The other night, very late, I brought our three-year-old into bed with us in hopes that he would be able to fall asleep. We lay there for a while in the darkness, and I stroked his hair as I held him. I could tell that he was tired, but he wouldn’t give in to sleep, so I finally decided to tuck him into his own bed. I gently picked him up, and he laid his head on my shoulder, and as we walked out of the room, I hit his head on the doorjamb.
Of course, I felt terrible. He cried, and I consoled, and I berated myself for not wearing my glasses (I’m blind as a bat, but I have to admit that I didn’t think that I was so blind that I would miss the doorway). It made me think of the other times when I have accidentally injured my children.
Recently, I accidentally pinched my baby’s little tummy in his car seat buckle. This is the second time that I have done this, and it makes me feel so, so terrible. But he has so many layers of clothing on right now in the cold weather that it’s really hard to tell what’s what. And, let’s face it, he’s got a big tummy.
Then there’s the time that I accidentally pinched the underside of my oldest child’s chin as I was putting on his bicycle helmet. I really felt horrible about that one, as I know it hurt. Now, he’ll only allow Daddy to put on his helmet. I don’t blame him.
Then there was last week at a local Mexican food restaurant, when I calmly let my oldest eat the way-too-spicy salsa. Don’t ask me how I let this happen – I think I was distracted by the baby. I felt horrible when my son let out a cry that reverberated through the restaurant. I held him until our waitress could bring him some milk to help the sting, feeling all the while like a horrible mother.
No major harm was done in any of these incidents, but I feel terrible that they happened. However (except for the helmet), my sons seem willing to forgive and forget. I think that they understand what I’m still trying to accept: even mommies make mistakes.
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