Yup. I remember it well. I remember when Jessie stood out in the cold at school (it was about 10 below zero) because we got our wires crossed about who was supposed to pick her up. I can still see her standing outside the school door in her orange snow suit (icy tears on her face). To this day, I don’t know why the kindergarten teacher didn’t catch it.
We all make those mistakes Nici! It is so hard to come to grips and accept that even if we love our kids to death, we still aren’t perfect and we all do stupid stuff. xo
Jean, Is that why many of my friends are pregnant with their third kid?
Aunt Lorie, Oh! That sounds terrible.
Sage, Thanks for the empathy. It IS hard to come to grips with it. Cheers to stupid stuff making us wiser!
Oh Nici, it’s so hard when the little ones get hurt. I know how bad it feels when you hear that thud. I think every honest parent has AT LEAST one ‘when the baby got dropped or fell’ story. We don’t tell them because we fear judgement. Hell, I’ve got a bunch! I’ve got 3 kids and a grandson. But don’t beat yourself up. It is a tricky line to walk, and we can’t keep them safe from everything. Even if we wanted to!
And of course she loves and trusts you! You came running, and comforted her immediately. That’s what a good mom does. She knows absolutely she can depend on you to be there.
Hang in there. It’s all okay.
I can still remember each time my niblets fell off the bed for the first time. And when my daughter choked on a coin….and when my son got stitches in his head and I was 1100 miles away…
All these moments horrified me at the time, and now have become part of the flow of their growing up, and mine. Hang in there!
I once heard someone refer to the “watermelony thunk” of a baby’s head on hardwood. It was years later that I heard it for myself. It’s a sickeningly perfect description.
when cosmo was an infant, one of my wise mama friends told me “the baby will fall off the bed. it will happen. and, it is not the end of the world. but, it WILL happen.” i thought to myself, “no way. that will not happen. i will not let my baby fall off the bed.” we had a futon on the floor, so it really was not and issue.
when it did happen, at the in-law’s house, where the bed is high off the floor, i was sure happy to have those words lodged in my memory, to ease that feeling of guilt and failure. and, of course, more than anything, i was relieved that the baby was just fine!
glad you were able to work through it, and to share it with us.
Lily fell off the couch at 2 weeks old and it still haunts me because it was all my fault and the tears she shed were more painful than the actual fall. Good news is they love us unconditionally no matter what mistakes we make; especially bc the good always outweighs the mistakes bc the love is always there. 🙂
OMG this post hits home. My first kiddo never fell down the stairs, my second fell twice and my 3rd who is only 17 mo has already fallen 4 times. WOW I’m awesome…not 🙂
I love this post…baby taking a tumble off the bed…a rite of passage for every mom. It ranks right up there with locking your keys in the car while your baby is still strapped in the car seat. Ugh. I love the write, reflect and move forward method. The simple fact that it made you feel so lousy is what makes you a very good mama. We’ve all been there. 🙂
Jenny from MA
She fell, I fell harder– that’s some kind of fantastic title you got there.
We all fall, but in the end, I think Mom’s fall the hardest. Be kind to yourself…you love those babies!
I read three books about becoming a mama when I was pregnant with Theo. I skimmed all three books again before Sullivan was born; a little refresher of sorts. Not one. single. time. was there any mention of what a failure you may be from time to time. That yes, you will in fact drop your baby…and of course (of course!) at some point your baby will fall off something.
They also forget to mention that love for a child is off the charts and your feelings and emotions will be too.
You’ve written about this so beautifully~exactly how you handle life itself.
,,,i love your heart nici,,,
Katie: Isn’t that remarkable? Wow. Perhaps that’s the book you write!
Rebecca: So kind. Thanks.
Motherhood is like the Lewis & Clark expedition….Navigating unexplored territory & discovering a passage into the beautiful new world of parenthood. There are so many twists and turns around each bend…sometimes we realize we made a wrong turn and have to retrace our steps trying to choose more wisely the next time. With each new step we learn and we teach. In the end we end up with someone like you!
At the risk of sounding callous, I think 2nd children are lucky that every parental eye doesn’t follow them, orbiting them like a devoted planet.
Having a 2nd child was healing in so many ways, even though when Rose was a baby (and I had a wild child two year old to contend with), I’d literally forget to feed her solids for days, just banking on the old breast milk supply. Rose still, at 3, gets toted along frequently to Col’s activities and what a gift for her (and Ruby) to grow up within the reasonable reality of not having all their needs met instantaneously.
I believe you are an amazing parent and I have to believe that the bumps and bruises only make kids tougher.
I always appreciate your honest and reflective writing about motherhood.
Yesterday I found myself wondering why I feel so attached to feeling guilty. WTF?
And I even came clean to my pediatrician about putting Lilit down on her belly sometimes–he told me to stop doing it, yet there I was yesterday, putting her down on her belly (because she likes it!) and then checking her like crazy bc all I could hear was his voice in my head . . . man, oh man.
And I agree w Rachel about 2nd children. They may not get all of us the way the first ones do, but that means (in my case, anyway), that they also don’t get all the neuroses. (:
Oh I love this. What Mama doesn’t have a falling-off-the-something story? Don’t ask about Nella falling off a dressing room bench when she was nearly a month because I slipped the sling off with her in it, laid her down and someone a little bigger and less-knowing yanked it down. I watched as it happened…as her limp little body flipped onto the floor and I thought I was going to faint. For one second I thought she was dead. Not kidding. And the fact that I’m spewing this here on your comments just confirms the fact that talking about our failures sandwiched nicely in between the victories is just as much cathartic and necessary and propels us to more beautiful. Just peeling off another layer to the better one underneath. We’ll still f&@# up. Just maybe not as bad.
And think of the gift you gave Ruby…because one day when she’s a mama, she’ll look back and read this and thank the Lord she’s not the only one in the family who didn’t have her mama shit just perfectly put together.
The ranch that we lived on in Spain had a half dozen small, circular stone huts that workers had lived in a century plus before. These huts were simple stacked walls with one door and thatched, stick roofs, approximately 8 – 10 feet across. Imagining a warm fire inside, families huddled together, they evoked a certain simple charm. When I returned later as a mother, the huts took on a whole new presence. Haunched inside of them, I was reminded about the babies whose names were entered on the ranch chapel’s logs and understood how quickly and profoundly many a life was altered. As mothers whisked away for water for the hundredth time, or to quickly accomplish tasks made easier without an infant at their back, some babies and toddlers rolled into the fires or died from roof fires and smoke inhalation. The circumstances must have shaped how these people viewed and coped with death and injury. That being said, your story reminds me of how grateful I am to be here and now. We are all so fortunate! And your girls are luckier still to have a mom such as you.
Third time’s a charm.