Thursday, April 24, 2008

On Overprotective Parenting

There have been numerous posts lately about overprotective parents (here and here for examples) Both authors are fantastic parents, either to wonderful children or pampered felines. At any rate, I have always had a strong opinion about overprotection, due to the fact my parents were the definition of it. Catholic guilt runs deep in my veins, and since I was a girl, my brother got away with a helluva lot more than I ever did. My parents would have probably hired a taste tester if they could have afforded it, in the rare case someone wanted to poison us.

In defense of my parents however, they were nowhere near my aunt, who forced her children to wear life jackets while traveling on the bridges over the Mississippi. You cannot get to St. Louis from my town without going over such a bridge, and when my cousin went with us one time to St. Louis and did NOT HAVE HER LIFE JACKET chaos ensued and I thought she might just jump out of our car. Never mind that the river is hundreds of feet and she would surely die of impact, with or without said jacket.


I try to be a fair moderation of both protective and lax. I chop up the grapes before I serve them, I never let my kids out of my sight at certain venues, and we are always with protective helmets and what not. But I also let them get dirty and run in the rain, and ride roller coasters and go in the deep end at the pool.

Now then.

Here's the thing, and my point about overprotective parents. The one thing they forget, the one thing they never worried or dreamt could ever happen, will. For example, my brother-in-law. Here's a kid, you know, has to call home when he goes out the door, knows how to swim, wears his seat belt, etc. He got hit by a VAN crossing the street. Now, that never would have crossed anyone's mind as something to even have to worry about right?

Yesterday, I was giving Mo a bath. Our water heater is completely on the fritz, and sometimes the hot water does not work. I turned the faucet on to rinse her hair, and the first bucket I poured was cool water. Thinking it was still cold, I poured ANOTHER bucket full onto her head.

It wasn't cold. It was SCALDING. I scalded my own little girl.

Before I could stop, I had dumped the whole bucket onto her head. She screamed a scream I would never forget. I immediately went to the sink and put her head under cold water for a bit. Frantic, i drove to the doctor's office and they saw her immediately. Mo got first degree burns, but fortunately there was no scarring or blistering. I was sobbing in the doctor's office, and she kept reassuring me that it was an accident, but I felt awful. How could I hurt my own baby like that!

Needless to say, Mo got several pieces of chocolate yesterday and rarely did her feet touch the ground, instead, being on my lap or in my arms the whole day.

So from now on I will most definitely have a keener sense for the water temperature, but I can assure you she will still not have to wear a life jacket in the bathtub, or across any bridges.


OldHorsetailSnake said...

Darn, that is sad and funny at the same time. I am glad she wasn't injured...

MeeshellaBella said...

Awee. poor girl. Hey, these things happen. You got thru it and she is okay.

There is protecting your children, there comes the cross over into the pycho i want a bubble child parent.

Kids will be kids...we seem to forget we have to let them grow up and learn some things. Being overprotective doesn't give them that oppertunity.