Sunday, October 28, 2012

You know you’re a parent when…

It is hard to believe less than 4 years ago I was carefree, independent and at the proverbial loose end. Then along came something that changed everything…a shorter limbed version of me.

As we near our third Christmas together, it started me thinking about what parenting was really all about.

You know you are a parent when…
 …sleep becomes that elusive commodity with fluctuating share prices. This is the true meaning behind the term the Great Depression or the more contemporary GFC.  

You know you are a parent when…
…you bend and contort yourself into managing the impossible to ensure that they get the very best possible start in life. Not sure why, I mean, I was here first!

You know you are a parent when…
…you can manage to log on to and proficiently navigate your way around, ergo, the Centrelink websites, without wanting to stab yourself in the eyes.

You know you are a parent when…
…you exceed your monthly download quota and your husband owns the company.

You know you are a parent when...
…Santa becomes your new best behaviour management strategy. Seasonal, I grant you, but following his abrupt retrenchment, along comes the Easter Bunny. Happy days!

and finally…

You know you are a parent when… have unfailing belief in your little dancer and know she can do anything.

Dancing, simply poetry of the feet

Friday, October 5, 2012

Making a safer world for kids

Kids’ safety is no laughing matter. With approximately 250 Australian children killed and 58,000 hospitalised by unintentional injuries each year, it is an incredibly sobering thought. Accidents happen all too quickly, many though could be avoided with a little forethought. But, with mother-guilt at an all time high with any new baby, laying blame achieves little.

Thankfully, my toddler wasn’t a climber. A characteristic that may reduce potential dangerous scenarios, yet should never induce complacency. Which brings me to that fateful day…

After reading a delightful picture book together, I placed the book on the bedside table and the baby in the cot for her afternoon sleep. Leaving her to settle, I continued with the daily chores.

Some time had passed when I heard a sickening sound.

An enormous thump emanated from the nursery…
then a blood-curdling scream.

Screaming is good. She is alive. She is conscious. She can breathe.

All of this was racing through my mind as I ran to her door.

Reaching out to push open the door, all I could hear were her cries of pain.

The door swung back.

The door connected…with her head, forcing her to the ground causing her to hit the back of her head on the floorboards…again.

Rushing to pick her up, she stopped crying. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head. I shook her. I screamed her name, over and over. She came to and started crying again.

After checking her over, I immediately reached for the phone and within minutes an ambulance had arrived.

By this point in time, I had ascertained that Miss Two had in fact fallen from her cot trying to reach for the book that we had just shared. A large lump was emerging from her forehead as testament to the fall. 

And a second large lump was developing at the back of her head, testament to my overly enthusiastic mothering instinct.

Two wonderful ambulance officers soon greeted me. After giving her the once over, it was clear that she was going to be OK.

Asking about the incident, I walked back through the ‘crime scene’, provided a ‘witness statement’ of all that happened, showed the cot and the height from which she fell, indicated the wooden floorboards, and then pointed to the door.

Ah, yes, the door…

It was about now, after the dust had settled, that one of the ambos turned to me with the ever so slightest smirk on her face.

It was only then, and only then, that I could see the ever so faintly slapstick side to all this.

My daughter had just sustained a head injury to the back of the head. Not satisfied that she did a good enough job of it, I then inflicted a second, but this time, frontal head injury.

Six hours of neuro obs later, we were given the all clear to be discharged from the short stay ward at the children’s hospital. Many a nurse came by to meet the Mother of the Year candidate as my reputation had preceded me, apparently.

A very unhappy Miss Two
in the back of the ambulance

I’m not proud of causing one of those 58 000 hospitalisations and I will never forgive myself for inflicting further injury. But, as I started, I intend to finish: blame achieves little; forethought achieves much. Get down to your kids' level and look for dangers and don’t put anything past them!

So, how did we end up? Well, Miss Two was prematurely whipped out of her cot and into a toddler bed; a floor rug was placed alongside; a bed rail was installed; and the door was never pulled around again.

Mother of the Year award is looking good this year!

I am participating in the National Kidsafe Day Bloggers Competition to support and promote child safety, along with the added bonus of chances to win prizes. All opinions are my own and not those of Kidsafe. To find out more or to enter the competition, please visit