning and about crapped my pants. Thank God I only took one. I probably didn't ruin their kidneys and liver, but I'm refilling my prenatals until I'm done breastfeeding. Crapola.

chris

When my son was about 9 months old, I put him in the cart at the grocery store (without one of those covers, of course) and proceeded to do my shopping. When we got in line, he seemed pretty calm so I grabbed a magazine and was completely engrossed in it when he started sceaming at the top of his lungs. I couldn't figure out what was wrong because he was right there in front of me in the seat when I realized he had pushed his leg through one of the slats in the cart and couldn't get it out. I panicked and one of the checkers came over immediately and started yelling "get the K-Y Jelly. Get some Crisco Oil." Meanwhile, a number of "helpful" shoppers were attempting to extricate him from the cart and scaring the crap out of him. The K-Y didn't work, neither did the Crisco, so the paramedics were called and they cut him out of the cart. The store manager came running out while they were cutting Eric loose and gave me my groceries for free (I think at one point I started screaming "I'm a lawyer and these carts are unsafe") and a good thing too, because there were actually two large cans of formula (gasp!) in there. As if all of this weren't proof enough of my bad parenting, the paramedics at the store were the same ones who'd responded exactly one week before because I'd fallen (while carrying him, of course) coming out of a gourmet food store and the manager was freaking out because he thought my son had a concussion.

We've been a lot less accident prone since.

katie

O.K. I was huge pregnant with our second so I was exhausted. I put number one down for a nap (knowing she was not going to sleep) so I could get one myself. I awake later to the sound of "Mommy, I'm stuck!". I run up the stairs to find her standing next to the window. "What are you doing?", I asked. "I was trying to floss my teeth!". What? She had taken the thin rope on the back of her homemade curtains and slid it into the crack between her teeth. I had to cut the rope after a hilarious call to the ped. and the dentist. I ruined the curtain (which was a really bad idea in her room on my part, strings, long strings, in easy reach of a little one) and I didn't get any pictures of it, either!

Elise

In the same week I cut and almost scalded my three month old daughter. On a Tuesday morning, my husband was trying to get ready to get them out of the house. I noticed that her fingernails were really long and I thought they should be cut. But I had never done it before. So of course, five minutes before they had to leave, I decided to try it. Stupid. I knew when I heard her scream of distress that I had chopped into finger, not nail. My husband was furious and banned me from all fingernail cutting duties for a long time.

Then on Thursday of that same week, I drew a bath for her in the evening. I checked the water temp at the beginning, but I must have forgotten to check again before calling my husband in to tell him it was ready. He put her in the tub, cradled in his arms. As soon as his hands touched the water he knew it was too hot. She didn't make it all the way in before she let out another one of those screams and he whisked her out quickly, but not before her entire back had turned bright red. A few more seconds and her skin would have been scalded. He was livid. He yelled at me as he tried to calm her down. It took a long time before she stopped crying. That was a very bad week in my life as a mom.

Katerina

Wow, I have managed to involve all three of my children in situations that could potentially lead to serious injury/fatalities and that's just in the last month!

After returning home from a shopping trip to Kmart, I was sitting on the couch with our 3 month old, holding up some new clothes on her to see how they fit. I turned away to get another outfit, and when I turned back blood was pouring from the baby's eye! I started wiping the blood away with a tissue, wondering what could possibly be wrong with her for her eye to start bleeding like that. After wiping off the blood I noticed the tiniest of paper cuts just underneath her lower eyelid, caused by the tag on the clothing I had lain on her. I felt so awful; if it had been a fraction higher her eyeball could have been damaged!

On another day I was grocery shopping with the baby, Miss 3, and Mr 5. The older two behave very badly on shopping trips; they run around everywhere, with no regard for safety. By the end of the trip my patience had worn thin and I stuck Miss 3 in the shopping cart and ordered Mr 5 to stand on the end as I wheeled it from the store to our car. I leaned the cart against the car and went to put the baby in first. As I was fastening her straps (I remembered that bit!) Mr 5 started screaming for me, and I looked around the car door and watched in horror as the cart started rolling down the car park into on-coming traffic! I have never moved so quickly in all my life. Fortunately, I managed to stop it in time, and since then, the first thing I do upon leaving a store is get the kids in the car, then worry about the cart!

See now, isn't this liberating? No-one's perfect. Much better than drive-bys.

Sarah

This is a bad nanny story since I'm currently only PTTC (planning for trying to concieve).
As a very eager baby sitter of 12 I bought a book called "The baby sitters Handbook". They were very clear that a hot bath could really injure a baby, so even at 25 I was a bit cautious about the heat of a baby bath. The paretns had started a bed time routine for their 7 month old which included a bath. It was Boston, in the winter, not a very warmly heated house (they had a cool touch heater for her room). I ran a bath for her and she was happily splashing along when I noticed she was sort of shivering. I touched the water and realized it was rather cool. I took her out immeditaly, apologizing profusing and rubbing her vigerously with the towel. I got her diapered and dressed ASAP and nearly cried from the fear of having giging her hypothermia. I fully disclosed to her paretns, who weren't too freaked (probably because I was)and we discussed how to measure her bath temp.
Same kid, same age:
I let her play with the sunblock tube while I changed her diaper. I looked up from tushie wiping and she had gotten the lid off and had sunblock in her mouth. I grabbed a was cloth and wiped her mouth out--again apologizing and shaking with fear. I called poison control center and they reassured me that she probably hadn't injested anything dangerous and that I had done the right thing. Her mom and dad were shocked--we'd all let her mouth the sunblock tube.

Otherwise I spent most of my time obsessed with the fear of falling down one of their extremely steep flights of stairs, that never happened, was it the worrying?

Sarah

The Good Rachel

Moxie - Don't feel so bad about the catbox incident.... Here's mine:

My bad parenting moment happened when my daughter was about a year old. Daddy had just changed her poopy diaper and she was crawling around the floor. She was at that age where sometimes the poop was a bunch of little shitballs. Daddy had changed her on the big hassock in the tv room and apparently wasn't quite as careful as he should have been. I was sitting in my chair with the laptop and happened to look down at her. She was putting something in her mouth…and taking a bite.

"What is that?" I thought. "It looks like….a tootsie roll….? Where the hell did she get a toots….. OMG! She’s eating a SHITBALL!"

Of course I got it away from her immediately and wiped out her mouth thoroughly. Based on her facial expression, I don’t think she liked it much, but she never had the opportunity to do it again. Daddy and Mommy were both much more careful with coralling errant shitballs at diaper change time.

Kristen

Last week, my husband was out of town and I was exhausted. My 2 year old son crawled into bed with me at 6 am, wanting to play. I said, "in a minute, honey" and immediately fell back asleep.

He went off to explore the house and came running back into the room. In one hand he had a very sharp pair of scissors; and in the other, a screwdriver and a hammer.

I heard his feet and half opened my eyes to the sight of my baby running at me full-speed with the sharpest objects in the house.

They were in a drawer that he couldn't reach. But he moved a stool over and climbed right up to get them.

Leah

White Grape Juice, Anyone?
Leah: "Nick dropped his juice."
Shawn: : "He has juice?"
Leah: "Ya, didn't you buy it at the store the other day?"
Shawn: "Cherry...What's this?"
Leah: "White Grape."
Shawn: "We have white grape? SHOW ME!"
Leah: pulls juice out from fridge
Shawn: "That's not good juice...That juice is BAD."
Shawn: grabs juice and washed out container
Leah: "What...Is there mold?"
Shawn: "You didn't really give this to him, did you?"
Leah: "Ya, at lunch and then right before you got home. Why, is it moldy?"
Shawn: shakes head...laughes.
Family: Sits around table...Shawn is still laughing
Leah: "What!"
Shawn: "That's not juice in there."
Leah: "What are you talking about..."
Shawn: "This morning I had to go to the bathroom really bad and and you were in the bathroom. I had to go so bad, I was doing the pee dance waiting for you to get out...I couldn't hold it anymore...SO, I thought the best place to go was in the empty container cause it was the closest thing to me. The sink was filled with dishes. (pause) It's PEE in the container.
Leah: "HA HA...no really, what was in there?"
Shawn: "Pee."
Leah: "No really...WHAT WAS IN THERE?"
Shawn: "My pee. Nick just drank my pee! Thank God pee is sterile. Don't cha' remember, Dodge Ball?" (Dodge Ball is a movie we recently saw)
Leah: "What if it's not your own pee...Is it still sterile?"
Shawn: "Ya...But it probably doesn't taste as good as your own."
Shawn: Did Nick really drink any of it?"
Leah: "Yes...half cup this morning and then I held the cup for him while he was busy walking around this afternoon. I'm so glad I didn't test it out!"
Shawn: "Let's not tell him until he's very, very old."
Leah: "I am so going to blog this! Ohh...I'm gonna call my mom."
Shawn: "Don't. Please!"

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