I clearly remember the horror I felt when I first found my infant daughter with my flip flop in her mouth. A loop began running in my mind that hasn’t really stopped:
- You are a terrible mother – how could you be so careless as to leave your shoes where she could reach them?!
- You are a terrible mother – how could you stop paying attention long enough for her to get that in her mouth?!
- You are a terrible mother – what would people think if they saw you?!
- You are a terrible mother – “they” could call Child Protective Services on you!
- You are a terrible mother – what kind of horrible disease will she contract as a result?!
- You are a terrible mother – how will this shortcoming in your parental abilities play out over the next 18 years?!
- You are a terrible mother – how can you possibly disrupt the space-time-continuum sufficiently to stop the predestined ramifications from #6?!
I would like to say it never happened again. The truth is, my daughter (like all infants) likes to put everything in her mouth. So yes, it has happened again. more than once. The good news is after the vast experience of the last 8 months, I have learned to go with the flow. Remove flip flop, insert teething ring. I try to remember to keep my flip flops out of reach and to be wary when she heads towards my closet. But stuff like this still happens sometimes and I forgive myself and move on. It’s no worse than her chewing on a shopping cart, right?
There is a tiny voice inside me that’s still worried I will be visited by Child Protective Services as the result of this post; thus the subject….judge not (please!).