In my five-year career as a parent, there never seems to be a day or week that passes without
me secretly saying to myself, “Phew, somehow we made it.” While every other mom at
the park always seems to have the right sand toys, and every mom at school seems to
pack just the right lunch, I always feel like I’m on the tail end of getting it right.
This past week was no different. My big one was on a school break so I decided to take
him on a Mommy/Big One trip to Mexico, which provided me an opportunity to screw up
But before we left, I had a chance to nearly kill my toddler.
After purchasing a new snack, a Goldfish cracker mash-up cheddar style and the
pretzel style, my two-year-old took one look at the bag and dove right in. Within
one nano-second, the pretzel-style goldfish cracker vacuum-sucked itself
horizontally inside my girl’s throat. I can still hear the sound. She panicked and
made that “this is my last breath” sound and pointed toward her throat.
I leapt into action and slung my pointer finger down her throat to remove the
lodged fish, which was the exact width of her throat. I removed it intact and
realized why, among the 47 varieties of Goldfish crackers, one is called “Baby.”
Now everywhere we go, my daughter points to her throat, then to me and says,
“Choke. Me. Cracker. Mommy.”
2. Let Me Save Your Life by Potentially Making It Worse
Okay, so somehow between the birth of my 5-year-old son and the birth of my 2-year-old daughter, a new rulebook had been written. Sadly, no one gave me my
copy. So when my daughter was choking on the aforementioned Goldfish cracker,
I figured I was doing good by rushing into action and removing it; apparently not.
Had I gotten my new copy of “Parenting Rules That Everyone Knows But
Meredith” I would have known that you are not supposed to remove choking
hazards from throats with your fingers since you can potentially make the object
go further down the throat.
What are you supposed to do? I’m not sure. Remember, I never got my rulebook.
3. It’s Not Cancer, It’s a Tan
After arriving in Mexico for my trip with my 5-year-old, we
immediately dropped our bags and suited up in swimwear. And while my son
is normally a professional at getting sunscreen’d, this day he was not having it. I moved fast hoping that whatever parts I missed would at least be
sunscreen-adjacent. The good news is, my son only got a sunburn on his body
parts that were exposed to the sun. The bad news is, my son got a gnarly sunburn
and I’m to blame.
My son looked ridiculous driving to the ER with a diaper on his head.
4. You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream at 3 a.m.
Okay, I’ll just say it: My kid had a night terror and I screamed at him. Now before you think I’m Attila The Mum, think again. I didn’t actually realize he was having a night terror. (I know this is not a great defense for screaming at your kid, which should technically never happen.)
I thought he was just pulling a middle-of-the-night-give-me-some-attention fast one as kids are known to do. So, at first I ask him what’s wrong, and tell him to go back to sleep. But then he keeps screaming and won’t listen to me. (Of course looking back I realize he wasn’t listening because he was actually still asleep.) And I just lost it. A little. Which is too much.
The good news is, he didn’t remember the night terror and didn’t remember me being so terrible. The bad news is, I do.
5. Who Needs a Band-Aid When Diapers Work So Much Worse?
Back home, I took both my kiddos to the park. Half an hour in, my big one slices
his head open on part of the play structure (still not sure how that happened.) Any
other mom would reach for her handy, tiny, and always on her first aid kit that she
carries in her perfectly packed diaper/kid/part bag. The only thing I have in my
bag is lipstick.
Thinking I’m being resourceful, I grab one my little one’s clean diapers and shove
it on the big one’s head figuring if a diaper can keep pee in, it can do the same for
blood. This was not the case and my son looked ridiculous driving to the ER with
a diaper on his head.
6. Here, Watch This Violence-Filled DVD
In my defense, I’ve never actually seen The Clone Wars. This is also part of
the problem because my son has, and he loves it. While every new parent
has “watch TV” on his or her list of “I’m totally always going
to___________with my kid,” it doesn’t actually happen in real life.
Kids watching TV helps mom do things like shower more than once a week and
cook food that doesn’t have to be defrosted. So when my kid said he wanted to
watch the DVD of The Clone Wars which his older cousin sent him, I said, “Sure,” thinking it was just like Star Wars, which was kind of innocent.
After watching about 97 hours of the DVD, my son asked me why he was, now,
finally allowed to watch a show with “all that killing and murder.”
Next time, I’ll be watching what my kid is watching. So what if I don’t take a
There’s only so long I can say: “You’re too young.” My kids see me putting on
make-up and they want in—especially the little girl. And of course she’s too young
for actual make-up, but when she pointed to my lipstick and said, “Lip. Me!” I
But the little girl isn’t satisfied with me grazing an empty brush across her cheeks,
she wants her own brush in her own hand which she can stab in her own face. But
she’s happy, so I let her brush away. I know she could lose an eye, but it’s
awfully cute to see a 2-year-old “putting on her face.”