Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Monday, January 09, 2006

The Adventures of Danger Mom

Sam hit three exciting new milestones last week:
  1. straining to take a poo for the very first time
  2. crawling at breakneck speed (well, "breakneck" compared to his previous land speed record of 0 mph), which led to milestone #3...
  3. falling off the bed
Numbers 1 and 3 seem like tough lessons to learn so close together. From now on, he's only going to grow in his awareness that gravity is a harsh mistress and that pooping is work. It must already seem to his eight-and-a-half-month-old self that seven-and-a-half-months... those were the glory days.

Poor guy.

And poor me.

This crawling business has me slightly freaking out. Remember the movie Raising Arizona? There's a scene in which Nicholas Cage and Holly Hunter's characters, Hi and Ed, are having lunch with another couple and their kids, and the other woman (played brilliantly by Frances McDormand) gets Ed in a nervous tizzy that has her repeating anxiously to Hi, "What about his dip-tet, honey? We have to get his dip-tet!"

I feel kind of like that. Actually, I feel more like Hi in the next scene, where's he's walking in the desert, oblivious to his surroundings, a pained, anxious look on his face while he wrings his hat in his hands.

None of this is helped by my newfound fear that I'm not the safety-conscious person I thought I was, a fact brought home by a recent incident in which I temporarily forgot that you don't put out a wax fire with water. Doing so causes mind-bogglingly huge Hollywood-type fireballs to shoot out of the fireplace, momentarily engulf your head in flames, and singe off the tips of your eyebrows and eyelashes. (This really happened. Kris and Anne-Marie are my witnesses.)

I'm cutting and pasting a transcript of an IM conversation I had with the mister later that day:
him: but why didn't you just use the fire extinguisher?
me: what fire extinguisher?
him: the one in the kitchen
me: i thought it was dead
him: it's not dead, i just had it recharged while you were pregnant
me: well, you can't expect me to remember anything that happened when i was PREGNANT
him: arghhhhhh!
me: besides, don't you think pulling out a fire extinguisher in front of guests would look a little, you know, drama queeny?
He thinks he got the last word by giving me the nickname "Danger Mom," but in fact I'm the one who won because I like it. Shhh... don't tell.

But seriously, my confidence is shaky right now. And it's not helped by the fact that I keep thinking that, no matter how uber-safe I am, all it takes is one tiny little slip, a teensy lapse of time or judgment, and the whole house of cards could come tumbling down. Remember Sleeping Beauty? How her parents rid the entire kingdom of every spindle after hearing the dark fairy's dire prediction? That's what I call extreme babyproofing. And fat lot of good it did them.

Still, you gotta do what you gotta do. Since Friday afternoon, we've made trips to IKEA, Home Depot, and our local hardware store. We've been making lists, gathering supplies, bickering over who is least incompetent with a screwdriver, and spending a lot of time lying on the floor trying to see our world through Sam's incredibly curious little eyes.

And why? Because babies may be cute and all, but when it comes to self-preservation, they're just not all that bright. Forget sticking his finger in a mere light socket: Sam would put on a tinfoil suit, lie in a puddle, and eat pure electricity if he could.

Mark the time. This is the precise moment that I finally internalized the fact that I'm never going to have a good night's sleep again.


  • At 10:34 AM, Blogger Melissa said…

    i totally relate - i've always been a complete worrier & now having a baby, a boy in particular, has made it even worse. everytime i pull a foreign object out of his mouth i think, "omg, he could have choked" and i beat myself up for being a negligent, crappy mom. and the thing is, he could have choked - so it's not even an over-reaction.

    he seems to be constantly putting himself in harm's way & it's terrifying that it's my job to be omnipresent & protect him from all the terrible things that might happen to him.

    and worse, there doesn't seem to be an end to it - i'll lay awake thinking that one day in the future he'll want to leave the house & do dangerous things that little boys do, climb trees, ride bikes & run wild and i'm not sure how i'll reconcile my desire to protect him from harm & the necessity for him to go out & explore. i worry about him enough when he is in my sight, i can't imagine how i'll cope when he is old enough to leave the house without me (possibly in a car!- probably driven by an irresponsible teenager with something to prove who just got their license) it's all too much for me to think about sometimes. i know i sound neurotic - but like i said, having a baby has really amplified my tendancy to worry.

    "Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body" -elizabeth stone.

  • At 11:08 AM, Blogger landismom said…

    Ditto to that!

    And let me just say--all the babyproofing in the world didn't help my daughter. She got a broken leg when my husband fell carrying her down the stairs when she was 2.

    I've yet to return him to Home Depot for a safer model.

  • At 12:32 PM, Blogger White Trasherati said…

    Good news is that babies bounce, just like Bumbles....
    DG, it does come to an ironic end - mine jump, cavort, careen, and try to trick the other into doing dangerous things. But they never get hurt. When they were infants and not trying to injure themselves? That's when gravity intervened to help them along. Our local hospital has an ER,Jr. facility that is outfitted with toys, videos, and chalkboards on the walls in the examining rooms. I suspect my oldest was flinging himself at the corner of the coffee table just to have a playdate on the insurance company's dime.

  • At 1:06 PM, Blogger JulieJem said…

    Yes, G has fallen off the bed. I too once tried to put out a wax fire with water. It was extremely cool looking other than it was in my bedroom...

    Don't worry too much about childproofing - you lived without much of it! :-)

  • At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I totally echo the comments here -- and appreciate them, given my inability to properly childproof my home. I worry that I am too lax, a concern that was confirmed when a friend cross-examined me about our coffee table:

    Friend: Isn't it a bit heavy?
    Me: It is, yes.
    F: And hasn't he hit his head on it a number of times?
    M: Well, yes.
    F: So why don't you move it?
    M: Well, it has rounded edges...
    F: OK...
    M: and, we figure he'll learn.
    F: He'll LEARN?!

    But we love him very, very much, I promise!

  • At 4:51 PM, Blogger Melissa said…

    Oh man, we are in this exact same spot right now. We started childproofing, but now that A can move, what we have done is clearly nowhere close to being enough.

    Also, A has already fallen off the bed, onto a hardwood floor. I feel your pain.

  • At 7:19 AM, Blogger Joanne said…

    What's a wax fire?

    My Anthony is not crawling yet, he's seven months today. But he is moving, such that the other day I put him in the middle of the giant ottoman and went in the kitchen to throw away his diaper and heard a loud BOOM (pause) WAAH! I ran in there and looked at the ottoman for what seemed like a long time, trying to figure out why there was no baby on it. Finally, I looked DOWN on the FLOOR and there he was, and was he mad! We both had a little cry and I apologized and that was that. Then the other day my husband was on the couch with Anthony and I was in the kitchen, pumping. HEY, I heard and then BOOM (pause) WAAH! I said, "the hell, Mike, you're right in THERE WITH HIM!" "He's FAST!", Mike told me. And it's true. If he's like this now, when he's not crawling yet, what is he going to be like when he starts?

    Sigh. We have so much stuff down low. I have one table with frames on the top and bottom shelf, I tend to pile books in the corners. I got out my babyproof kit but it looked sort of complicated. That is, I couldn't put the door catcher things on in the 10 minutes a day that this baby naps so I quit. Maybe this weekend?

    And as far as never having a good night's sleep again - I honestly don't feel like I've slept well since about my third month of pregnancy. We're going away on our own Saturday night, and I'm afraid that I'm not going to be able to sleep then, either. Oh well. I'm hoping "heroin chic" will come back as a look, then my bags will be dead sexy. :)

  • At 1:57 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    I have that unsafe thing now and then. When I was in high school after a fire safety seminar I made Red and Black Signs with markers and put them all over my mom's container of flour and baking soda and baking powder.

    Now don't quote me on this, because I get them mixed up not that I don't live at home where the "signs" are (that was 6 years ago that I moved out) but the signs were like "Don't put out a grease fire with Flour"

    And It never officially saved my life but it could have. Or at least my eyebrows and hair.

    I know where you are coming from.

    In an emergency, I would probably get it all mixed up and do the exact opposite.

  • At 5:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Don't babyproof too much! In the kitchen and laundry room make sure anything below your waist is safe for him to pull out - drygoods, pots, etc. Anything truly dangerous should be at shoulder height and locked. Because they are good at opening things or one day you will forget to lock a cabinet that is low. As for corners, they suck but eventually they don't even cry when they bump into them. Just BUMP and keep walking, like pinball. Those stick on bumpers don't last more than two days. My son (15 months) even knows not to go near the fire. He likes to say 'hot' and run away.


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