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Rookie Mommy - That's Me

I like to think I’m doing a pretty good job at being a mom, but there have been many many times over the past 8 years that remind me (and those around me) that I am a rookie.

Where to begin?

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Jade had acid reflux as a baby.  She was only able to sleep at an angle.  Somehow I missed that BabiesRUs carried a “wedge” that you could put in the baby’s crib to add just enough slant.  Jade, well, she slept in her car seat right next to my bed.  It made it easy to rock her when she’d cry and I loved getting to peek at her multiple times during the night.

The rookie mistake?  Her head is not perfectly rounded in the back.  The doctors told me it wasn’t enough to warrant a helmet, but it was worrisome all the same.

Jade was walking all over the place at 10 months.  What was I thinking teaching her to walk so early?  Only rookie moms don’t realize that once they start, they never slow down.  Life gets extra busy and harder to manage the more mobile they are.  With Ivy, I mended my ways and she didn’t walk until she was a bit more than a year old.

The next rookie award I give to Scott.  Jade was enjoying her second Halloween season (yes, it is a season not just a day).  We had candycorn and Scott just let her eat them to her little heart’s desire.  It was getting close to our bed time and Jade had been in her crib asleep for about 2 hours.  All of a sudden she’s crying and we both go in to check on her.  Guess what we found?  A great big yellow orange throw up mess all over her crib, bumper and stuffed animals.  Ugh.  Lesson quickly learned that time.

Our biggest rookie mistake happened on September 29th, 2006.  It is a date that I will never ever ever forget.  Neither will anyone in our family.  Luckily it was just one rookie mistake – there was potential for another mistake in response to the first.

Allow me to set the scene…

I work in software sales and we are on calendar year quarters.  Which means the last Friday of September is one of my end of quarters.  At the end of the quarter, I am at the office until at least 7 but sometimes until 11.  It is a stressful day for me and at the end of the day I’m exhausted.  All I want to do is crawl into a ball and watch a movie.

September 29th was no different.  I had gotten home at about 8 and Scott had a movie picked out for us to watch.  Jade had taken a nap during the day – which we affectionately referred to as the “kiss of death” because it basically meant that every 20 minutes napping meant an hour later bed time.

I got home and had some good girl time and then we put Ivy to bed.  Jade wasn’t tired and asked if she could watch a movie in our room.  She picked “Herbie” and cuddled up in our bed.

After a while, we didn’t hear from her.  She didn’t want juice.  She wasn’t asking for chocolate milk.  She’d cuddled with us enough.  Rookie move – didn’t check to see if she was asleep or getting in to trouble.

ROOKIE!  ROOKIE! ROOKIE!!

We learned our lesson quickly.  Jade came wandering out with her beautiful blonde locks slicked back.  Or so I thought.

I reached up from where I was lounging on the couch half asleep.  Expecting to find a head full of gel, I began crying and screaming to have her dad touch her head.

From the front of her hair line to the top of the back of her head all that was left of her beautiful hair was an 1/8th of an inch.

Crying, I called my mom and dad and they rushed over.   They were at our house within minutes.   Which was really good because they got there just in time to stop us from making another mistake.

We had the hair trimmers and were ready to shave her head completely – a buzz cut worked well for some strong women throughout the past couple of decades, Jade would be fine.

Luckily my mom reminded us that with a cute hat, she would still have her long blond locks.  And the rookie mistake was avoided.  Jade got to keep the rest of her hair and she still felt pretty.

Sadly, she came running in the next morning in tears because her hair hadn’t grown back.  A sad and early lesson on consequences.  Our lessons?  Hair cutting scissors should be way out of reach from a 3 year old.   And most importantly – if a child is quiet always assume they are up to no good.

Sure, there are many more mistakes, but none nearly as monumental.

Would you have shaved the whole thing or left her with a mullet?

*** Participating in Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.

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