Never leave your baby unattended. I’ve probably seen this statement […]
Never leave your baby unattended.
I’ve probably seen this statement written out more in the past year than I have my own name. Instruction manuals, labels, parenting books—it’s affixed to every piece of baby gear we own. And I give it about as much thought as those giant warning tags on my mattress and curling iron.
I’d like to think I’m so nonchalant because it’s common sense stuff. (Don’t place the curling iron on my eyeball … got it! Don’t sit baby on dresser and then go to the grocery store … check!) Unfortunately, this over-inflated sense of awareness did nothing to pad Bea’s fall when she launched herself off of the bed.
In my (very pathetic) defense, I didn’t actually “leave her unattended” per-se. Actually, I didn’t even leave her side. Mid-diaper change I reached behind me to grab a wipe, only to turn back around to see a pantsless, squealing blur propelling herself over the edge of the opposite side of the bed.
She was seriously moving at warp speed. One moment she was on her back, and the next she was flipped over and flying across the mattress, giggling maniacally at her near-naked freedom. She didn’t even slow down when she got to the other side.
It was a half a second of unstoppable power-crawling followed by a resounding thud.
You know the sound. It’s that thunderous, deep, head-thumping smack that makes your heart shoot into your throat as you wait for a gut-wrenching wail to pierce the air. And wail she did.
But all’s well that ends well, right? Luckily, I was far more embarrassed than Bea was hurt. The bed was low and she landed on a cushy rug. Her only souvenir from the whole adventure was a scratch on her nose—which she forgot about before it even had time to scab over.
She certainly didn’t learn any sort of lesson about beds or falling or not using her escape artistry evils against me—she was trying to leap out of a high chair later that same day. But I guess the lesson was mostly for me, anyway. If I don’t have a changing pad with a straight jacket affixed to it, then change her on the floor. And, probably most importantly, pay attention to those warning labels—they may actually prevent a few nose bumps and a whole lot of mommy guilt.