What I’ve Learned This Week

27 Jun

1. Never leave a six-year-old who is not a big sister  in charge of the baby.

Daughter #1 had a friend over this past week, as a favor to her parents, who were going to an activity for their son which was completely uninteresting to the 6 yr old in question. But, our six-year-old has a “rest” every Friday, in anticipation of a late night due to Shabbat and having guests for dinner (the friend’s family). The friend doesn’t rest, so she came downstairs with the husband, the baby and myself (to the complaints of our 6 yr old that ‘it’s not fair,’ which I agreed with, and in retrospect would have just given up the rest for one week and dealt with the crankiness that ensued the following day). Husband and I were sitting in the kitchen and asked the friend if she would play with the baby. She agreed and they went into the playroom.

I don’t know what happened, because I wasn’t there. But, about ten minutes later, the baby started crying, and the friend rushed into the kitchen holding her, and gave her to my husband. At which point I noticed the blood, pouring out of her chin. And she was hysterical, of course. After dealing with the blood, and realizing it was just a small gaping wound, but would probably be fine (and my husband assured me that no, she did not need stitches), I asked the friend what happened. And she didn’t know. Why not? Oh, because she’s six. Clearly I ask too much of my six-year-old. But the difference here is that my six-year-old is the oldest of four and understands that the baby must be followed if she decides to leave the playroom. The friend, also six, is the youngest in her family and has probably never watched a baby before. The blame belongs to the husband and I. Hypothesis: the baby fell down the three steps leading from the main level (where the playroom is), to the living room (where she saw a toy she wanted, or just felt like climbing, er, falling…), but let me re-iterate; I don’t know what happened, because I wasn’t there. Worst Mother in the World Award goes to me at that moment.

Five days later, I am amazed how quickly baby skin heals. Yes, there is a scab, and there will likely be a scar, but she is fine. I was definitely more traumatized by this whole event than anybody else.

2a. My six-year-old daughter will probably not be a doctor when she grows up, and

2b. Listen to the husband more often.

Daughter in question came home yesterday evening with her best friend (the very same one as in the previous paragraph). They were at an end of the year class party, held from 4-6pm, hours after school has already ended, for the sole purpose of driving the parents crazy trying to figure out how they’re going to get their kids to and from said party, instead of simply holding the party during school hours since they aren’t learning anything anymore anyway. But I digress.

Said daughter got a lift home, and in the car felt something in her hair, reached up to take it out and discovered that it was a bee, at about the moment that the bee stung her. So she came in all hysterical and dramatic and over-react-y, as she is prone to be. Wouldn’t let me see it, wouldn’t even open her hand…Picture me taking deep breaths, gathering my patience…Then picture the next two hours of me trying to get her to let me take the stinger out with my handy-dandy tweezers. Finally, with my patience in tatters, and the husband and I both wanting to take a Valium, or go hang out on a deserted island somewhere for a few days, we sent her to bed, and had to listen to the fierce tantrum that followed.

I have no doubt that she wanted me to take out the stinger, and knew that I was telling the truth when I told her it would hurt much less than the blood test that she so stoically sat through a few months ago as they took five vials of blood. But she was so scared and hysterical that there was just no reasoning with her. A couple of times she almost let me, but pulled her hand away right before I grasped the stinger with my tweezers…

Finally, about an hour after she finally fell asleep, I went into her room, took her hand, and in less than half a second, pulled the stinger out. It didn’t even bleed.

Likelihood of her ending up a doctor, slim, unless she reacts to the injuries of others with a much cooler head…

When daughter in question arrived home, the husband suggested to me that we leave her hand alone and deal with it after she went to sleep. Three hours later, after I pulled the stinger out in record time, I wondered why I always think my way is better. Please let me remember this time. Husband is generally right when suggesting how to deal with injuries.

3. When the dining room chairs are set up auditorium-style, with their backs to the aforementioned three steps down to the living room, it’s a recipe for disaster.

That’s the set-up I came downstairs to witness this morning. The boy likes to mess with the dining room chairs. They’re often a train, and he is the “Train Man.” It’s very cute, doesn’t hurt anyone, and gets him into productive imaginary play. I’m all for it. But as I walked by the set up this morning, I thought to myself, ‘hmm, that back row is awfully close to the edge of the stairs.’ But I didn’t do anything about it. Hello Bad Motherhood Award #2! Yup, you guessed it. Five minutes later, crash, bam, wail… The boy, and his chair, had tipped over and fallen down the stairs. Thankfully, there was no blood, just a cup of spilled milk and a very scared little boy who cried and cried and cried and didn’t let me near him. I later noticed a big bruise-y looking bump over his eye and on his forehead… I told him maybe next time he should move the chairs out a little bit further so they wouldn’t fall backward down the stairs, and he responded that that’s where the chairs GO! Guess I’ll have to keep on high alert and next time do something when their placement looks dangerous!

I’ve just noticed that this post involves me learning three different things that are based on three out of my four children getting hurt. Maybe I can avoid the fourth getting hurt by realizing that, if it looks dangerous, it probably is, and I need to watch the baby at all times as she moves beyond being a baby and evolves into a toddler. We all know toddlers need to be watched with four eyes as they seek, destroy and taste everything in their path.

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2 Responses to “What I’ve Learned This Week”

  1. caitlinb July 2, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    This is hilarious and so true!

    • lizaelha July 2, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

      As I was reading the post, I realized that it was pretty funny. But none of the individual incidents were funny at the moment!

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