As my sister draws ever closer to her due date, I am forced to face the facts: my little baby is becoming a BIG BOY. And I don’t like it. He never walks any more–he runs. All over, all the time. He’s a tornado of frenetic energy, and sometimes I feel like I need to invite FEMA into my living room to assess the damage left in his wake.
As is wont to happen with BIG BOYS, we’ve had our share of big falls. Earlier this spring, Boo tripped over his own feet and smashed mouth-first into the tile in our kitchen. Before the pain could even register, he started screaming (as my Texan father would put it) like a gutshot panther. I immediately grabbed a kitchen towel and gathered him up a slobbery, bloody bundle to try to calm him down.
At first it looked like he had chipped a tooth, so I called my parents and shouted over the din of that we were going to the emergency room. Tears were streaming down my face as I said this because I didn’t know how I would stem the blood flow and drive at the same time. My (much calmer) mother had the sense to ask if I could actually tell how badly he was hurt.
Um, no. I hadn’t really been able to check, not with the wailing and gnashing of teeth. But there was A LOT of blood. Obviously, we needed medical intervention POST HASTE. And a nice sedative cocktail for Mommy, por favor.
After wrestling him into a pretzel hold, I was able to pry his mouth open. I wiped away some of the blood, and lo and behold, all his teeth were intact. The little chunks of white that had come off on the towel had been leftovers from lunch, not pieces of my baby’s newly acquired top teeth. It turned out that he had just bitten the inside of his bottom lip.
So no hospital, no stitches, and no insurance co-pay for Boo. And no benzodiazepine coma for me.
Since that day, I’ve learned my lesson. He’s not allowed to run around on the tile any more, lest a stray cheerio fell him like a motherfucking tree. Trust me, I would wrap this kid up in poppy paper until he’s 40 if I could.
The most oft heard phrase in our house is “Stop it, Boo. You’re going to hurt yourself/crack your skull open/fall off the couch/lose a finger. No joke. Boo likes trying to give me a heart attack. He likes to jump off couch onto the tile below, broken bones be damned. And he absolutely loves to see the look on Mommy’s face when he faceplants off his futon on the bedroom floor. He has a sick sense of humor.
Ladies and gentelmen, I am a hoverer. That’s right, a grade-A helicopter mom. I follow my child around everywhere he goes, because OHMYGOD BLOOD AND GORE GACK I don’t want to him to get hurt.
So I’m duty bound to follow him around for the next 18 to 20 years (or until his bones are fully formed, whatever), protecting him from bumps and bruises and possible dismemberment. It’s going to be a looooooooooooooong hard ride ahead.
I’ve toyed with the idea of buying him some primo headgear–an all black number emblazoned with a skull and crossbones that just screams this-helmet-is-awesome-not-just-my-overprotective-mommy-at-work-here-move-along-folks– but since Boo is a card-carrying charter member of the anti-hat coalition, that’s out the question. Not that I would really want him to walk around looking like Cartman in the Special Olympics South Park episode.
But lo, last weekend, I found my solution sitting in the sale bin at Target. For the ultra-low price of $11.59, I could have a little piece of my sanity back. It was fate. I had to have it.
And so Boo would like to formally introduce you to his Monkah.
His, um, leash.
Sure, it looks cute and cuddly, but let’s face it. It’s really the same thing you hook onto your chihuahua every morning when you take it outside to pee.
Despite that, Boo loves his Monkah. He had to sleep with it at nap time. (Or until he fell asleep, at which point Mommycopter here swooped in and took it out of his baby cage crib so he couldn’t, ya know, strangle himself with it.)
This ingenious device allows a parents to safely latch their offspring into a cushy, protective harness cleverly disguised as a backpack. The manufacturer of this particular model (Eddie Bauer, if you must know, because my preshus snowflake must be protected by the tippy-top baby gear) promises overprotective parents the opportunity to physically anchor their child to their bodies, via a three foot “tail”.
Yeah, I’m going to walk my baby around like a glorified purse dog in public. But it’s so damn cute.
My mom was there when we purchased it, and I have to admit that I was a little embarrassed. Buying this practically screamed “Alert DHS, I can’t control my own child around strangers” or “Beware of the biter” or something of that nature, but my mom was nonplussed. She just patted me on the shoulder and told me not to worry, she put me on a leash when I was that age.
Hrmmm. Pause. Schwat?
And then I remembered. Somewhere in the back of my brain, I could recall my harried parents conducting my twin brother and sister and me through Denver’s Stapleton airport on a rainbow striped leash. Not a harness, a leash. It hooked onto our wrists and connected to my mom’s beltloops. Apparently this baby-walking thing was a fad, even back in the 80s.
We haven’t had a chance to take it for a test drive in public yet, but for the past couple of days, I’ve been hooking Boo into the harness and letting him wear it around the house. I tried connecting the tail portion once, but that was not so successful. Boo doesn’t respond well to being dragged tugged from point A to point B. He’s a free spirit. He likes to stop and smell the roses, occasionally yelling “BYE!” at the lady who exercises in too-short-shorts walking by our living room window.
I’d like to kiss the person who came up with this life saver. Now I can (kinda) stop eying every man in Walmart like he’s going to abduct my child and take him into the bathroom for illicit sexual activity. Oh, wait. NO I CAN’T.
Sigh. I think I’ll just invest in a good quality bubble for Boo to live in for the remainder of his natural life.
Look at that face. Wouldn’t you?
***Disclosure: All products mentioned in this post were purchased by Three Ring Mom for personal use. Please see my Disclosure Policy for more information.)