Reality Check: Bumps and Bruises

Call me the over protective parent. That is fine! For the longest time I always wanted to be the parent who’s kid never got hurt, never fell down the stairs or never shut their finger in a drawer. Why did I ever think that this was a possibility or even that this would be a good idea?

Recently my son has been pulling himself up on everything. It has been great seeing his development as he has gone from crazy backwards scoot, to army crawling, regular crawling, and now pulling up and trying to walk along everything. When he was younger he was very cautious of everything he did and everywhere he went. Now that he pulls up and moves around easier he isn’t worried about anything.

We were at my in laws and he loves to climb up their stairs. It’s is so cute to see him crawl up each stair, grabbing the carpet, pulling himself to his knees, getting up, then bitting the carpet to pull up even more. Everyday he gets stronger and stronger, but what goes up must come down.

One day he had climbed more stairs and to celebrate he let go. In doing this he fell backwards reacting with screams on the way down. Fortunately for me, I wasn’t there for when this happened, but I was quite shocked at how I reacted when finding out about it. I always thought that if any of my children were to fall down the stairs I would freak and take them straight to the doctor to get everything checked.

Not that you should let your kids fall down the stairs, but it happens to all kids. They fall and they get bruised. Yeah it’s sad to witness and hear about especially being the parent, but they need these experiences to learn.

I think I learned more from this experience in that it taught me that I really don’t need to freak out when things like this happens. It doesn’t make me a bad parent because my child has a bruised forehead, I think it makes me a better parent for handling it calmly and not making anyone feel bad for letting it happen. It happens and it’s not anyones fault.

I have a tendency to think the worst when it comes to health. If I have a weird dark spot on my arm I go straight to the worst possible thing it could be thinking that I have skin cancer or something. Turns out it’s just some Nutella or soy sauce that has splashed onto my arm.

One night when going to bed my wife said, “Did you see those pink spots on our son’s stomach?” NO! Well, he was asleep and I didn’t want to wake him up. That meant that I was going to be stirring all night long thinking about anything that it could be: chicken pocks, eczema, or what if a bug has gotten into his bed and laid eggs under his skin that were hatching? I couldn’t sleep all night.

The second he woke up I made sure to run into his room to check him out. I was freaking out and thinking of anyway to help. The thing was, he was totally happy and the bumps didn’t seem to bother him. As I inspected them, as if I knew what I needed to be looking for, I thought that it wasn’t as bad as I had imagined. But that didn’t mean that I wanted to ignore it completely.

While we were eating breakfast we thought of any way that it could have happened. Fortunately we don’t change much around here, so when we do it’s easy to figure it out. We had gotten a new detergent and had noticed that the bumps were happening where his clothes were. Maybe he is having an allergic reaction to the new detergent we were using and it was irritating his skin.

Maybe it was the fact that we still dress him like it’s spring time, but summers in Utah can get pretty hot. so maybe it’s time to let go of the undershirt onsie.  I love looking at WebMD or talking to doctor friends that I have because I want to be educated and know when things need to be looked at or when I need to freak out. This also could be a heat rash and could be easily treated.

The moral of the story is that it’s good to be cautious, but don’t get crazy! No matter how protective you are as a parent your kids are going to fall, they are going to get hurt. It’s part of life. It’s great to protect them and worry about their health, but if you get too protective and worry too much you’ll go crazy. Just remember that they learn most from their tumbles in life.  Our job as parents is to make sure they get back up and try again.

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