You know how you’re raising your tiny human being (or beings), and everything is going so smoothly until BAM! Something happens to remind you what an amateur parent you are? Still, after nearly 4 years in this game, I feel like I have no business doing what I do.
The week was going pretty well until we had a 24-hour stretch that reminded me that as a mom I have two tiny people depending on me no matter what happens.
I have to be on my toes.
I have to always be paying attention.
I need to be prepared for any eventuality – at home or away.
I need to know what to do in emergencies.
So much of a parent’s life is filled with hum-drum dishes, teeth brushing, and cleaning up – mostly the cleaning up, right?! When something out of the ordinary happens, it can be hard to react perfectly – I get it – but I feel like parents are held to a higher standard and need to be on top of the situation immediately.
So what happened?
- We were at the park Tuesday afternoon when a bee stung Squish. And holy hell did she cry!!! It was so loud that everyone looked at her, sure she was seriously hurt. What could I do for her? Absolutely nothing – except hug her and wipe the spot with a wipe. I had no anti-itch cream with me, no calamine lotion, nothing. We two have two tubes of the stuff (expired in May 2015 … how handy) at home – hmm, could one be for my purse now?!
- Two hours later I was finishing cooking dinner and the girls were playing at the kitchen table. All of a sudden I heard crunching even though no food was on the table yet. Puff had grabbed Squish’s chewable vitamin – as we put our daily vitamins on the table for dinner – and had mashed and swallowed half of it before I could fish the remainder out of her mouth. Oh geez, now what should I do? Is that safe for an 18mo? Did I need to induce vomiting? Where is the info sheet for her vitamin? Well, I assumed she’d be fine since Squish started taking that vitamin when she turned 2yo … but I did skip Puff’s vitamin the next day! But what if she’d gotten to my vitamins?!
- The next day after lunch, I showed Squish a free package of natural candy I’d gotten. They were hard candies, like traditional round swirly peppermints. She wanted the pink one, and I figured, “Sure, why not?” Squish happily sucked for all of 30 seconds before she burst into a wailing cry – she’d swallowed the candy whole! I guess it hurt her throat going down, so I tried to calm her down. Next thing I know she’s burping and the candy’s coming back up – only it seems she’s on the verge of choking! I tell you, the next three seconds felt like 30 as I mentally reviewed how to do the Heimlich procedure on a child and tried to determine if she was in fact choking. Luckily the candy was up and out of her mouth – and into my hand – promptly thereafter in one big and one small shard. You’d think my child would be distraught? No, the naive, invincible-feeling turd grabbed the small piece, saying, “I think I can still eat this small one,” and then put it back into her mouth! A few crunches later it was down safely. Both of us were shaking slightly, but after a long hug we recovered. But wow … wake up call! Parents: learn how to do CPR and the Heimlich on a child, and remind yourself every six months … just in case you need to use it for real.
I hate the expression, “lesson learned,” but it’s true here. Do I have to keep learning the lesson, though? Can I just somehow learn now how to be prepared for all this crazy stuff? I’d just like to not feel the #parentingfail vibe as strongly as I did during those 24 hours….
Please tell me I’m not the only parent to “get smart” after the fact! Any stories to share?