Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Perfection and Toddlers

So, yesterday I was reading the assignment for the journaling class that I'm taking at Big Picture Scrapbooking, which was to contemplate and write about perfection. I'm contemplating as my toddler is wandering around the kitchen, chattering away and climbing into a chair. And then the cushion slipped and so did she, right into a chair leg. I scooped her up, checking for blood, and giving her mommy-love. As I gave her a kiss on her forehead to help her calm down, I realized I was kissing the largest bump I have ever seen and it was getting bigger. I am usually pretty calm with her tubbles, even a little blood doesn't concern me much. I have three younger brothers so I've seen a lot of cuts and bruises over the years. I had never seen anything like this and I panicked. I ran to my neighbor's house (she's a nurse) hoping that she could help me calm down and tell me it was normal and Abigail would be fine. Unfortunately, this was the largest "goose-egg" she had ever seen too. So we paged the pediatrician (it was lunchtime), and waited for the call back. In the meantime, Abigail looked around, realized she was in a different environment with new toys, and made herself at home. She wandered around the house inspecting things, making gibberish pronouncements and telling us all about the "birdy" (their cockateil) and the "cookies" (pretty much any food item - I swear this child does not eat only cookies all day). So Abigail was fine and Mommy was a total mess. The doctor called back and said since she was walking, talking and making eye contact then not to worry unless their was lots of vomiting.

So, in an instant was gone my image of myself as a cool, calm and collected mama. There is so much that I've made a concious decision to just let go and not worry about. I made this decision when she was born to be educated about my child and not to automatically assume that every tiny blip was a major situation. I don't run to the doctor every time she sneezes as I've heard other mothers criticized for doing. But on this day, I looked at my child and felt my world was falling apart. I thought her little head as broken beyond repair and I couldn't imagine my world without her. I know it sounds melodramatic. I'm sure it IS. I just feel so blessed that it was really just a bruise that looked much worse than it was.

So. . .perfection. I am not a perfect parent (like I even needed to write that). The thing is, there is simply no way to be a perfect parent. I do my best daily by following my personal parenting philosophy. I believe in raising my child a certain way. But by no means does that mean that I am a perfect parent. I'm doing the best that I can day by day and I just have to hope that it is enough.

And that she stops climbing on everything. . .

PS. I did take photos of Abigail's head, but not until two hours after it happened. I grabbed my girl and my cell phone and ran out the door, not even locking it behind me. In fact, when I got home over an hour later, my front door wasn't even shut. I usually do have a camera attached to my hand, but not this time. I wish I'd gotten photos sooner since the swelling went down some even before I did take photos. When I got them printed today, though, I was almost brought to tears, so perhaps it's for the best.


Jennifer said...

That's okay! Kids get hurt all the time. I remember when a yellow jacket landed on Seth's hand. I saw it, and it was like slow motion as I tried to get it away before it stung him. But I didn't get there in time. He cried a bit, and we had to go inside. But he was fine. It will happen, so we just have to do our best to comfort them. And call the doctor when we're not sure!

MAM said...

I completely understand. My heart skips a beat everytime I hear Garrett scream in pain. So glad she was OK. A friend of ours dropped her daughter while in her infant carrier on the concrete. They took her to the ER and we learned when it pops out its probably OK but if it sinks it get to a doctor fast. That has become one of our checks.