Thursday, July 5, 2007

parenting nightmare

This is going here because I have this inexplicable urge to write about this incident but yet at the same time am so humiliated that I don’t really want anyone to know about it. I know I am often snarky about my husband’s parenting.

Yet, several times now, I, too have messed up big time. OK, yeah, my brain can say all the cheesy supportive stuff, like, “Oh, you’re only human” and “Everybody messes up sometimes” but this is my child’s well-being on the line here, and sometimes you don’t deserve a trite pat on the back, “Oh, it was an accident” you know? You deserve to be bitched out about it because you are 100 percent at fault, and that’s what you would do if the situation were reversed.

I left the bathroom door open. That has happened before. We’ve both done it. We remember to shut it like 99 percent of the time, but sometimes it gets left open. Well, my 19-month-old son wandered in there and came out chewing on something.

It was my razor.

And, what’s worse, his latest antics include running from you if you try to take something away from him. The more important it is to you, the faster he runs. I shouted, “Stop!” and he bolted. My husband and I took off after him and we both were screaming “No! and STOP!!!” at the ultimate intensity, the kind that should make your kid cry for like 10 minutes and make you feel like an ass for overreacting. Nope. My kid kept running. He even ran like he was scared of us. What on earth has ever happened to him in his short baby life to make him think that he should run from us? We don’t spank him ... we hardly even yell at him much.

We finally corner him in the kitchen and pry the razor out of his hands. He turns and looks up at me and I started bawling. Blood is oozing out of his mouth. He looks like a vampire baby from hell. Even my husband started to cry. At this point, the baby starts crying too. Who knows if he actually felt the pain or just decided to cry because we were crying.

So we went out of our way to try to make this as much of a lesson as possible. We show him his bloody face. We show him the blood on the sharp razor. We reiterate the words “SHARP” and “STOP” and “NO” and tell him he needs to listen or he could get hurt. We tell him that he got an ouchie because he ran from us. When we say “stop” he needs to stop or else more ouchies.

The problem is, he’s disturbingly fascinated with things that hurt him. He understands “hot” and will back away from something that’s very very hot, like when we were putting asparagus in the steamer and a bit of steam made him jerk his hand away. He started pitching the asparagus from afar. But within a week or so, he was back up at the stove, pulling on the oven handle and trying to reach the stuff that’s up there cooking. I’d like to think that it’s just because he doesn’t remember, but I know it isn’t true. The whole time he’s grabbing at the stove, he’s saying “hot hot hot” over and over again.

Same thing goes for when he got a slivers in his feet, just a few days apart. My husband had to use a safety pin to get them out, and the poor baby screamed and wailed the whole time. Later, we’d put a Band-Aid on his “ouchie” and he’d go off, being happy again. For days and days afterward, he’d shove his foot in my face and point to the infinitesimal scar and say “ouchie” and make me kiss it. And several times, when he’s seen the safety pin (it’s actually a diaper pin) on a table or something, he lunges for it. “NO. That’s ouchie. Sharp! Do you remember ouchie?” and he’ll make an upset face that shows me that he does indeed remember, and present his foot for another kiss. (My favorite part about this whole thing is that often it’s the wrong foot.)

But then he still wants the damn safety pin. Once, I found him with it in his mouth. (Thankfully it was closed.)

I mean, I know you have to child-proof your home when you have a toddler. But this kid can climb tables and scale walls and open cupboards and cabinets and he’s fast as lightning. You can’t leave anything anywhere even for a second.

I was also the one who left the razor by the side of the bathtub instead of putting it back up again in the shower caddy. So we fed the poor baby as much ice as he wanted (which is a lot, he LOVES ice) and he seemed to be fine. There are no scars and he hasn’t had any trouble eating.

But oh man, I just cannot get the sight of all that blood out of my brain. I’m eaten alive with guilt over an incident that produced no harmful long-term affects and my son will not even remember. Guess it comes with the territory.

read the parenting stories I’m not too embarrassed to share with my friends at thesynergizer on livejournal.


Katie said...

I read this whole thing with my hands cupped over my mouth. Not because I'm judging you, but because I can't imagine the horror of that happening to Rosemary. I would cry, too. I recently read something about a kid who decided to eat a lightbulb and his parents found him chewing and chewing on it despite the blood that was oozing out of his mouth.

thesynergizer said...

My hands would be cupped over my mouth if I were reading about it happening to someone else, too. The thing that gets me the most isn't that the door was open, or that he got a hold of it. It's that he ran when we told him to stop. What the hell is going to happen if he makes a mad dash toward the street one day? We live on a dead end, but the park is on a busy street, and we walk there like three or four times a week. So far, he's always stopped when we say "STOP! NO STREET! Cars hurt baby." But it doesn't stop him from bolting in the first place. I'm so terrified that one day he's going to take off and not come back. I'm starting to understand why people are driven to spank their kids. I still think it's wrong, doesn't work, and wouldn't do it, but I'm starting to get what it is that they are thinking. I mean, sure, it's gonna make the kid run from you worse because he knows you'll hit him when you catch him, but what else can you do? We bought one of those backpack leashes from Wal-Mart for the mall and stuff, but I hate to put it on him all of the time. It's a little dehumanizing, you know? But I guess I'd rather have a dehumanized kid than a dead one.

PS: Not that I'm traumatized or anything, because what you said was really nice, but I honestly didn't think anyone would see this because I never write over here. Do you check often, or was this just a coincidence?

Katie said...

I am a major procrastinator. Of course I check often.

thesynergizer said...

"of course i check often"

uh, OK ... bet you that no one else has seen it though. :-) and trust me, that's fine with me.

Katie said...

If you want me to stop checking, I can ...

thesynergizer said...

ha ha ha! no, that's not what i meant at all.

sorry it came out that way. my point was just that i have a whole bunch of IRL friends on lj that were informed along with everybody else that this is here, but i'm really sure that no one reads it.

If I really didn't want anyone to know, I'd have put in on lj marked private. This was just my way of saying "this is embarrassing, please be kind and sensitive" which you were.

You're supernice, BTW. It sure would be awesome if we could ever meet.


Katie said...

I agree. Someday we will definitely have to meet. :-)

Jessi said...

Oh, poor Mama, poor munchkin. I'm sorry! That would have been so scary for all of you. Maybe he ran because he heard the fear in your voice and didn't know how else to react.

thesynergizer said...

nah, he runs all the time. its a game to him. it doesn't seem to matter whether we act upset or not ...