Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Mask

A few days ago, I wanted to take a shower. For those who've never had young children, you may not know that a hot shower becomes a rare luxury in the early days.

I finally managed to get all three kids happy and occupied for a few minutes. Baby E was in her little bouncy seat in the bathroom with me, and I had the 3yo and 4yo play in the playroom.

The playroom is directly across the hall from the bathroom, so I leave the door open and I can peek out from behind the shower curtain every minute or two to check on them. I usually turn the water off and on several times during the process to better listen and talk to them.

I was washing my hair when I heard, "Mom, look at me!" *giggles*

I peeked out, water running down my face. Without my glasses on I can't see much that's more than 6 inches from my face. So I squinted and stared for several minutes trying to figure out what AJ had over her head. It went almost to her knees, covering her face, but it was kind of see-through. Almost like a red plastic film, like . . . !!!!

My daughter had a plastic bag on her head.

It was one of those parental horror moments that A Little Bit Pregnant is discussing.

I almost had a heart attack. I turned off the shower and made sure she immediately took it off and put it in the garbage. She got a lecture (which I hope made an impression) about what can happen when you put a plastic bag over her head. The house is being scoured for stray plastic bags (I think she emptied this one of some clothes I had bought at a second-hand store so she could play with it--she had to have gone down the hall or even downstairs to get it). Then I rushed through rinsing my hair in record time, worrying about what else the kids could be up to and picturing what could have happened if I hadn't realized AJ was playing with a plastic bag.

What if she had pushed it up against her face to pretend it was a mask, and I hadn't found her for another 5 or 10 minutes? The thought is chilling. How can I ever be sure my kids are completely safe? Life does demand that I occasionally take my eyes off them. But things can happen so fast--even while we're right next to them.

Ever since, I've been showering only at night when DH is home to keep an eye on the kids.

11 Comments:

Blogger Cath said...

I can totally relate! My nearly 2 yr old found a nappy sack and had that in his mouth a few weeks ago.
I so need a shower right now but like you i must wait until DH gets home from work!
Great blog

5:40 AM  
Blogger ccw said...

Sorry you got scared. That is the worst feeling in the world and something you will remember forever. Glad everyone is ok.

6:34 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Oh, wow. I can relate to your post. Having three little girls myself, I rarely take a shower during the day when it's just me and the kids. One day I caught Anna putting a fruit loop in the baby's mouth (only 4 months old at the time) Your mommy brain kicks in and you think about how if you wouldn't have been there what would have, or could have happened. Just like when the kids play and you can see the accident before it happens. It's a scary thing.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

ooo, scary! I'm just glad we can rely on God to be in controle--especially when we can't be!

9:55 AM  
Blogger liz said...

Holy guacamole!

Glad that you caught her in time. When DH goes out of town, bring all the girls into the bathroom with you and have them sing to you. That way you can hear them the whole time.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Windfall Woman said...

Are you sure you aren't my younger sister? I can SO remember these days. Now it is my husband who can't let me shower! Although he has yet to put a red plastic bag over his head. You'll get through these sweet young days -- enjoy them. They are gone way too fast.

4:15 PM  
Blogger susan said...

This is totally scary--i had an experience similar while putting groceries away a few weeks ago, and I turned around and my daughter had a bag over her head. It made me think again about all those "keep bags away from children" warnings I see, which I had always thought were overkill. But kids really do put them over their heads. Definitely scary.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Oh how terrifying!

11:53 AM  
Blogger purple_kangaroo said...

Thanks for all the comments, suggestions, and stories. It's nice to know I'm not alone!

8:12 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

I've had the "hey, look mom! I have a plastic bag on my head!" moment before. I've also had a nine-month-old find a razor. Scary.

Today my toddler was running around the house saying, "Boo! Boo!" in an excited voice, which I thought was really cute until I realized he was excited because he had a fragment of a red balloon in his hand. I took it from him, and my five year old said, "Oh, he got that from my popped balloon collection." Whereupon I completely freaked out and she handed over the pile of popped balloon fragments she's been hoarding without my knowledge but within her brother's reach. Shudder.

8:05 PM  
Blogger terrible speller said...

I understand your fear but careful and do not let it consume you. I truly believe God has his angels protecting his flock. Yes freak accidents happen, but He is sovereign and desires that we do not live in fear.

8:39 PM  

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