My oldest daughter once burned her chin on a hot pan I had just taken out of the oven.
When my kids were toddlers, I saw everything in our house as a deathtrap. Kids will pull on, bang, push and climb anything.
So, I pulled out my DeWalt drill and screwed everything down. My wife and I took comfort knowing we could hold on to the TV if a tornado was blowing our house away. That thing wasn't going anywhere. Same for the 100 other things I fixed to the foundation of the house.
I walked around our home noting and fixing the deathtraps in each room. The coffee table was surrounded by pillows. Stairways were blocked off with gates. Anything that could fall over was bolted to something that wasn't going to fall over. The nice part about having a cat is he already showed us which things were able to be knocked down.
When my daughters would waddle across the house, I'd follow them with hover hands in case they fell.
What I discovered was it didn't matter. It was, for the most part, busy work to keep me from worrying. No matter how much of their world I covered in bubble wrap, they were still going to get hurt. Kids just have a way.
Too many times to count, I have watched my youngest daughter just fall. Like, she's standing one second and the next she's down. She'll blame it on the shoes, as she usually goes barefoot in her natural environment. But I think little kids just sometimes forget things, like that they are standing up.
My oldest daughter once burned her chin on a hot pan I had just taken out of the oven. This was 30 seconds after I told her, "This is very hot, don't touch it."
Big, fat tears hung on her cheeks as she held an ice cube to her chin. I asked, "What were you thinking?"
She shrugged. "The cookies smelled so good, I kept getting closer and closer until I got too close."
Once she fell off her bike while trying to get on it.
It was the other night, when they were debating which bedtime story to read, I realized I don't really freak out anymore over every superficial scrape.
My 6-year-old's knees were peppered with tiny bruises, and she explained to her 4-year-old sister and me where each came from. One bruise was from riding her bike, one was from getting into the car, one from the banging her knee on the playground. Actually, quite a few were from the playground.
Not be outdone, my 4-year-old showed off the pair of scrapes on her knees and one on her foot. There was a scooter and bike injury, and one happened when she took a step off the curb and fell over.
They talked about each with pride, as if it was a badge of courage.
It seems when my daughters reached a certain age, or maybe when they had fallen and gotten back up enough times, I stopped seeing things as deathtraps and starting seeing them as toasters, mirrors, the cat and table corners again.
I still worry, but older parents have told me that's natural, the worry changes as kids age. Just wait until they are teenagers, it's terrifying, they tell me.
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