toddlers have a death wish.

My nephew once poured an entire gallon of bleach all over his living room carpet. He is not yet two years old and has already had 10 stitches above his left eye after an unfortunate meeting with a table corner. My niece stuck her finger in an exposed socket plate and shocked herself, falling backwards as the jolt ran through her tiny toddler body. My friend Amanda took her first helicopter ride last summer with her toddler, after he ingested some old heart medicine up at their family cabin and had to be flown back to the city just in case his heart stopped. He was fine after the drugs cleared out of his system, thank you JESUS. Amanda also recently walked in her kitchen to find her other son, a two year old, with a stool pulled close to the stove, steadying a pot on one of the burners. He was ready to cook himself up a little snack.

Toddlers, like a group of lunatics on a cocaine bender, live a life blissfully and stupidly unaware of consequences. Or basic science.

This is hot. It will burn you.
This is poison. It will make you very sick.

before the day started, obviously. 

<< My sister and I took our kids up to the mountains for a day trip, with plans to picnic for lunch and hike around for a while. We have 5 kids under the age of 4 between us, so it's always an adventure. After we finished our (10 minute) hike, I took baby Sam to change his diaper. A few minutes later I heard Clara's wailing echoing up the path. I ran down and found her in my sister's arms, inconsolable. She had fallen and hit her head on a boulder, and a nasty blue lump quickly rose above her right eye. I calmed her down and made a face at my sister like, "whoopsies, that's a bad one," and held Clara tight.

throwing pine cones. their dream afternoon. 

We pulled into our driveway a few hours later and Clara was in the depths of the afternoon whine state. I dragged her and the baby and all of their stuff inside and by the one millionth time she turned my name into a ten syllable “maaaaammmmaaa” I lost it. I yelled, I told her to sit, and went to change out of my dirty jeans. I had barely unbuttoned my pants before I heard a loud bump and a scream. Somehow, somehow, from a sitting position, she fell onto the hardwood floor and hit her head in the EXACT same spot as the boulder. She screamed herself breathless and I felt terrible. Had I magically made this happen by yelling at her and putting her in time out? I scooped her up into my arms (where is the baby at this point? I mean, really?) and took her into my bed. She cried for awhile as the lump on her head grew twice as big and dark. I bowed at her mercy, serving yogurt and water and letting her watch 3 episodes of Bubble Guppies while I texted my friend Hollie the nurse and my friend Eric the pediatrician to see if I should be worried. (I always text them both because Hollie has twin boys Clara’s age and runs her own small business and Eric is, you know, a doctor, so sometimes one of them is too busy to answer my panic texts. Can you imagine.) Here is the picture I sent in the text.

I know a bump on the head is not the end of the world, but since she hit it twice in the same spot in a matter of hours, I was concerned. They both told me the same symptoms to watch for and sent me their condolences. I love them for not judging.

Sam didn’t get home until late that night and I really didn’t want to skip my workout (my body is weird after baby #2. I barely gained any weight with this pregnancy but gained a lot of stress weight the weeks following his birth and anyways, workout DVD’s. That’s all I have time for some days.) So I popped in good ol’ Jillian Michaels even though my kids weren’t in bed yet because I was keeping them up to see their dad. Baby Sam was in his bouncy seat beside my mat and Clara sort of hovered around me, laying across me during the ab workouts, trying to copy my movements (cute), and just being sort of a nuisance (not so cute). Sam walked in about halfway through the workout and Clara started running around, chattering up a storm, excited to see him. She ran behind me right as I swung back with a free weight,


I hit her goose egg with the full force of a back swing. With a hand weight.

You’ve never heard such screaming. At this point, her lump had a lump which had a lump and didn’t I feel like the world’s best mom? I damn well wasn’t going to quit the rest of the DVD, either, so I paused for a moment, handed the crying and probably concussion ridden little girl off to her father, and settled back in for some squat presses. I chose not to text Hollie or Eric about that hit because what if they said she needed to get checked out, and then the ER saw her broken leg in her medical records, and then suddenly we’re being reported? I felt it best just to set my phone alarm for every couple of hours and make sure she was still breathing all night long. It was a long night after a bad day for my smoochie girl, but I needed the penance.

So, ok, her head looks like hell and if she doesn’t get into an elite college this is what we’ll always look back and blame her lack of success on, but everything is fine. Say a prayer for Smooch, you guys. She could use an extra guardian angel.

Sincerely yours and avoiding the emergency room at all costs,

PS I’d love to hear your own funny dangerous-toddler stories in the comments on the blog… anyone? Bueller?

That time we broke Clara’s leg and the cutest x-rays of all time were taken. 

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