Sunday, July 25, 2010

How crap a parent are you?

Bump2basics is blogging guiltily about letting the baby roll off the bed, and Lady Bird World Mother is thinking of renaming herself Crap World Mother, so it got me thinking about all the avoidable things that happen to our kids because of well, lax parenting on our parts.

Without wishing to make you relive a real tragedy or trauma (ie. keep it light), what's the worst thing you let happen?  I'll start.

Cooking a pan of pasta on the front ring (yes, I know) and watching my then two year old touch it. The whole thing happened in slow motion. She was walking towards it with her arm outstretched and I knew what was going to happen. I just couldn't get there in time. Fortunately I was able to yank her away pretty quickly so the damage was limited. AND she didn't pull the pan down on her self. (Shudder.) I still cook on the back rings because of that.

Closing the car window on my toddler boy's hands. He was young enough that he couldn't talk well (which is really young in my house) and had stuck his little fingers through the two inch window opening next to him. I didn't realise that and just happened to press the "up" window button. I heard him softly crying and couldn't figure out what was upsetting him so I pulled over to find him sitting there with his fingers jammed in the window.  Oh I'm still upset thinking about it.

Or how about watching the wrong little 5 year old in a pink bikini at Tynemouth beach (very long sands) then realising your own 5 year old has been missing for ages? Cue running around for five minutes crying silently, then another eternal run (through sand remember) to the coast guard's beach hut, praying "Please don't let her have gone over to the rocks". Fortunately she'd been found before I even realised she'd gone, but again - aarrgghh!

And they all survived the toddlers years. Bloody miracle really.



  1. Feel I must be in line for negligent mother of the decade or perhaps century award. To date have missed a) one broken arm (in mitigation child went to school and school didn't notice either), b) two burst appendices - again in mitigation, note rush to self defence here, in first case it took the Children's Hospital in Edinburgh three days to work out that was what it was and in second case 2 GPs both said it wasn't an appendix problem - even so still torture myself thinking how could I not have realised how ill respective children were.

    Other highlights include loosing someone else's child at my child's party - fortunately by time I realised I was missing child she had been found but that was a real heartstopper - top tip on this one,if they are not in the line for party bags at the end, you have a problem.

    Having recounted this small selection of nightmares I have had - I feel I might need to go for a restorative gin and tonic however as it is 9am Sydney time might have to make it a large latte whilst I ponder my children's miraculous survival.

  2. My goodness, I'd be having a vat of gin with two cases in mitigation. How wearing.

    It also reminds me of the worst of mine, which I had obviously buried deep down. -
    All photos of the window/finger child show him looking decidedly CRAP at his first birthday tea. At his check up the day before the doc said because he was teething, he might be listless, in pain and have a temperature. Yes, all of the above, plus strange orange stuff coming out of his ears, which I thought was baby food (as he was wont to wipe the food everywhere.)
    At 5am I knew something was not right, and on a 9am inspection by the doc - double ear perforation! Even the doc was aghast at how much pain he must have been in. (Lash, hair shirt, three thousand Hail Marys).

  3. There's obviously a deep well/vein of horrors we bury deep - as that has just reminded me that when I finally got DQ no.1 to hospital, still convinced it was stomach flu and she was making a fuss, she was admitted immediately. I went outside to phone husband to say perhaps he'd better come and returned to find surgeon in residence by bedside saying he needed to operate immediately but first he was going to give her a massive dose of morphine as she must be in agony. My feeble response was "she seemed all right to me" - so I am joining you on the lash front

  4. I know someone will read this and roll their eyes at me, but honestly the worst thing I ever did was spank Ian. He was around 4 or 5 and I spanked him hard. He had such a startled look on his face afterward that it broke my heart. I went into the next room and cried. It was the first and last time I hit him.

  5. Oh well that settles it - you win!!! How could you??!!!

  6. I have to add that on the rare occasion when I have even swatted them, they look at you with such confusion that it is belittling. I share your pain.
    I don't care what anyone says, why would you deliberately inflict pain on someone a third your size? (And that goes for dogs too.)

  7. Baby rolling off bed.
    Toddler falling downstairs & hitting head on every step.(Watched in slow motion!)
    Toddler pulling hot cuppa soup all over neck. (Husband left it on ledge).
    Tapping small child on leg in annoyance (forgetting I had a hairbrush in my hand) noticing small pin prick marks on leg.

    Luckily no permanent damage to any of these things.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  8. Oh, bliss! Joy!! Utter contentment!
    Other Mothers Do It Too.
    Thanks EM. I will love you for ever.
    Can I just add the worst crime of all?? Ignoring your children for twenty years. THATS crap. Really.
    And I try so hard NOT TO. I mean, they get food, don't get me wrong, and we go out and do things and I read them stories. But all the time, well, most of the time,(OK, just some of the time) I am waiting for the moment when I can get some Me Time. When I have done enough parenting to be owed a big fat Hour Off.
    Beat that, I dare you.
    Excellent post. Will get us all thinking. And sobbing into our pillows tonight. xxx

  9. Oh God. As soon as I read 'front ring' I knew what was going to happen.
    I must admit, I've let some terrible things happen, and not always my fault, for example:
    * Slamming the car door on my daughter's fingers at bowling. I think it actually broke one of her fingers, which I was terribly guilty for.
    * Watching my daughter sprain/fracture her ankle on a bouncy castle, after a boy ferociously but accidentally (although she still believes otherwise) landed on it (like I said, I didn't actually cause this, but I watched it, and that's bad enough).
    * Leaving the iron behind the sofa (pretty safe place, I imagined) when suddenly Son ran behind it unbeknownst, burning his leg and causing him to miss about 2 weeks of swimming lessons, painfully doing so.

    So, pretty much all of us do silly things we regret later - I don't think there is a single mother who could possibly (and truthfully) say: "I've never accidentally hurt any of my children in any way".


  10. I closed the car window on my oldest son when he was a toddler too. Scarred us both for life it has an all.

  11. Realising my baby could roll over when she landed with a great 'fump' next to our bed. Which is about 2.5 ft high...

  12. One of the dumbest things I have done is putting my hand in a frying pan of hot oil (was distracted talking to two-year-old). Ouch.

  13. new house viewing without realising that when daughter had fallen over at home earlier she had split head open seriously. Put hand on daughters shoulder (in house we were viewing) to find blood dripping onto my hand. At hospital had to admit that it had happened hours earlier but I hadn't realised. This comes only a close first to daughter tripping up an cracking cheek bone on which I put a packet of frozen peas whilst still insisting the BT engineers fixed my phone line before taking her to A&E. They weren't impressed but I had been phoneless for 3 weeks, there was no way an extra 30 mins was going to kill daughter.

  14. The incidents are too numerous to remember but include:

    Letting the 18 month old shut himself in the house when I was outside with no key

    Losing Littleboy 1 for about 10 minutes in a Central Park playground

    Shutting car boot and knocking LB's head on the way.

    The boys also both sport forehead scars and each have damaged one of their front teeth.

  15. I have closed window on toddlers fingers too and watched as my 1-year old took a flying leap off my bed. About 2 months ago I gave someone a ride at work and didn't put my son's car seat back in securely and when he jumped into the minivan he flew out, still sat on his seat like some kind of ejector seat on an aircraft. He was so shocked he cried and I screamed. It was awful.
    I do always think about hose poor parents last year (it happened twice I think?) where they forgot the child was in the back of the car and they went into work all day. I am so paranoid now about checking.

  16. At least we all have company in being non-perfect parents and are not afraid to admit it - and more importantly, kids are resilient little buggers!

    I've just made another mistake by the way that I'm about to blog about - I accidentally fed LLC some honey. Grrr, I wanted to bang my head against the wall!

  17. The funniest thing in retrospect (but not at the time) was not realising my baby's window was slightly open in the back seat when going through the car wash. It gave an interesting effect when the guy put the pressure hose on that door. Woops.

  18. OK - that's at least the funniest, although years ago on a flight from England to Spain we hit really, really bad turbulence. I was passing my daughter (then aged about 9) a glass of cold, cold orange juice - but it landed all over her when the plane dropped a few hundred feet. Oops.

  19. There was also the story (in Florida probably at least 15 years ago) about a man who was taking his baby to daycare. He put the car seat on the car roof, then drove off. He was actually driving down the freeway doing about 55mpn, when the car behind him saw the car seat come flying towards him and then bounce on the road in his rear view mirror. Miraculously the baby was protected because the handle was still in carrying position!

  20. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Have been practically perfect in every way. Well that's the way my memory and good mental health tell me..anybody want to ARGUE ABOUT THAT?????

  21. My nice counsellor tells me to go into denial and all those horrible memories of being a crap mother will just drift away....

    PS on a different subject, regarding our discussion on names, sorry to say that both girls were spelt Sydney....but Cyd Charisse was so very chic so perhaps she could be a good one to mention to your daughter (unless you already have!!) xx


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