Yesterday I should have won the Mother of theYear award (NOT). I was busy with transferring the laundry into the dryer when I heard J crying. The kids had all been quietly watching Sesame Street, so I didn't think much of it, but when it didn't stop right away, I went to investigate. No J in the living room. I realize I left the gate open and hear that J is crying from upstairs. I head up the steps when I see J in the bathroom. In the toilet. Crying and saying, "All fall down!" She had sat on the potty earlier in the day and I guess she wanted to try again. So she climbed up the stairs and up the stepstool to the toilet. She didn't care that both seats were up. She sat down right into the water and she was stuck - legs up in the air. Pulled her out and she was drenched, so I gave her a bath and cleaned her off. It was pretty funny - she looked hysterical - but it also made me realize how lucky we were. What would have happened if she had decided to look inside instead of sit down? This could have ended SO differently.
A former MOMS Club member lost her daughter (who was the same age as J is now) this summer by another freak accident. The mom had gotten distracted in the kitchen (as we ALL do) and didn't realize that the door had not been closed all the way when the dog had been let out. Then the phone rang and she started talking. When she hung up she realized that she hadn't seen her youngest daughter in a little bit, and then noticed the door open. It had rained the day before, so the creek that ran through her back yard was higher than usual. She ran out to the creek and told her older daughter to get their neighbor (a doctor). The mom was searching the creek, desparately trying to find her baby. No one noticed that the gate to the pool was open a little. When the neighbor came over to help, he discovered the baby floating in the pool. It took all of these events - the pool's gate not being locked as it always is, the door not getting shut all the way as it always is, the phone ringing right then - to have let this happen. Such a tragedy.
It takes things like what happened to J yesterday to make me realize how accidents can happen ANYtime. I'm almost at the point where I can picture her sitting in the toilet, legs folded up almost to her chest, or remember her telling her daddy, "All fall down toilet," and laugh. Almost. Eventually my heart will stop racing as I imagine what might have happened.