"My future stepdaughter was sitting on my lap at her 4th birthday party, totally stoked to play with her new Barbie. I had to fight with those nightmarish rubber bands they use to attach the dolls to their cardboard backing before she could actually have the doll. So I was pulling and pulling on this Barbie doll, and suddenly the rubber bands gave. All at once. And when they released with no warning, my hand flew out and I punched my stepdaughter right in the face.
She looked at me wide-eyed, but I frantically told her, 'You're okay! It's okay! I'm sorry! It was an accident! You're okay! PLEASE DON'T CRY!' She was fine and went on about opening her presents like nothing had happened.
Ten minutes later, I took her downstairs to eat a cupcake, where I promptly allowed her to eat a candle that looked suspiciously like a gummy candy.
My in-laws aren't sure I should be alone with her anymore."
"When my daughter was only a couple of weeks old, she went through a phase where she would only sleep on my chest. So I would lay awake half the night just to get her to sleep, then move her excruciatingly slowly to her cot. Anyway, the tiredness got to me one night and I fell asleep. When I woke up, I felt a lump underneath me and pulled out a limp form. About half a second before I was about to start screaming because I thought I had suffocated my baby, I realized it was actually a teddy bear about the same size. I was so delirious from lack of sleep that I thought it was the baby. I don't think I have ever been as terrified as I was in that moment.
As it turns out, my daughter was in her cot, but I had no recollection of moving her there."
"I set my oldest daughter on the step right beside me in her car seat when she was about 2 months old. I locked the door, turned around to grab the car seat, and accidentally knocked her down the stairs. She was fine. I was dang near hysterical.
When I had my oldest son, he woke up in the middle of the night for a diaper change at about a week old. I lifted him out of his bassinet, set him on the end of my bed and leaned over him to grab a diaper. In the process, I flipped him right off the bed. Thankfully he landed on a really thick blanket that was at the foot of the bed. I felt like an idiot.
I shut my middle son's hand in the car door. I flat out wasn't paying attention, so it was my fault. He broke three fingers.
I drove about 30 miles on the freeway with my daughter in her car seat, but the car seat not buckled in. I had to hit the brakes and she slammed face first into the back of my seat.
I left my youngest alone in the living room to switch laundry in a different room. He got the screen door open and escaped. I honestly thought he was too short to reach the latch. Luckily, he didn't leave the yard, but that one scared the living daylights out of me."
"I was a first-time dad and my daughter was probably 5 months old. I sat down at my desk with her in my lap, browsing Reddit. It was a totally normal afternoon.
I looked down and noticed my daughter salivating a little more than usual, but it was no big. Then I looked down again and something in my brain said this was not right.
Then she kinda dry heaved and I immediately realized, 'OH GOD, SHE'S CHOKING!' Even typing this out is getting my heart racing.
I called to my wife in next room, 'BABE, THE BABY IS CHOKING!'
She came in with this panicked expression on her face. I remembered from the child care classes we took to swipe my fingers across her mouth, not just jam my fingers in to clear her air passage. Couldn't find anything, she was still choking.
My wife started freaking out and ran to the next room to grab her phone and dial 911.
I gave my daughter a little squeeze on her midsection, hoping to force out whatever was in there. No dice, she was still choking.
Now, at this point, I was doing everything I could to NOT FREAK OUT.
I gave my daughter one more midsection squeeze and I saw a small sliver of silver stick out from her lips. Instantly, I reached with the tips of my fingers and pulled out a small silver piece of a Nutrigrain bar wrapper.
I remembered the exact moment the day before that I had opened a bar with my teeth, tearing the corner away and blindly spiting the small corner piece that had come off at my desk while I was playing a game.
I remember thinking like I always had in the past: 'I'll get that later, no big.'
Since then, I never let myself do that stuff EVER again. All it took was my 5-month-old daughter one second to reach out, grab and stick that stupid thing in her mouth, ONE. SECOND. Never again.
My daughter is almost two now and my next daughter is still in the oven. I would have hated myself forever if she died over my selfish laziness."
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"When my daughter was 3 weeks old, we had a very rough night. After hours of walking her around the apartment, feeding, burping, diaper changing etc, she was still crying and I lost my mind.
I screamed at her, 'WHAT THE EFF do you want from me!?' and then locked myself in the bathroom and lost it while I waited for her dad to come home. I never felt like I was going to hurt her but I felt like a failure as a mother. To make things worse, my fiance is a doctor who works primarily with children, so it came much easier to him. I think it made me feel both jealous and insecure of how easy it seemed for him. I went on antidepressants for three months and it made a world of difference. I finally felt capable of parenting.
I still feel ashamed about it."
"My first grade daughter came home with an assignment to make a trap to catch a leprechaun. After looking around the house we used a towel, a huge bottle filled with water, twine, a fake gold ring, tinker toys, duct tape, WD-40, and some really thick cardboard tubes to build a weight driven trebuchet type contraption. If you step on the towel and grab the gold ring (aka leprechaun bait), it would drop the bottle in the back, lifting the front and pulling the towel into a nice package. Then it's all, 'Ahahaha - where's your pot of golden, you little green sucker?'
It didn't look like the bottle would be heavy enough to hit the ground but it seemed prudent to test it outside. I set it up next to the pool and even put a stuffed bear on the towel as a leprechaun analog. The release was sticky up to that point but some WD-40 seemed to loosen things up.
My daughter's kitten came running out of nowhere, jumped on the teddy bear like it was ready to do battle, and got FLUNG. There was a woosh and the bear and cat went flying like they're part of a very low budget space program. I'm not sure how high they went because I was already starting to laugh my tail off.
The cat and the bear hit the pool. Space Kitty was FURIOUS, my daughter was crying, and I could barely scoop the cat out of the pool because I was laughing too hard."
"I was renting a house and the previous occupants had used many, many staples to hang up plastic on the windows for winter. So before I painted the walls, I decided to get out the pliers and pull all those suckers out. I had a 3, 2 and 1-year-old in the house at the time. My hubby got home and I had an appointment, so like an idiot, I left the needle nose pliers on the sill while I went to get ready. In the meantime, my 3-year-old was potty training, so it wasn't uncommon for him to run around sans lower garments. Suddenly, I heard screaming. I came flying downstairs to find that he had clamped these pliers on to his little willy. I felt so horrible. He had a giant, blue willy for days, it hurt him even to pee. I felt like such a horrible person...he was OK, though. No lasting damage."
"One sunny day, my mom was walking down a sidewalk, heading home with my older brother, who was less than a year old at the time, in her arms. As she was nearing her home, one of her brothers jumped out of a bush to scare her, thinking it would be funny. What does my mom do? She uses my infant brother as a shield/offering. She thrusts her arms out while holding onto my brother as she screamed and clamped her eyes shut. This also caused one of the branches from the bush to stab my brother right below one of his eyes. He now bears a scar from that incident."
"When my daughter was about 6 months old, I sat her in her Bumbo seat on the kitchen table (now you know where this is going). She couldn't crawl yet but was rolling lots, and her legs were so pudgy and rolly polly, you had to tug her out of the Bumbo, so she had never escaped from it before. I was getting lunch ready for her and as I turned back around, I saw her sitting on the table, not in the Bumbo at all. She just teetered on the edge and fell, a very cliche, slow-motion fall. I LUNGED for her, arms out, leaping across the kitchen to catch her. I caught her legs, but she still hit her head/shoulders. I cried longer than she did, then called my husband at work frantic and shaking. She didn't even have a bruise, my mom ego sure did, though."
"When I was a kid, my uncle got me this awesome military surplus backpack. I thought I looked really cool wearing it, but the downside to the backpack was that it had these really long drawstrings. One morning, before school, I awoke to find my little brother had used all of my Post It notes and so clearly we needed to fight about it. I was kinda dumb but we were kids and that's kinda what we did. The whole event had put everyone in a bad mood and I rode to school in the backseat not talking to anyone.
I got out of the car and slammed the door behind me. I took two steps before I suddenly was no longer able to walk forward anymore. I turned around to see that the extra long drawstrings from my awesome new backpack were closed in the car door behind me. My mother not realizing this and still ticked about the incident in the morning floored it. The next thing I knew, I was on the asphalt, kicking the wheels of the car, trying not to get run over. You know that feeling in gym class where you slide down a rope to fast and your hands burn like crazy? Now imagine the rope is made of blacktop and instead of gripping it with your hands, you decided to use your whole body.
My mom made it the length of our school's parking lot before the number of cars honking their horns made her stop to see what was going on. I rolled out of the backpack after she stopped, covered in blood and dirt. I was completely in shock so I couldn't feel any pain yet. I remember the first thing that popped into my head was that I was wearing my favorite Mighty Ducks shirt this had totally ruined it. I totally didn't realize the gravity of the situation until everyone in the parking lot ran up to me to see if I was ok. That's when the pain started to set in..."
"About three years ago, my husband and I made plans to go out with friends for coffee. We left our 2-year-old daughter with my in-laws and took our 6-month-old daughter with us, who fell asleep on the drive there. When we got in the coffee shop, our friends asked where our girls were. We looked at each other, horrified, realizing we left our youngest in the car. They thought I was joking when I said that...until my husband ran out to the car to retrieve her. It was only a few minutes, fine weather and everything, but it has given me a lot of insight into news stories where parents leave kids places (accidentally of course - some people leave their kids knowingly). I often wonder how long our daughter might have been in the car if our friends had not inquired about her."
"When I was four, we lived on a lake with our little private beach and jetty. I was a proficient swimmer from an early age as a result and was allowed to play on the beach as long as I stayed in sight of the house. One night, Dad had a whole bunch of guys over for a Christmas party. While Mom was tending to my brother inside, I was out on the beach and it was Dad's job to keep an eye on me.
What really happened was Dad got phenomenally wasted and I climbed all over those big blue stone rocks they use as breakers. I slipped and slashed my knee open. Mom found me on the back doorstep in a pool of blood, screaming my lungs out. Dad and his friends had no idea. So she locked them out, called an ambulance, and got me to the hospital, where I was fixed up nicely 12 stitches later. I still have a nice scar 20 years later."
"My father was in the Air Force and we had just moved to Okinawa. My parents made a few friends and everyone decided to get together to welcome them to the base. Barbeque time! Awesome. They brought me along to meet the new neighbors. I was hardly 2 years old, so I was just running around getting into whatever trouble was within reach and speaking to anyone who would listen. Everyone else was sipping on their drinks and chatting in between bites.
About halfway through the get-together, I disappeared. Nobody thought anything of it because the yard was fenced off. What trouble could I get into, right? It turns out, some of that trouble that was within reach was adult beverages. While the party-goers were wandering out and mingling, I was finishing off their awesome grown-up Kool-aid. It must have been delicious, because I had been wandering around for the better part of 20 minutes, or so the story goes.
I walked up to my father, completely wasted, with the biggest grin on my face and passed out. He looked at my mother and they both thought that they were the worst parents in history. I mean, who lets their toddler get hammered like that? They scooped me up and got the heck outta there.
Obviously, being so young at the time, I can't verify the story. The embarrassment and laughter coming from them as they tell the story seems legit, though."
"One night, when my son was about 3, I left him in the bedroom watching Blue's Clues until he fell asleep. It was around 9 pm, but he had napped all day so he wasn't tired.
I had my stepmother over and we were having a drink in the kitchen, just yammering about the day and what not.
About 30 minutes later, I went to check on him and...he was gone. Not in the bedroom, not in the kitchen, not anywhere. We were looking under beds, frantically searching the basement, thinking he was maybe hiding or something.
Not. Anywhere. At. All.
As I passed by the front door, I noticed it was open a bit. His coat was hanging up but his shoes were gone. It was February in northern Alberta, so it was about -37 degrees and fricken COLD outside at 10 pm.
I was thinking, 'Nononononono,' as I grabbed my coat and dashed out of the house. I was screaming his name hysterically, running up and down the street, thinking I was going to see a car pulling over and his little body pasted on the road.
My stepmother yelled my name and waved me over about a block up the street.
Turns out, he left the house, walked down the street and crossed the street. Some old guy almost nailed him with his van. The man freaked out and took him to the nearest house, which was about two blocks from us.
I went inside, crying and freaking out, and as I walked into this stranger's house, the police arrived. I let my stepmom deal with them while I attempted to grab my kid. But he was in his terrible 3's...and there were two other kids there watching TV with him. He threw a MONSTER fit as I was trying to get his coat on. I mean, full tantrum, kicking and yelling, the works.
So there I was, dragging this screaming kid out of a stranger's house at 10 pm, smelling like I'd been drinking half the night, trying to explain to the police what had happened.
They let us go with no issues (thank CHRIST), and we went home. We never mentioned it to anyone. EVER."
"Here I was, out of town in a hotel room with an infant who needed to bathe and I had nothing safe to bathe him in. Had I been a wiser person, I probably would have opted for the bathroom sink. Instead, I got the bright idea to use the tub. I filled it less than halfway full. Everything was going fine, my son loves baths and never fusses. We were playing around and what not when I let him get on his tummy while holding him up so he can kick around a bit on the surface...but that lack of neck control...It took me a moment to realize his face was in the water. I'm cringing just thinking about it. It was only a split second, but he was so scared and crying. It probably took me a good month or two to have any confidence in my parenting skills after that. Dreadful."
"My mother and my father were so stressed about baby-proofing the house, they accidentally left the kitchen knives on a low counter next to my high chair. Months went by and I reached the age where I started my grabbing everything I could get my hands, which every kid goes through. My mother walked into the kitchen one day and almost fainted at the sight of me holding a steak knife and laughing hysterically. She said that she seriously questioned her parenting skills that day."
"When my eldest son was five, he drew a picture for his teacher on the back of some paper we were recycling. Now, it was the very early days of the Internet (1999) and I had a pen pal who I used to communicate with by email. He was severely dyslexic and as we were on dial-up, I used to print off his emails and read/decipher them at my leisure. When I'd read them, I'd put them in the recycling/scrap box.
My son picked one of these emails to do his picture on and trotted off to school quite happily to give it to his teacher. That afternoon, I got a phone call to go down and see the headmistress, who was a scary little woman. She put the fear of God into most of the parents.
I went into her office and she handed me the picture. Then she asked me to turn it over and read the email. In a nutshell, it was my friend joking about me locking the children in a cupboard and feeding them cat food. It took a while to talk myself out of that one and reassure her he was just teasing.
I didn't bother opening her office door to leave. I just crawled under it, I felt so small. After that, my son had lovely fresh and new drawing pads to produce his masterpieces on!"