Hurting Your Kid

Here’s that age-old question: “How have you accidentally hurt your child?”

It seems crazy, right? Any of us would jump in front of a bus to save our kid, but there are some bumps that we accidently inflict. Don’t call child protective services! Nothing of the lit cigarette variety, but here is my confession. I hope I’m not the only one…

11 thoughts on “Hurting Your Kid

  1. Sooo…three days ago, my husband, daughter and I are at brunch at a cozy diner (booths, of course), and I’m sitting on one side, with my daughter on the inside of my booth bench, and my husband’s across the way. I tell my husband “I’m going to run to the bathroom, can you come sit with her?” He says, sure, so I stand up and start to walk towards the bathroom. My daughter had been standing on the booth, entertaining herself by looking over the back of our booth at others, looking out the window etc. I haven’t made it more than 3 steps when, in a slowmo kinda way, I see my husband yelling and reaching toward the seat I just abandoned, and turn in time to witness my daughter crash onto the floor on her head. Instantaneous wailing, flutter of activity as waitresses and managers rush over with bags of ice, which my daughter actually allows me to hold to her head. She ultimately calms down, but my left leg is doing a jittery dance the whole time i’m holding her, and “you’re OK’ing” her, etc. And she was/is just fine. But I was a wreck, and was so freaked out at how quickly the whole thing happened. that’s the worst that’s occurred on my watch, if you discount the “first month of life” butchering of her little thumb whilst trying to clip her nails… i’ve got the fred flintstone thumb on video (remember when he’d bang his thumb and it would throb like Joel McCale’s disco ball on The Soup’s “E” segment?), good footage of the gauzey bandage I concocted for her little bitty thumb (thumbs really bleed if you clip them!) along with an apology for any future scars she may notice.

    What can ya do??? Stuff happens, no matter how careful you are that it not… I have friends who swear by the whole “Blessing of the Skinned Knee” concept (which is that kids need to explore and learn and if they fall, well, that’s part of the learning), and I guess I do too, but it’s so painful when you’re the one tripping them and making them fall….

  2. OMG – my mother gave me a concussion when I was 9 months old! She and my dad worked at my grandfather’s grocery store and she left me on one of the front counters while she went to the back of the store. She had not yet seen me roll over and so assumed that I could not. She was wrong and I fell several feet to the floor. Another woman in the store brougt me back to my mom who still apologizes to this day.

    Can you imagine? I freak out when I cut my daughters’ fingernails too close!

  3. Ooooh, this brought up a bad memory for me, and I want you to know that I have not shared this with anyone–and my son is now 12 and a half! When TJ was a toddler (so in a front facing carseat but the kind that still has the big roller-coaster bar that comes down over his head), my husband and I were driving with TJ in the back seat, and my husband had a momentary loss of attention and rear-ended the car in front of us at a light. I looked back at my son (who was not even crying, by the way) and his seat had tipped forward so that it was leaning on the back of my seat! OMG! We had forgotten to strap it in!!!! I was so freaked out and shakey all day. Does this make me a bad mother? You know what Freud said about accidents! The good news is that he was fine, it wasn’t a major accident (no real damage, we were already mostly stopped at the light), and I am still a good mother, right? Right?

  4. Yes, Jenn you can still be a good mother. Love all these confessions! This is what I was always hoping for a good forum on the real dirt behind motherhood :)
    I think there is payback, lately Viv’s been kind of beating me up.

  5. To be such an over-protective first-time mom, I’ve injured my 4-year-old Alex too many times! When he was a baby, I closed the front door on his finger, clipped skin with fingernail clippers AND let him slip out of my arm while bathing him in the kitchen sink, causing him to slide down and bop his head on the stainless steel side of the sink! (There wasn’t enough water in there for him to go under, thank GOD)
    Now that he’s older, he can usually get out of my clumsy blundering way, but just yesterday I was helping Alex set up Lego Star Wars on the computer (’cause he totally adores that game) and I turned to him to say, “All set, kiddo!” and whacked him on the head with my elbow. He will live through this. I hope…

  6. Love the stories. Upon thinking of this subject, unfortunately, way too many stories of my own came to mind! But I will only share a few. The worst for me was when my son was an infant, I would bring him into the bed with me at night for those dreaded hourly or bi-hourly feedings. I was exhausted! One time I was holding him in my left arm while feeding with my right hand holding the bottle and whoops!….I dozed off. I couldn’t tell you if it was 1 minute or 1 hour, but that poor baby fell from the bed to the floor upon a 12 pack of Charmin TP and was himself fast asleep. I have no explanation for why in the world toilet paper was there, but thank Heaven!

    I believe I’ve told you I’m disabled and wheelchair bound. I have a power wheelchair. There are a dozen stories in that alone, but I have not once, not twice, but many times ran over that poor child’s toes. One day in particular he stood there beside me and couldn’t talk and his little face was getting redder by the minute, I’m freaking out…What son, what’s a matter, you need to breathe, what’s wrong? “Mom, could you please remove your wheel from my big toe?” Oh, for the love of Pete, I felt so bad. Now….we gotta laugh because some of the stories will flat out make you cry. lol

  7. Jen,

    You just hit on one of those paranoid Mom issues for me — the whole question of ever-changing developmental skills. I’m, frankly, borderline reckless with my daughter — but I think it’s because she’s sooo compliant. If I say “stay,” or “don’t move” she has ALWAYS obeyed that.

    So my 2.5 yr old daughter often demands to be carried, and i now have tendonitis/carpel tunnel in my left elbow and both wrists, so I will often park her where I can to relieve the pain. I often sit her on our island while i reach into the fridge to get something i’m making her (typically a glass of milk), admonishing her “don’t move”. . . and she doesn’t. . . and she’s never fallen. . . BUT that doesn’t mean she couldn’t decide, one day, to disobey me, or drop something and instinctively reach for it, or, well, to just lose her balance. You see my problem?? And yet, I still do it, just paranoidly always keeping her within sight and a quick lunging grab, if necessary….

    Somehow, i doubt that any mommy who’s concerned enough about parenting issues to read mommy blogs is EVER going to end up negligently harming their child….and it’s important to recognize that accidents happen. Elbows to the head, falls and scrapes etc. They all grow up anyway. . .and these “incidents” become part of the lexicon of family lore. :-)

  8. Here’s a doosie for you. My son was just brand new I think maybe 3 weeks old and I was taking him down stairs and wearing slippery socks. I’m sure you can see where this is going. I slid down the stairs on my butt and since he was on my shoulder, before I had a chance to pull him down he had banged his tiny little head on at least one of the steps.

    Talk about shaking, I FREAKED out and rushed right over to the doctor. He looked like he was just in a prize fight and the whole way to the doctor i’m on the phone with my friends saying “I broke my baby!!”

    The doc said because he was so little and that the bone hadn’t developed in his nose yet there was no breakage and he would be fine, which he was.

    The funny part was that I was so freaked out that I didn’t even think about myself and later that night after getting out of the shower I saw my back and it was so bruised!! For a week I was in pain, but definitely felt better that I didn’t REALLY break my son.

  9. Ok..I hate to admit this. When I was 8 months pregnant with child #3, I was walking with my two boys into Target. I was holding each boy’s hand on either side of me and was walking rather briskly b/c I was in a hurry. My 4 year old was looking down at his shoes instead of where we were going…quite common with him. I didn’t realize that he wasn’t watching where he was going and I wasn’t really paying attention as I maneuvered my way through 2 cars in the parking lot. I walked my son right into the side-view mirror of one of the cars! Of course, being 4 years old, the side-view mirror was level with his face!! He had a big black eye for a week! I was horrified…

  10. I’m still in stitches from reading Lisa’s comment, I’ve got laughing tears under my eyes. Yes, I’ve accidentally hurt my son several times. The first time, he was sitting in his swing in the bathroom. I just got out of the shower, and the moisture on my deodorant made it so slippery that I dropped it, and of all places it bounced off my 3 month old’s head. I was so horrified with myself for allowing that to happen. Then at around a year old, he fell off the bed because I left him as close to the wall as I could and he decided to be the fastest he’s ever been for the first time when I walked away. The way he landed is what freaked me out. His head folded under in such an unnatural way that I thought for sure he broke his neck! These moments are so vivid in my mind still, I wish I could forget them. But, he’s very strong, and we taught him how to get down off the bed safely since then =-)

  11. Hi Anita, sure. Although I have alerady stopped breast feeding by the time I started this blog, I did remember the bond and closeness I felt with Sophie whenever I breastfeed her. I’ll be glad to share your website to my readers who may be looking for support for breastfeeding

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