Do you ever have one of those parenting near misses?
The kind where you caught your kid doing something really bad?
Something that could have been beyond disastrous?
But Thank God, you caught the kid just in the nick of time?
But then all you can do is conjure up every single God-awful scenario that could have taken place?
And you can’t stop?
I’ve been doing that all afternoon.
Because I had one of those experiences today.
I was sitting in the office doing a little work.
Number 7 was in here with me.
Sometimes she is cooperative and will occupy herself for a good 10 or 15 minutes.
She was doing that, so… carpe diem.
I was pretty engrossed in what I was doing.
Number 7 was behind me, less than three feet away.
And then I heard… the noise.
You know what I’m talking about.
Those very distinctive noises that snap you right back into reality.
A loud thud.
Or, the noise I heard.
The most distinctive sound you can imagine.
One that you couldn’t confuse for anything else.
Directly behind me.
She had managed to unearth it from the file cabinet drawer where I keep it buried under a bunch of crap.
And she was using it.
Three feet behind me.
I had no idea.
Until I heard that sound.
The fucking paper cutter.
I turned around just as she made the second cut.
I’ve never moved so fast in my life.
And what did she say?
“Mommy! Look! I cut this!”
And yes. She did.
She cut a pretty good strip of paper, and, thank God, nothing else.
I wanted to puke and cry and scream and puke some more.
But instead, I just held Number 7 on my lap, holding her hands in mine.
So what’s the message?
I don’t know.
Lock up your paper cutters in a more secure place?
Or maybe it’s to be a little more present with your kids.
So much could have happened just three feet behind me.
The scenarios are limitless.
I know. Because I keep making up new ones that are more and more awful than the one before.
I could continue to beat myself up.
Or, I can be grateful for the little slap in the face.
Tonight I will go to bed thankful that Number 7 still has all her little fingers.
Tomorrow I’m going to be a little more present.
That, or get rid of the fucking paper cutter.
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