Looking back at my recent posts I realized that one might assume that I’m trying for some sort of super-mom title, what with the sentimental look at my child’s first year, and the slightly-too-elaborate-for-a-first-birthday-party bash I put together. To balance this possible misconception, I thought I’d share with you a few of my “mommy mess-ups.” I got the idea from the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group I attend. Often at the beginning of each meeting we are invited to share a story about a less than stellar parenting moment we’ve experienced. Invariably I end up drawing a blank during the meeting, only to remember a myriad of examples on my way home, so I started writing them down. Here are a few vignettes that will probably cost me my mother of the year nomination:
Running off with the Scissors
I was working on birthday party prep one afternoon, when disaster almost hit. I was cutting out a decoration while sitting on the ottoman in the middle of the living room in an effort to quiet Baby Girl’s whining because she couldn’t see what I was doing. She was cruising around the couch and loveseat, cooing happily. I finished cutting out the flower and went to the card table where I had my glue gun set up so I could attach the flower to the stem. The next thing I heard was Charlotte squealing in glee, as she does whenever she gets a hold of anything that is off limits. I couldn’t see her because she was between the ottoman and the couch, and in a panic I realized I couldn’t find my super sharp “mommy” scissors either. In my distracted crafting state I had left them on the ottoman, within easy reach of my sweet child. I dashed toward her and she let out a squeal, crawling away from me as fast as she could. Sure enough, she had the scissors in her hands. I grab them away, using the sharpest tone of voice I’ve ever used with her, telling her “NO TOUCH!” with my heart pounding in my throat, at the same time grabbing her and cuddling her and looking for gushing blood. Thank the Lord there was no harm done. You can bet I kept much better track of my scissors after that!
Dangerous Oral Hygiene
I have a drawer in my bathroom that is full of safe items for Charlotte to play with while I’m getting ready. It’s mostly empty travel bottles, some tubes of lip gloss and hand cream…all harmless. Or so I thought. As I was applying my make-up one morning Charlotte seemed particularly preoccupied. When I looked down I realized that was because she had found some super fun new toys. I had put a bag of those individual dental flossers in her “play drawer,” but apparently not checked to make sure it was completely closed. Baby Girl had dumped out the whole bag on the floor around her, and was busy picking each one up and putting it into the drawer. That wouldn’t have been so bad, except that each flosser ended in a very sharp plastic pick, not the kind of thing you want your one-year-old to be handling or putting in her mouth. I immediately picked them up and put them back in the bag, closing it tightly this time, but apparently Sweetums is much better at finding lost items than I am, because on several more occasions she found one of the picks that had fallen in the drawer or under the vanity and handed it to me. Glad she seems to have inherited her mom’s neat nick tendencies. Sheesh.
The Disappearing Hair Accessory
Baby Girl was born with a ton of hair, and it’s just kept on growing. I’ve tried everything to keep it out of her face. I used bows for a while, but she figured out how to pull them out. I decided to switch to barrettes since they are smaller and lighter, thinking maybe she wouldn’t notice them. I was a bit worried about the choking hazard issue, but decided she wouldn’t be likely to try to eat the barrettes. It worked great for a few days. She left the barrette in her hair, and I was careful to remove it before bedtime. Then came the day I put her down for a nap, forgetting to take the hair clip out first. When she got up the barrette was no longer in her hair, and I panicked. I searched through her bedding, under the crib, through the strands of her very fluffy rug, even moved the mattress. Nothing. The barrette was gone. I could only assume she had swallowed it, and pray it made it through her little intestines without puncturing them. I was contemplating calling poison control or possibly just heading off to the emergency room, when I decided to check her car seat. Sure enough, Little Britches had discovered a foreign object in her hair while we were driving back from Bible study and removed it, leaving it in the car. After a couple more incidences of disappearing barrettes I decided to try to ponytails instead. At least the hair band is smaller, and harder to pull out. So far.
I have more, many more, incidents on my list, but wouldn’t want to overwhelm you with my failures all at once. 🙂 Each of these moments have taught me that I am not a perfect mother, that such a person does not exist, and that Charlotte has a very attentive Heavenly Father and perhaps a rotating team of guardian angels keeping her safe. I suspect the same is true for every baby, for how else do they manage to survive the exploratory stage and make it to kindergarten? 🙂