You know all those warning labels attached to children’s toys and furniture? The ones that tell you how the product should be used, then they give a blanket statement; “Nothing takes the place of parental supervision.” Well, I read those labels and still end up in parental messes. It all started with the crib recall 3 months after my daughter was born. It was only the biggest crib recall in recent history, crossing Canadian and US borders, affecting more than 2 million families. The company was quick to come up with a solution to “fix” the crib and make it safer. We waited a day on the phone to order our free kit that would take a few weeks to arrive. It meant that we now had to find another place for baby girl to sleep in the mean time. Nevermind that she had actually started to sleep through the night! So we put her in a bassinet she was nearly too big for, bring her into our bedroom for supervision, and went back to having broken sleep for a few weeks. The kit came and it permanently fixed the rails in the up position. So we could never again put the rail down to actually help us transfer a sleeping baby into the crib. I have to lean in as far as I can reach and let her plop the last 1/2 inch. Real smooth huh?
Well last night, parental supervision once again failed me. I was sitting at the dining room table, ‘supervising’ baby girl’s evening snack. She was feeding herself yogurt in her highchair. What could possibly go wrong? She spontaneously grabbed the yogurt tub and squeezed it! As if that wasn’t enough, in the 2 seconds it took me to reach her, she immediately rubbed the exploded
yogurt into her eyes, hair, nose, and ears. She then began to scream and cry. I’m sure cold yogurt feels terrible in your eyes huh kid!? She stopped screaming long enough to say; “Bubbles?” Meaning she wanted another bath. Very sneaky way to force the issue. So inspite of it being 5 minutes to bedtime, we now had spontaneous bath time. I managed to snap a few pictures before hosing down every yogurt covered surface. I was trying hard not to laugh at her, she was upset. Really in the grand scheme of everything that can go wrong, yogurt explosions are low on the danger scale.
The longer this parenting gig runs, the more I realize that I am not in control. Control is an illusion. It can be quickly shattered by the impulses of your child, and the reality of living in a world where we have to adjust to the consequences of other people’s mistakes.