Author's Note: I continue to make rookie mistakes. I also still consider myself a rookie.
When I was pregnant, as I sat in the OB/GYN's office, I often found myself reading some sort of parenting or pregnancy magazine. While waiting, I thought I should get a few lessons in on parenting before this child came into the world since I didn't have much of a clue of how to raise a child. A regular feature that struck me in Parents magazine was a column called "It Happened To Me". Basically, it would feature a mishap. Wait, let me rephrase that a HORRIBLE accident caused by a parenting mistake where children often ended up in the emergency room. As I read these stories with horror about falling Christmas stocking hangers that caused a toddler's concussion and infants tumbling off changing tables left with bruises, I thought, smugly, how could that ever happen. I mean I wasn't an expert in this area and self-admitted that the maternal gene might have skipped a generation but come on these parents were obviously not as cautious as I was going to be. In a nutshell, I surmised that I was at least going to be a much better parent then the the ones featured in Parents magazine. Yes, I gave myself the kiss of death.
Think of most professional athletes in their rookie season, they have that swagger like nothing bad is going to happen to me. They believe they are invincible and in many ways they are impervious to the rules of the world. As we all know, having that attitude can be dangerous not only to yourself but to others. While I didn't exactly have a swagger, I did have the attitude that if I was cautious and careful (the two Cs) no "It Happened To Me" accidents would plague my son. However, there comes a time when every rookie makes a mistake. Mine came in the form of Murphy's Oil.
Up until the Murphy's Oil incident, I had free and clear track record when it came to my son Benjamin having accidents in my presence. Not bad if I do say so myself for a child who is almost 2 years of age. Maybe my cockiness got the best of me or maybe it was the fact that I had just called out my Mom and husband for Benjamin having a few incidents on their watches. Whatever it was, my world was about to turn upside down with one misplaced bottle of wood floor cleaner.
In an effort to keep my house clean (I really do need a maid), I decided while Ben was occupying himself I would clean my wood floors. When I turned around to retrieve the mop, I turned to find my son drinking Murphy's Oil. How could I let this happen? I had no idea what would happen next. Would Ben turn blue? Would he stop breathing? Would he start vomiting uncontrollably? What did I do to my precious son? After several phone calls to Poison Control and a visit from the cops and paramedics, I found out that Ben would live. In fact, the worst that would happen to Benjamin is that he might be a little sick.
I now know mistakes, accidents and mishaps are a good way to bring you back to reality and kick that swagger right out of your step. While I confessed to my husband that I had made a colossal mistake on my watch, I knew that I owed a big apology to all the "It Happened To Me" Moms. So here goes...Hi, my name is Jennifer Kamienski and I too am a 'It Happened To Me" Mom.
The Young Girl and the Sea
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