Toddler Tap Dances on Monks’ Religious Sand Design

          While I know it is impossible to watch your child at all times…

          I don’t think my child would have lived to see his 3rd birthday.  The monks were not upset by the toddler’s tap dance of ruin, but I know I would have been disgraced and sat my happy butt down right next to the monks until that design was finished and more beautiful than ever.  Even if they wouldn’t let me help, I’d be bringing tea, refreshments, and anything else I could think of to make the added work go by more quickly.

          Before you think I am getting all "better Mommy than thou," I will freely admit that there have been things my son has done that amazed, astounded, and then scared the shit out of me.  The best example I can give is the time Mega got away from me in the parking lot.  Skeeter was about…  4-6 months old and I was putting them in van in the parking garage after leaving the mall.  I opened the sliding passenger door after putting the stroller in the trunk and leaned into the van with Skeeter.  I had Mega next to me and told him to keep his hands on the door while I put Skeeter in the seat.  At that moment, Mega saw my best friend going to her car and forgetting what I had just said, he took off after her.  I saw him out of the corner of my eye, but couldn’t leave Skeeter where he was, perched precariously in his car seat.  I shouted for Mega to stop and fastened one buckle on Skeeter’s seat faster than I thought humanly possible.  As I ducked out of the van, I saw a car begin to back up, right into the lane Mega was running into.  I screamed again, my best friend whirled around, and THANK GOD, there was a woman there who saw Mega’s little head emerge from between the cars just in time to scoop him up and out of the car’s reversing path.  I got there just in time to put the woman in strangling embrace of thanks and began to shake.  My best friend got there about a second later and I just cried.  I don’t, to this day, know how he moved that fast.  I don’t know how that woman saw him and I don’t care.  I will also say that I believe the driver was partly at fault.  The music was blaring in that car, so they most likely did not hear our shouts, nor did the woman see them look behind their car once while they were backing out.  Should my son have been there at all?  No.  I know that.  I also know had I tried to run with a 4-6 month old Skeeter in my arms, it could have been worse.  I also know that we are working with Mega to find a "key word" that he will respond to – and by respond, I mean STOP EVERY THING HE IS DOING.  "STOP!" is too common for him, and he’s not yet 3, so it’s hard to "practice" a dead stop, you know?  I also know that there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about what could have happened to my son…  You really can’t just turn your backs on children.  My boys are never further than arm’s reach when we are outside our home.  When we get in the car, I put them both in the van together (which is rough), one remains buckled into the stroller or cart, or Mega is attached to me via his backpack.  It’s true that you can’t watch your child every second…  But it damn sure shouldn’t take you 3-5 minutes to catch them, either.

          As parents, we’re not perfect.  We raise our voices too much.  We don’t cook all the perfectly balanced meals we’d like to.  We put binkies in our mouths rather than washing them in soap and water when our kid drops it.  There are Cheerio’s on our floors…  But the difference between an every-day-parent and a parent-who-is-falling-down-on-the-job is the time it takes us to correct the mistake.  It’s one thing for your child to sneak something by every now and then.  Your kid grabbed something off the shelf, threw it in the cart, and you noticed the next time you put something in.  It’s another when your kid gets away with it and you just clean up the mess afterward – your kid continually puts things in the cart and you just put them back as you go, or don’t even realize it until you get to the register, standing there, holding up the line as your try to figure out what you need and don’t.  (Can you tell someone in front of me has done this before)?      

         So…  Do you think this child’s actions were something that could not have been avoided – IE, kids being kids?  Do you think the mother fell down on the job on this one?   

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