A little back story. As the youngest child of two youngest children, I grew up between generations where my cousins had kids while I was still a kid myself. Even so, I never spent much time around kids so I had no idea what kind of activities were age appropriate. All I knew was that I was overprotected and my mother always made me stop doing anything that could be potentially dangerous, probably more so than she should have.
Well, one day, I'm on the beach and some of the kids are climbing pretty high up on some logs and it looks to me like they could really hurt themselves so I told them to stop doing that. Their mother, my cousin, heard me and was annoyed that I was parenting her children and told me that what they were doing was fine, I needed to chill out. Obviously this little exchange has stuck with me and it's one of the big reasons I never attempt to stick my nose into someone elses parenting.
A few nights ago, I had a bad nightmare. I was at my grandmothers condo which was on the second floor. A few cousins were there as well as, gee, guess how my brain came up with this one, twin toddlers. Two blond little boys. My grandmother let's them go outside onto the small deck and I look at the deck and think that's not such a great idea. While there is a fence, the bars are almost a foot apart, very easy for small kids to get through. So I decide to go out there with the boys and as soon as I get there, I see one of them sitting between two bars, butt hanging over the edge. I go to grab him and realize he's mid poo (must be potty training) and since I don't want to pick him up while he's in progress, I hold onto him until he finishes his business and try to tell the people inside that something dangerous is happening, I need a second person to help. Everyone laughs at me and concludes that I'm overreacting. Then I see the second boy head to the edge and start to go between the bars and I scream and try to communicate EMERGENCY COME NOW!!! Just as I scream and try to lunge for the second boy without pushing the first boy over, I see him go over the edge. I continue screaming and now the people inside are thinking maybe they should check out the situation. I look over and see the little boy face down in the gravel below. That's when I woke up.
I was going to write about that nightmare when I had it but never got around to it and didn't see much purpose other than to demonstrate how fucked up my brain can be. Until today.
I've baby-proofed our house pretty well. Many would say I've over done it but oh well, that's what I'm comfortable with. I haven't really had to tell the girls "no" a whole lot because they have very little access to anything that could harm them. But they have recently figured out how to climb onto the couch which means falling is now a possibility. I have to keep moving the ottomans away from it so that if one does fall, they don't crack their head on the hard corner. We're doing a whole lot of trying to teach them to only sit on the couch, no standing, no further climbing. Yeah, you can imagine how well that's going over. When we tell them to sit and put them in a sitting position, they think it's a game so they laugh, pop back up, and wait to be dropped again.
So I'm sitting on the floor with my back against the couch reading Teeny Tiny a story on my lap. I see Middie Biddie heading over towards the edge of the couch and do my stern mom voice "sit down!" and she laughs at me. Then I see her start to climb over the edge of the pack n play that's there and just as I scream "NO" and try to lunge for her without hurting Teeny Tiny in the process, I watch her flip over the edge, head first. OMG flashback to my nightmare!!!
She was fine. Rather enjoyed it and was having a grand old time flopping around inside the pack n play while I tried to recover from the panic.
Why was she having a grand old time? Because I had the foresight to predict that this might happen one day and decided that the pack n play would be the perfect place to store things like extra blankets and big stuffed animals. Yup, she only fell about a foot with a really soft landing.
People can call me over protective, laugh at my obnoxious baby-proofing, and tell me to chill out about seeing potential dangers that others don't see. But today that obnoxious paranoia protected my girl from a nasty bump on the head, possibly a broken neck. At the moment, I'm glad to be a paranoid freak.