Posted: April 9, 2013
Safety First or Obsessive Grandma?
I had the great pleasure of spending the weekend with six of my grandchildren, two of my daughters and two of my son-in-laws. My son-in-laws often make fun of me, because I’m so “hyper safety” conscious when it comes to the grandkids.
My only defense is that I’m a grandma. Grandmas have been on this earth a lot longer than their adult children and grandchildren. What we haven’t personally experienced in the way of accidental injuries to our own children we’ve watched or heard about through others’ experiences. Is it so hard to believe that with age comes wisdom? Do I need to be mocked for trying to watch out and prevent any accidents with my own grandchildren?
I’m quite sure my son-in-laws don’t want their own children to get hurt, if it can be prevented. So why do they laugh at me when I start quoting safety rules?
Okay, maybe even I realize that I do get a little carried away and worry too much. In fact, by the end of the weekend, after speaking up for the hundredth time about a possible situation that “could” happen, I realized just how silly I sounded…actually just plain ridiculous and I don’t mean that in a good way.
Here are some of the things I worried about all weekend: (Gunner and Emry are 20 months old…)
I worried that Gunner might fall down while standing on a chair looking out the window.
I worried that Gunner and Emry might fall down the steep stairs to the basement, even though they both have been navigating the stairs for months.
I worried that they might fall and hit their head on the dog kennel at the end of the stairs (the kennel was moved from that spot a long time ago…)
I worried that they might fall down while eating ice cream bars jamming the wooden sticks through the back of their throats (I actually saw a video once of a child who jammed a toothbrush through the back of his throat).
I worried that they might get their heads in between the wooden slats on the deck, which is built over the garage and is 12 feet off the ground and fall to their death below. I witnessed both of them trying to get their head through, but fortunately the slats are to code.
I worried that they might get slivers in their little feet while running around on the deck without socks.
I worried that they might catch pneumonia while running around the deck with bare feet while it was not quite 60 degrees outside.
I worried that Gunner might find what cupboard or drawer where his mother keeps the big chopping knife and cut his little fingers off and bleed to death.
I worried that they might get the front or back door open and end up outside on the busy street that goes by the house and get run over before we even discovered they got out (this is so ridiculous, because we were all sitting within sight of both the front and back door all weekend.)
I worried that because Gunner can now open the refrigerator on his own that he might get out and open one of his Dad’s beers (which he calls “Dad’s pop” and drink it and die of alcohol poisoning before anyone could stop him.)
I worried that the grandkids (even the older ones from age 11 on down) might fall in Capitol Lake and drown when we walked down there to feed the ducks/geese or at the very least be so heavily covered in goose poop that we’d never get them clean again.
Can you see my obsessive thought process and how it kept escalating throughout the weekend getting worse by the minute?
The good news is, no one got hurt.
The other good news is that Grandma finally realizes that these kids are going to get hurt – it’s a fact of life. In spite of my warnings and spewing out safety rules, they are going to get injured here and there. Will that stop me from worrying? Will that stop me from praying for their safety? Will that help me relax next time.
Oh, hell no!
Can you say, “Grandma, where’s your Prozac?”