Thursday, October 4, 2007

Pennies, Beds and Paper

No one is perfect and there is no all inclusive course on how to be the perfect parent. Sometimes we have to make mistakes to learn. I have recently made a few of them.

In the past two weeks, I've found a penny in my daughter's hand, caught her just as she was about to fall head first off our king size bed (which used to seem so big), and pulled out a wad of paper she had managed to shove into her mouth as I held her. I am not going to beat myself up over these things because as I just mentioned above, I am not perfect.

When life is good, we tend to take things for granted as we happily cruise along. But one minute can change everything. One minute (or less) is long enough for you to stop paying attention and end up in the Emergency Room. Most of my new mommy friends have already had a visit there (including me), and it's not a place you really want to go.

The babe usually hangs out in her pack n play in our bedroom while I putter around. Sometime my clothes will end up thrown over the side of the pack n play because I am too tired or lazy to put them away. A skirt I had recently worn was carelessly thrown over the side the other day. I went to pick the babe up to change her diaper and found a penny in her hand. That's very bad, right? A serious choking hazard. The change in my pocket must have spilled out into the play pen and ended up in her hands. I sifted through the toys and found a lot more change, including quarters (larger than pennies!). I've read the chapter on what to do when your baby is choking in the American Academy of Pediatrics book, but am not sure I would have remembered if she had been choking and turning blue. No more change in pockets.

Another common accident is falling off the bed. I was grabbing something from the closet (very close to the bed) last week. I had left the babe in the middle of the bed as I quickly turned around to grab whatever it was that I needed (I don't even remember). When I headed back towards the bed a second later, she had managed to crawl (super rapidly) to the edge of the bed and was about to go over head first. I caught her just in time. I don't think my heart has ever beat that fast. I was pretty upset about it all day. It was careless of me to put her on the bed when I could have just as easily plopped her in the pack n play (without change). This will not happen again.

And my last story is about paper. The babe LOVES to play with paper. As I was having a little picnic with a friend last Monday, the babe was rifling through the front pocket of my purse. She found a piece of paper which I didn't think would be a problem as I was holding her while she sat on top of the picnic table. People (like me) can get pretty distracted as they tell stories, and I got distracted. Next thing I know, the babe is choking. I quickly opened her mouth and fished out some paper. Not good. What is even more embarrassing is the fact that my husband had just given her an envelope to play with a few days earlier and she had stuck it in her mouth and yep, you guessed it, choked. I have now learnt my lesson twice on this one. Paper is bad. As fun as it may seem, it is bad.

Every parent has their stories, and every parent beats themselves up over them. We aren't perfect and we can't always protect our little ones from harm. But we can certainly do our best to minimize potential accidents, and that includes avoiding some of the situations I've mentioned above. Happy parenting!

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