Home > Me > Why can’t my children be like giraffes?

Why can’t my children be like giraffes?

It kinda goes without saying that children are a huge responsibility.  But today really drove that point home.

In two (count ’em – two) separate instances each of my children got a “boo-boo” that resulted in a little bit of blood, a lot of crying and a mommy with her own tears and a lot of guilt.

My 4 month old has been scratching his head – and with his nails that grow quicker than weeds, it means he has a lot of little cuts on his head.  It’s one of those baby things.  Even when I file and clip his nails three times a day, he inevitably manages to scrape his head with the one nail that has a little sharp corner.  It’s a Sisyphean task for sure.  This also happens to be one of my husband’s pet peeves.  He hates it when the baby is all scratched up.  I do too, but since I’m the one cutting the nails all the time, I know that at some point there’s not much you can do to help it.

Today, though, Munchkin #2 was a little more scratched up than usual, so I went to clip his nails again.  And my worst nightmare… while I was going to clip his little thumb nail, he moved his little chubby baby hand and I clipped skin instead. oy!

There was a little blood!  He was screaming – I was screaming. He was crying – I was crying.  He finally calmed down and I kept saying, oh I”m so sorry munchkin…. over and over again, like that was going to undo the boo-boo.

Then just a few hours later, while shopping with the two kids in our trendy double stroller –  = that we bought for its claim that it fits through doorways – my toddler, while going through a doorway, stuck out her little chubby handy and got some skin scraped.  More blood!  More crying. More apologies.  Lots of boo-boo kisses.

Today’s lesson – kids are SO vulnerable.  They are so little and helpless.  And they need so much love and attention.

Yes, I definitely realized before choosing to have kids that they would be a lot of work – the feedings, the diapers, the teething, the colds/ear infections… But even knowing that didn’t prepare me for the emotional work involved.

My kids are not giraffes.  They are not born on their feet and walking soon after, eager to explore the world. Only needing a little bit of food and guidance.

My kids started off as little bundles.  Every little thing they needed, I had to supply.  Sometimes, I get overwhelmed just thinking about all the possible ways in which my children could not be safe.

When putting my daughter on the changing table and evaluating whether I can move two steps away to get something from the shelf, I’m bombarded with all the “what if this happened”s before I can even make my decision.

When they are in pain, my pain is one-hundred fold.  Today was really the first time either one of them shed a bit of blood (thank G-d! It should be the last.) And I was really overwhelmed with how much it affected me.  My babies!  Bleeding!  And then I was overwhelmed by how great and how huge my job really is.

I have to keep these kids safe.  Not just healthy and fed and clean, but safe.  I (and their Tatty [daddy in yiddish]) am the only thing standing between them and the world.  Ahhh!  Definitely the responsibility of a lifetime.

Sometimes, like today, I wish my kids were giraffes.

And then other times, when I’m snuggling with them, or mushing their baby fat and getting wide smiles in return, and when my kiss makes a little boo-boo better, I don’t mind that they’re babies.  In fact, I am in awe and feel pretty privledged that I get to be their mommy.

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Categories: Me
  1. March 6, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Baruch HaShem you haven’t seen more blood than that yet! May your kids always be so healthy!

    I have happy (yes, happy) memories of Reena’s surgery and when she fell down and needed stitches, and just a few weeks ago when Chananiah wouldn’t stop bleeding for 20 minutes and I was wondering about the ER….. happy memories because they’re fodder for stories later and you always feel so warm and gushy when you know that with a kiss and a hug and your special mommy love (and sometimes a doctor’s help) you can make it all better. You don’t WANT your baby to hurt, but if they do, the aftermath is warm and cuddly. Having been through some bigger things (Baruch HaShem not BIG things, just bigger than a scratch), my kids come to me for the little things— “mommy I have a boo boo”. “where— I don’t see it” (they’re making it up or it’s so nothing nobody could ever see it—— so I give a big exaggerated kiss to where they point and they are just THRILLED). They know the mommy magic is there.

    May you only need the mommy magic for the teeny tiny minor things!

  2. March 7, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Beautiful, Chavi. I also don’t understand how those little nails grow so fast. Seriously!

  3. Shifra
    March 7, 2011 at 7:16 am

    Chavi, my kids also scratched themselves as babies and my husband also couldn’t stand it. We put socks on their hands to prevent them from hurting themselves. This worked very well. We did get some funny looks now and then, but nothing terrible. Enjoy the baby years, they go so fast…

  4. Reader
    March 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I feel this way about my kids too, but I also always tell myself that no one can go through life without experiencing some pain, and it’s good for them to get practice on the little things. I wouldn’t want them to experience their first scrape–whether it be physical or emotional or other–when they are already out of the house. Boo-boos are a fact of life.

  5. Ellen Harmer
    March 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Well said, Jess! Don’t want to alarm you, but wait til the first head wound happens! I don’t mean head scratches either! I mean forehead, lip, nose etc. Oh the blood! David ran into a wall once and fell forward out of his stroller another time! Stitches! Then there was the time he slammed the door on 2-yr-old Steven’s finger and FLATTENED the knuckle! Talk about screams. In hindsight I can look back at those events in amusement but at the time they were terrifying! Sounds like you’re managing pretty well; Hugs to the babies!! They’re so precious.

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