Monday, June 23, 2008

A Kid For All Seasons

Have you ever pepper sprayed an 18 month old? It's not as much fun as it sounds but it does keep them in line. Before you call child services on me, I did not pepper spray my 18 month old. I did however make the mistake of leaving a bottle of pepper on the table during snack time. I set the two kids up at the table and went to get some snacks. By the time I got back to the table, the big one had opened up the pepper which apparently wasn't very secure and dumped it all over the table. They were both playing in it as happy as can be when I got back to the table. I was told they were playing with the sand. As I contemplated where I'd gone wrong, the little one splashed the pepper into her own face and all hell broke loose. The little one crying and struggling as I try to flush her eyes out with some cold water while the big one is upset and yelling, "I'm all spicy, I'm all spicy!"

FYI, it takes about 45 minutes for them to calm down after you flush the eyes repeatedly with water. After that though she fell asleep and had a nice little nap so it's not totally devoid of any benefits. That gave me plenty of time to feel guilty about her hurting herself because of something stupid I did. I have no problem if I get hurt doing something stupid. I've got plenty of scars to attest to that. Looking back, even hurting one of my sisters when we were kids didn't elicit as much guilt. And I once pulled out my baby sister's tooth when she was about two. She got it stuck on the pull tab of her coats zipper. I tried to help and in doing so took the whole tooth out. I felt pretty guilty then, after almost fainting. But when it's one of my kids crying it's a different story. I learned that pretty early on. I remember the first day my wife went back to work after having our first little girl. We were in the spare bedroom waving to mommy and watching her pull out of the driveway. Almost the instant she was out of sight my little girl lost her footing, banged her face against the window frame and bloodied her lip. "Are you friggin' kidding me? I've been on the job 48 seconds and you're already bleeding?" On these occasions, I'm left to ponder what chance do these kids have with me looking after them?

Of course, all the dumb things I've done to myself come to mind which doesn't help. There was the time I was cooking some pasta for supper. The very full pot started to boil over so I started scooping water out with a measuring cup. On one of the scoops my hand bumped the pot, which for some reason was super hot, and I jerked it back. In doing so I threw the entire cup of boiling water right in my face. My wife was watching this from behind, didn't see my hand hit the pot, and I can only assume thought I was a complete moron who had just thrown boiling water in his face for no good reason. So I'm standing there, a bit shocked to say the least, when all of a sudden I feel someone grab my head from behind and shove it into the sink. Quick flick of the tap and I've got cold water pouring over my face. Unsure of what's going on, I can only assume she saw an opportunity and is now finishing me off by drowning me. Her attempted drowning though was quite beneficial as it minimised the burn, first and second degree, and prevented any serious long term damage. Still makes me wonder how I can look after two youngsters if I can't even cook for myself without an ER visit?

The truth is no matter how much we try to stop it they're going to get hurt. I could wrap them in bubble wrap and stick them in a room made of Nerf and they'd still hurt themselves. Actually, they'd probably suffocate under the bubble wrap but you already knew that. So I guess all I can do is keep the major dangers away from them and hope their injuries are minor. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a running with scissors footrace to organise.

1 comment:

kelly said...

I laughed the whole way through! Thanks for being so honest! It makes the rest of us feel like we're not alone in the land of mistakes and learning.