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Friday, October 12, 2007

Bad Mommy. Good Mommy.

Several years ago, I was on a cleaning bender. (I made that sound like it hasn't happened since. It has. I'm just remembering this particular one.) I have a tendency to go overboard and this particular day I was dusting all the registers or vent covers or whatever you might call them. We have this large air exchange vent in our living room and I was wiping all the dust off of it in a rather ferocious manner when I sliced two of my fingers on the little metal slats. Ouch. Honestly, I haven't cleaned that particular surface very often since then. When I do I am very careful.

Reagan has a particular fascination with this air exchange cover. She bats at it and it makes a nifty noise. I've tried to teach her not to touch the mean thing, but it makes noise and she loves that so she pretty much disregards my cautionary warnings. Lest you think I don't pay attention to my child I would like to say that I do my very best to watch her and make sure she isn't doing something "dangerous". On occassion I have turned my back to find her somewhere she shouldn't be doing something she was told not to. These things happen. So yesterday I saw her batting at the register cover and I told her no and scooted her away.

It was several minutes later when I noticed my hand was bloody. That's odd. Reagan had taken off her sock and was "chewing" on it and it too was covered in blood. I went over to her to figure out what was wrong - who was bleeding, where was it coming from? After several seconds of investigation I discovered that she had little cuts on two of her tiny fingers. I felt simply awful. In the next 15 minutes I attempted to stop the bleeding (you know, by putting pressure on the cuts on the hands of the child who HATES to have her hands held). Then I decided I needed to get some bandaids on her hands so we didn't get blood everywhere. What a chore that was! Wow. But I succeeded and Reagan was most fascinated by the things on her fingers. I believe she ate one of them during her nap. Oops. The other she attempted to eat later but we managed to retrieve before it went down the hatch.

As I wiped the blood off the wall and the coffee table and my clothes I felt like quite a failure. I mean seriously - it was bad enough I had something so dangerous in my house. How much worse was it that I had not protected Reagan from it?! Rats!! She hadn't cried or appeared to be in any pain. But I felt bad that she had these little tiny wounds.

That afternoon we went on a walk. I bundled her quite carefully in the stroller and we cruised around town. On our way home we passed a park and the little baby swings caught my eye. Reagan has never experienced the baby swings so I thought now was as good as any time to give it a try. I put her in the swing, gave her a gentle push and laughed as she struggled to smile and keep her pacifier in her mouth. She loved it. It was just a really completely normal moment that made me feel so much better.

She won't remember it. But I will. I'll remember the day she wore her first real bandaids and how she ate one. And how that day I took her to the park and she had her first ride in a baby swing and how she loved it. Someday she'll start remembering stuff. It isn't so much that I hope she won't remember all the bad things I have done. Sounds nice but I know I need to teach her that it is okay to fail from time to time. I do, however, hope that her memories of all the special fun moments outweigh the other less sunny memories. In the meantime, I'll just keep writing this stuff down so someday she can read about all our glorious adventures.

1 comment:

Angie said...

Accidents happen no matter how hard you try. I remember when Dan was little he fell out of bed and landed on a register. He gashed his head pretty badly on those sharp slats. You can still see the scar right above his eye.