I feel like in my parenting life I've become an expert at "The Near Miss." And I worry sometimes that I've used up all of my close calls and the next thing that happens is going to be the real thing.
I thought I would make up a list of the near misses as a reminder to hug my kids tight and be thankful that they're still in one piece.
I don't think it's a coincidence that none of these happened when I was a new mom with only one child.
1.Quarter Past an Epiglottis, May 2008
Milo comes running up to me, crying. "I swallowed a penny." I freeze with no idea what to do. The penny isn't blocking his airway since he's speaking clearly and crying. He gags. He pukes. Out comes his lunch and a quarter. Either he doesn't know the difference between a quarter and a penny or he's a money-making machine. For future reference, the doctor tells us that if a quarter goes all the way down, we simply have to wait for it to pass.
2.Rolling Thunder, June 2005
My father is carrying Huck up the brick stairs in his car seat carrier. Having just gone for a ride in the stroller, Huck is not strapped in. The handle of the carrier is also not in the full upright position. Huck rolls out of the carrier and down the four stairs. After we spend the evening in ithe emergency room the doctors assure us that everything is OK and Huck received only a "glancing blow." The entire event causes a lot more pain to my father than to Huck.
3. On Pins and Needles, July 2006
We are staying with Marco's parents in Montana and we've set the boys up in porta cribs in their laundry room. I go to retrieve them after a nap and find that Milo's crib is full of straight pins. You read that right. Its full of straight pins. He's somehow managed to push the crib over to a drawer and pull out his grandmother's box of pins. Not only has he not swallowed one of them, he doesn't have a pin prick on him. He did not, however, manage to teach himself how to sew.
3. Scar Face, February 2008
Milo is playing with a screw driver and gives Huck a giant hug. The screw driver scrapes the side of Huck's face, only narrowly missing his eye. There's still a scar and all of the kids' future careers as carpenters are over, as all screw drivers are now banned from the house.
4. The Easiest Way to Learn Not to Play Underneath the Car, January 2008
Marco has just returned home from work and the kids run out to greet him. As soon as Marco turns the car off, Huck decides that it would be hilarious if he crawled under it. Before we can tell him not to, we hear him howl. When he climbs out he is clutching his back. He's burned himself on the exhaust pipe, that's very, very, hot. He still has the scar on his back and our only consolation is that there are much, much harder ways to learn how dangerous it is to crawl under the car.
5. Sticker Shock, November 2005
It's just a regular day in the Morrone household when all of the sudden Huck starts to make a strange, cat-gagging-on-a-furball noise. We peer into his mouth and find a round black sticker stuck to the roof. We peel it off and wonder what it is. It's a day later when we notice that one of the black circle stickers that Annabella used for her construction paper turkey's eye is missing. We marvel at Huck's dexterity at such a young age.
It's my only vice (unless you include gin & tonics, margaritas, and bribing my children with chocolate chip cookies, which I do not count as vices.) I used to drink one can of Diet Coke every morning right after I woke up. On Mothers Day, May 11th, I gave it all up. It was a lot easier than I thought.
I'm quitting because of the caffeine, the artificial sweetner, the other chemicals, and because of the space all those aluminum cans and plastic bottles were taking up in my recycling bin. Not to mention this study, this one, and this one.
PR people send me a lot of stuff. Sometimes they even get my name right.
Entrepreneurs and authors also contact me and they almost always get my name right. That's only one of the reasons why I prefer to deal directly with the source, especially when I'm interested in what they're trying to promote. This was the case when Jennifer Margulis wrote to me asking if I'd be a stop on her blog tour of the book she co-authored with her husband James di Properzio, The Baby Bonding Book for Dads.
The Baby Bonding Book for Dads is a little photo book with simple advice on how a dad can bond with his baby. The photos manage to capture both the sweet and not-so-sweet moments of fathering a child.
The advice is straightforward and useful, especially to new fathers who may not be as likely to share this kind of advice with their other new father friends.
Some of the most useful advice includes:
Use your pinky finger to soothe a crying infant.
Newborns are portable. Take them out now, because soon you won't be able to.
When your baby is really little, you don't have to always read their books. Reading your own book aloud to them counts as bonding too.
The photos are really lovely and the book would be perfect shower gift for an expecting dad. I'm left wondering, though, are most men interested in looking at lovely photos? And do they give each other shower gifts?
The advice in this book is so solid and so important for dads to know, that I wish it had been packaged differently. Maybe in the Uncle John's Bathroom Reader style?
Today we welcome back Ashley Merryman to talk about her piece in New York Magazine called Learning to Lie . We discuss kids ages toddlers to teenagers. Ashley is the author (with Po Bronson) of an upcoming book on the science behind child development.