world’s worst mom
My poor little kiddos. The other week we went out of the house and it was a real testament to my motherhood. Did you see the title? That may have tipped you off to where this is going. (We don’t leave all that often, for good reason.)
We were at the apple orchard with a group of mama friends, ladies chatting away, and SuperBoy was with his best little buddy, so they were just slipping in and out of tractors, hay mazes, apple trees.
I was keeping a vague eye on SweetPea. She’s so wildly adventuresome that I forget she’s not even two and a half. She was puttering around. I had the baby in the carrier and I even felt so brazen as to be balancing an apple cider in one hand and my Lily Jade in another.
Oh, me? Just a casual mom of three. I didn’t even bring my stroller today. The kids? Oh, they’re great. I’m so free-range. I’m sure they’re happily organically playing somewhere.
She bravely traipsed up one slide and whooshed down. BAM. It was too steep a drop off from the slide to the ground and she whacked her little bum so hard. Down goes the bag, down goes my cider, and I bend over to check for injury. You see, I was standing right there. Right at the bottom of the slide, ushering her, encouraging her. Not spotting her. Way to go, w-w-m (see title? Got it? Good.)
Well she recovered and we grazed right over to the actual slide, swing, fireman (firefighter? fireperson?) pole. SweetPea kicked off her cute boots and went to town, up the metal ladder, down the slide. Up the metal rung ladder with no foot grips, down the slide.
Look at how happy she is! She’s totally fine! I never have to hover. My children are great. And the baby? Sleeping like a little lamb, Lord love him. And my big boy? Off with his friend, sharing kindly, giving that tractor a ride for its life.
As I shift toward my friend Jacqui to compliment her adorable son’s sweater, I hear a terrible gasp rushing through the group of moms.
I turn my head ever so slightly over my shoulder. That thump I just heard, followed by screaming? My daughter.
In a rush like I never have before, I leapt toward her, thinking very clearly Is she alive or dead–how did she fall–oh my God help me. Before I could reach her BAM I’m completely splayed out on the ground. The grass tastes like dirt and the dirt tastes like dirt and my brain is reeling. The baby is pinned between me and the ground and the crying has shifted from her to him. I literally bit the dust as I tripped in my hurried rush to attend to my sweet little girl, who at this point is looking at me with wide eyes of surprise.
Who did I pass the baby to? Some one of my girlfriends kind enough to comfort him (he was fine) while I checked on her. Her stocking feet must have slipped on the run ladder and she slipped to the ground. No injuries? As I picked her up and hugged her, proffering words of comfort and checking her over, she simply said,
Mama, I want to go up there AGAAAAIIIINNNNN.
A small scratch on her chin. No bruising on him. Everyone fine but me. As I staggered to the car a little later, my hands trembling with the keys, my heart still pumping extra for mine and theirs, I started to cry. Not until I drove down the familiar highway toward home, with each child safely latched into their respective personal fiefdom in the car did I really feel the hot tears sting all the way down to my mommy tumtum.
All the reproaches I held for myself. All the disappointment that I hadn’t learned my lesson when she first hit the ground on her bottom. All the frustration of falling on the ground, on top of my baby?!?!?!. All the realizations that I simply cannot be a free range mom at a play area when all three are with me. My pride had made a prominent feature that day because who wants to be seen as the helicopter mom? I was stupidly more concerned with that than with making sure my not yet two and a half year old was as capable as her gumption thought.
Good takeaway lesson: always watch your children carefully in a new play environment. To hell with being a helicopter mom. Just be the attentive one to the extent your child needs you to be. And watch where you’re going when you jettison off to save your daughter; you risk harming your bebe!
Nota bene: these pics are from a different park extravaganza. I was too busy having fun with my mommy friends to even take pics at the apple orchard. #failedphotographermom
Brother helping sister? Whew.