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The Casualties of Parenthood

Ever notice how absolutely hazardous parenting is to your physical well being? I’m surprised our insurance premiums don’t go through the roof the second our babies become toddlers.

Parenting a toddler is by far the most dangerous adventure I have ever experienced. Can you relate?

The danger falls into two distinct categories I will examine here:

Danger to You

This post would just be plain old irresponsible if I failed to mention the head-butt. I could write the next great American novel on the perilous head-butt but I’ll offer the abridged version here.

Every toddler possesses the innate ability to throw their head backwards at lightning speed INTO YOUR FACE. Happy, happy, happy, BAM! Head-butt to the face and you’re left with a fat lip or a shiner.

True Story: It was the day before my 10 year high school reunion (Go Chargers!) and I was playing with my eldest who was 3-years-old at the time. Happy, happy, happy, BAM! He head-butted me right under the eye and I ended up with a black eye. UH MAH GAH, a freaking BLACK EYE on the eve of my high school reunion! Can’t you just see it, “Hi! This is my husband and my big old black eye…it’s not what you think.” I invested in some heavy pancake makeup and looked all kinds of theater-flawless for the occasion, but it was not my proudest moment. While I’ll take my street cred wherever I can get it, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

Danger to Themselves

As we all know, it is our primary responsibility as parents to save our toddlers from themselves.

While toddlers need close monitoring in everyday life, our eagle eye is required in the event of a full blown tantrum. This brings me to the backwards head-whip (a variation of the head-butt, really). Full-blown tantrums typically entail a toddler whipping their head backwards at warp speed as you dive in slo-mo to catch it before the ground isn’t so forgiving. And if you think that swift head save isn’t going to cause you any harm; think again.

If only parenthood came with specially designed protective gear that allowed freedom of movement and came in a lovely array of fashionable colors. Hmm, Mommyfriend protective gear, I like it. It is a damn good thing toddlers are such little people because they sure find a way to hit the ground about a thousand times a day. Once our toddlers become mobile we all go through the motions of baby-proofing things like stove knobs, electrical outlets and table corners but danger lurks behind every wall, flagpole and curb. If you can hurt yourself on it, they’ll find a way. Heck, even if you can’t hurt yourself on it, they’ll still find a way.

And so we press on, armed with our first-aid kits and reassuring hugs for when it all goes wrong as it so often does. I am proud to report that to date we have only ever ended up in the E.R. one time on account of an injury and I better not have just jinxed myself there.

Toddlerhood is a wondrous time filled with laughter, tears and a boat load of band-aids. Our toddler experiences leave an indelible mark on us as parents, yet our children seem no worse for the wear. Like all things, this time will pass much too quickly. Your crazy toddler is an amazing creature, ready to experience life without fear; maybe we can all take a lesson from the toddlers in our lives.

Have a parenting injury to share?

More on Toddler Times:

19 Reasons Why Dads Rule

Readers Reveal Their Biggest Parenting Regrets

My Kid is Right: Clowns Are Scary


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