Everyone is Perfect.

At least that is what the comments on any internet story will lead you to believe.  I just read a story about a baby being poisoned by a laundry soap pod.  The mom was doing laundry, holding the baby, and the baby grabbed a pod and bit it.  Bring on the haters cause damn this mom should have her baby taken and be shot.

Here is a sad truth.  At some point in your child’s life (if you are lucky) they are going to cheat death.  The ones who are not so lucky are the ones the internet will skewer for their recklessness.  Each one of my children have at one point gotten into, onto, out of or under something and probably shouldn’t be alive anymore.  I am not what you would call a reckless parent.  Car seats stayed rear facing far longer than recommended.  I kept them in booster seats way longer than the law requires.  I had my house safety locked like a fortress.  The problem is that people are not perfect and we all make mistakes.

Hannah’s first dance with death came when we were living in a tiny apartment waiting for our house to be built.  I was stress eating because she was teething, we were in a tiny tiny apartment and I was over it.  I had her teething tablets up on my desk along with some chocolate chips I was stress snacking on.  I went to the bathroom and she must have been laying in wait for me to leave my desk because while I was in there she climbed my desk and I walked out to discover her sitting on it teething tablets open and her having managed to hork down an unbelievable amount of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  After a hysterical call to poison control I learned that she wasn’t in danger of death, but she wasn’t in danger of sleeping any time soon either.  She stayed up for a good three days burning that caffeine high off.  I was must more careful after that, putting things much further out of her reach and that worked really well until she learned to use tools.  The problem is that kids are resourceful and so often under estimated.

Drew wasn’t as adventurous as Hannah but the kid was smart and a runner.  I can’t remember any near poisonings with him but he tested the limits of every door and window in our house.  After Hannah all drawers and cabinets were childproofed as were the fridge all the toilets and my house was a maze of baby gates.  I thought it was a little safer to turn my back for a moment to do such opulent things like laundry or maybe bathe.  It was the laundry that screwed me over.  Even with a child lock on the front door one day as I was in my room with the door open doing laundry the kids played in the playroom and in our very open floor plan of a house I felt like I had a handle one things, poking my head out every few minutes.  I knew they couldn’t get out of the house or into anything so I folded laundry not realizing that my toddler son would figure out how to just pull hard on the door knob cover to break it off and then unlock the door and escape.  When I questioned the builders why my door knob and lock so low, they responded that it was a safety issue and that kids had to be able to reach the knob in case of an emergency.  I noticed that it was suddenly brighter and looked to see the door wide open.  Full speed I ran out of the house before my son could even reach the sidewalk I snatched him up.  He was frantic because a truck with watermelons had driven by and he wanted one.  After that the door got a chain lock very high up.

Once Olivia came into the world there was nothing she could possibly do to injure herself.  Or so I thought.  This place was a veritable fortress of safety measures.  I was in no way prepared for the havoc that little person would wreak on my home. She was a very cherished baby being the youngest of three her older siblings doted on her and she was never out of anyone’s sight for very long.  Andrew was the self appointed baby protector and he would be damned if something happened to her, it’s just that no one was prepared for that much mischief in such a tiny little body.  She would log where each and every thing she wanted to experiment was and once the opportunity struck her feet were just blurs as she gathered all the things she wanted to destroy.  No cup of water, no plate of food, no cookie was safe from her.  She was a natural climber so we learned early that everything needed to be out of her sight or she would simply monkey her way up to it.  One night when she was three she kicked off a plan of destruction so great that it will be talked about for years.  She woke up in the middle of the night and gathered so many different things ranging from finger nail polish to vegetable oil.  there was sand from some sand art, flour from cupboards she shouldn’t have had access too.  She climbed the drawers with them pulled out only as far as the locks allowed.  With great silence she mixed together this nasty mix of sludge.  The sound of a wire whisk on a glass mixing bowl is what woke me.  The stealth with which she gathered her ingredients is what has haunted me, if the small clinking of that whisk woke me.

The point I’m getting at with all this is that I was very vigilant.  I thought through all the different scenarios and these things always just take a second.  I don’t believe for a second when someone says that their child never got into anything that could harm them.  It’s a fact of life that kids get into stuff.  Every child at some point has done something that could harm them.  They have scared the shit out of their parents and I know its a common thing because if you can think of it, there is a lock or pad or gate to protect it and that tells me that its common.  So to all the internet judges, all holier than thou, my child nevers, who are you trying to convince, yourself or others?  I know I’ve been lucky with my kids.  I’m sure for all the different ways I thought I had my bases covered there were probably a hundred more things I hadn’t even thought of that my kids could have gotten hurt.  If you need to go off on a random person on a news story, I feel bad for you.


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