Imperfect Parenting: When It Isn't Funny

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Imperfect ParentingSometimes, our 'imperfect parenting' moments aren't so funny. I wondered if I should write this post, because I didn't know if I was ready to get all serious and everything. In the end though, I decided that it's still an example of imperfect parenting- it's an experience to be sure, and I KNOW we all have these whether we are willing to admit them or not. To remove any unnecessary drama...yes, Linc is fine. He wasn't hurt a bit. Just knocked another couple of years off of my life, that's all.

I am no stranger to accidents in the home. The very first two with Brody were the 'Vibrating Bouncer on the Table Incident', and the second was 'Why You're Supposed To Strap Your Kid In The High Chair'. Linc is not quite yet a year old and I think we are up to three such incidents. The first was some freakish 'Near-Unconsciousness For No Reason/Ride In An Ambulance Incident'- the second was the 'Sliding Out Of The Infant Seat In The Parking Garage'...and now this one.

I don't think these are a joke. They're anything BUT funny. They strike a part of your core that you never knew you had until you become a parent. In the midst of one of these incidents, you would trade anything to feel the pain your child is experiencing, or give up a limb to go back in time and have it erased. Today I had the kind of experience where I threw myself - physically into our stairs, regardless of pain- just to stop my child from what I knew was going to happen.

In our house we have 5 baby gates in miscellaneous locations. We have one at the top and one at the bottom of our 17 step flight of  stairs. Sometime this week, Linc (one of the 11 month old twins) decided that he didn't think the gate at the bottom of the stairs to applied to him. He found that he could squeeze his head and body underneath the stairs and climb up. The first time I saw him attempt this, I was shocked, but didn't think he would do it again (?!). The second time, I said to myself and my husband- 'Hey, we really need to take a look at this. Linc can get under it and go all the way up!' The third time...yep. There was a third time...and that was the LAST time.


The stairs. He shimmied under the old gate at the bottom which had too big of a gap.


My dad was visiting. He isn't around little kids anymore, so wasn't really prepared with how busy my guys can be. We were in the kitchen trying to figure out what had happened to the stove. The guys were all in the living room (at last look) and doing fine (the kitchen blends into the living room- there isn't a wall or anything, it's an open floor plan). My dad and I walked around the corner to the dining room where he asked me for something and I said, 'Where's Linc?' But I knew. I knew before I even finished the sentence. I raced around the corner and saw him sitting on the landing with his back to me...stupid me- I startled him by saying 'Linc' -actually I kind of hissed it- and I saw him start. What happened next will forever be etched in my brain.

My mind realized that I didn't have enough time to open the gate and run up the stairs to catch him, so while it was processing this- my body flew into action. I swung open the gate and flung- yes, flung- that's the only way I can describe it- my body into the stairs- and up as far as I could. I couldn't process how to leap up them, I just flung myself and slammed my right shin into the stair so hard I thought I would break a bone.....regardless- what I was watching- was Linc, flopping down the stairs BACKWARDS towards me. That rag doll like free fall- oh my god, it was awful.  I caught him on the stairs about halfway. He was fine. He looked kind of dazed, but wasn't hysterical. He cried a little- which was good- I knew he was ok.

My dad couldn't believe what he just saw. He couldn't understand how he got up there- so I explained how I had seen him go underneath- and just about died myself because I KNEW HE COULD DO IT but I let it go anyhow. My dad immediately went into home improvement mode and made a plan on how to fix the situation. I was grateful, but oh so disappointed in myself for letting it go in the first place. What kind of mother was I? I knew that he could get up there- what did I expect to happen?!?!?!


The gate: My dad and husband bought two pieces of wood to place over the round railing so that they could lower the gate and eliminate the gap.


It's been a couple of weeks now since this incident and I still get the chills when I picture him falling down the stairs. I'm not a bad mom. I should have been more on top of the ball with it- but I didn't want this to happen. It was a wake up call to what potential disaster lies beneath- and what can happen when I ignore that little voice inside of me that says- 'You really should take care of this...'.


The new gap that he cannot squeeze under!

I hope my awful story gives someone the push they need to fix that whatever it is in their house that is a disaster waiting to happen. We sometimes take the lulls of no mistakes/accidents/bumps for granted and forget that our babies are constantly growing and more able-bodied. The last thing I'd want is for you to have a story like mine, or maybe even a worse case scenario that might not end as well.

I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa @ Mommy Living the Life of Riley!
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