Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The most horrible motherhood moment so far

Living in a Different House means Different Bathroom means Different Bath Tub and, in this case, means Different Taps, aka Taps That Are Fucked.

When I say 'fucked' what I actually mean is: taps that are wrongly positioned so that the tap marked Hot actually produces cold water and the tap marked Cold actually produces hot.

I think you can see where this is going.

Bath time with Tricky is fun, he has a select range of floaty bath toys and a penchant for making with the kickaboo legs. Oh yes it’s all fun and games and chirruping giggles. C and I fight over who gets to have a bath with him and C usually wins because the combination of Bath and Milk Bar is just too much fun for young Mr Trickster and it becomes tiring for me to stop him both drowning and divebombing my nipples.

But on this night, this first night, this bath night in the Different Bath, I got in, holding my baby, and as I sat down and dipped his toes in the water I thought “hmmm, this water might be a bit too warm for him, and I wonder if that was too hot on his toes, I better put his foot under the cold tap just in case.”

And then came that moment I will remember forever as in one quick movement I turned on the tap marked Cold and held his tiny little foot under the stream...

...of scalding hot water.

As soon as I did it, I realised I'd got the taps wrong and as I pulled his foot out he started to scream. I threw on the cold tap (marked Hot) and shoved his foot under a stream of cold water and now he really did scream.

And so did I, but only on the inside, on the outside I was saying in a calming voice: oh darling, I’m sorry darling, it’s alright…and alternatively calling for C to come quickly, come quickly oh please hurry…

It was so quick thank God that there was not even a red mark, and once I had put Tricky onto the milkbar for a bit he seemed happy.

And C, with a shifter and a grim look on his face, exchanged the taps to their rightful place so that now Cold will always be cold and Hot will always be hot.

We even stayed in our tepid bathwater and played with the floaty dolphin for a little while longer before getting out and continuing on with the bath/bed ritual. And in the morning there would be no sign of that horrible horrible moment.

But all through the night I kept seeing my hand pushing his foot under that scalding stream of water and later, while doing the washing up and feeling the hot hot hot water on my hands, I cried.


Anonymous said...

Ova Girl, I know, it's so upsetting, but really, this stuff happens to everyone. A friend of mine once fell down the stairs while holding her rather new baby. She called the paramedics and they said the baby was 100% fine... but she was so stressed out they took her to the hospital. And she now has 8 kids and is an amazing and very low-key mom.

Dramalish said...

It sucks so bad to have those horrible moments. When I locked Daisy in the car on a warm day, I thought I was going to throw up the entire three minutes. It's so painful to watch them cry and know that you caused the tears.

They recover. And we recover. And it's okay.


Anonymous said...

Sunday I found a rather red, angry-looking cysts on Will's bottom.
Took him to the Dr's & Doc held his legs while I held my 9 month old baby boy down on the table by his shoulders, crying right along with him as Doc lanced & drained the cyst.
I cried even harder when I realized that all weekend, he was fighting with me whenever I tried to sit him down. His poor, little bum was sore & I was forcing him to sit on it. Gah! I suck.

Lut C. said...

What a terrible fright, for both of you!

I'm glad to hear there was no permanent dammage.

Nico said...

All of a sudden blogger is talking to me in german! "Efterlad din kommentar" is the title of this box. Bizarre!

That must have been such a shock for you. Fucking taps, indeed! Who does that???

lucky #2 said...

Oh, how scary!!! So glad that he is fine (and funny thing is that he probably forgot it all by bedtime!).

heleen + rod said...

Wow, it must have been one of these global bad bath time moments... At the same time somewhere else on the planet, when I had turned my back on the bath bucket to close the curtains Lola fell head first into the water. It doesn't make a sound. The baby doesn't make a sound. Things can go wrong in just a tiny little instant. Lola was ok, just coughing up some water. I was shaky long afterwards. While she was just enjoying her bath...

Bon said...

oh. oh. poor little. poor you.

i had the same kind of "first" yesterday, though it was after a bath, and i slipped on some water while carrying O, and banged his head on the doorframe. he cried, and went to his dad, and didn't want to come back to me...and inside i just died, i was so sad.

damn taps and spills and world just out there waiting to cause harm...bad enough to know that there will come pain in their lives eventually, but when we cause it...double ouch.

Anonymous said...

And you will remember this forever and when Tricky is in his 20s, you'll probably say, "Remember that time Mummy..." And he'll say, "What?"

My son rolled off his changing table at 3 months, straight into the diaper pail thingie. Nice. I had my hand on his belly and then stretched to get something and even though my arm was still stretched out [vaguely] towards the baby, that hand was not guarding that wee baby at all.

Oh yeah, and then there was the time my year old baby ate Deadly Nightshade and had to have her stomach pumped...uh huh, the list goes on.

Unknown said...

Hi Ova-girl.

Sorry to hear about Tricky - but at least no lasting harm was done (well, to Tricky anyway...)

Like Bon said, it's hard enough knowing our kids are going to get hurt by the big, bad world, without us doing it to them ourselves.

Incidentally, have you ever read 'The Bad Mother's Club'? Reassuringly full of a mother's confessions of letting her baby fall down the stairs, play with knives etc.

All the best to you and yours

Em said...

Poor Tricky. Poor Mom, too. I wish I could say that this is the worst moment you'll ever have with him, but I am sure that isn't true. Hope life in the countryside is otherwise peaceful.

cat said...

I know exactly what that cry feels like. *hug*

shalini akhil said...

oh, you poor girl *hug*
but all's well, it was an accident, and who was the stoopid person who switched the taps in the first place anyway. not you!
*nuther hug*