The Life of Four
Off To a Good Start, Part Two: In Which We Replace "Good" With "OMG"


So, okay. On Friday I had this whole story to tell you -- one of those Classic Blog Fodder stories, in which someone (SPOILER: ME) basically ends up looking like a complete moron, start to finish. Even I'm still shaking my head at myself, trying to figure out how I manage to get through life on a daily basis without setting myself on fire or get to the grocery store without ending up in Newark.

But then Evidence To Support The Dumbass Hypothesis Exhibit 456 happened and derailed my entire day and writing process, since oh, I was a little too busy trying to explain to our pediatrician how my baby managed to accidentally burn himself with a curling iron.

Is there anything that sounds quite so inherently abusive and neglectful than a curling iron burn? Sure, knees get skinned, heads get bruised, fingers get pinched, but a curling iron burn? That's a damned Law & Order episode, right there.

It's all Noah's fault, really, as he ruined us forever by being such a SENSIBLE TODDLER. We had a couple collisions with furniture and one fall down the stairs, but he never, ever exhibited Ezra's hellbent determination to injure himself on a daily basis. The curling iron was off (but still hot, OBVIOUSLY), it was pushed a good six inches away from the edge of the bathroom sink counter, and the cord had been carefully piled on top, out of the reach of small, grabby beings.

But then a small, grabby being got up on his damn tiptoes and -- using a hairbrush I'd unwittingly traded in exchange for a moment's peace -- managed to hook the cord in the brush bristles and pull the whole thing down on himself, with the still-hot barrel of the iron scalding the crook of his elbow.

Where was his mother, you might ask? Oh, you know, she was right there, in the same room, less than a foot and a half away, even. She'd even brought him into the room with her on purpose, so he would not be free to wreak havoc elsewhere. 

In other words, yes, I was peeing.

I do have to give Ez props for his good timing, as we were headed to the pediatrician ANYWAY for Noah's four-year checkup. (Which is why the curling iron had been taken out of deep storage in the first place; I only get that fancy for people with at LEAST three framed diplomas.) And that was really fun, being all, heeeeeeyyyyy yeah can we forget about the four-year-old (yeah, the one with no skin on his knees, uh-huh) for a sec and talk about whether the little one will be requiring skin grafts? Maybe some donor tissue from MY NEGLECTFUL ASS?

(He's completely fine, obviously. Neosporin, bandage, tape, long sleeves to keep him from messing with the bandage and tape, no Cone of Shame required. Except maybe a small one, for me.)

(You may be happy to hear that Jason took the news of this injury a little better than usual. I chickened out and emailed him. Like, way after the fact. His response: Damn, he is determined.)

(I should probably mention that Ezra is not yet officially walking unassisted yet, so his range of destruction is limited to cruising along the furniture and walls and scaling over various barricades that I construct in front of stairs and reachable surfaces, and I can still easily beat his top crawling speed. I am, without a doubt, utterly terrified of what this child will be able to accomplish once he is walking.)

(Hmm. It appears that I do not have a clever finish to this entry, and am simply floundering in an endless string of parentheticals. So perhaps I should just stop typing and let you all move on with your lives, instead of forcing you to hear about another ultimately minor injury sustained by the Storch children while their mother stood helplessly by, like GOD, maybe if she actually stopped blogging about them for five minutes a day she might actually try parenting them, and this stuff wouldn't happen.)

(Eh, that sounds kind of too hard. I think I'll just wrap them up in some bubble wrap and keep them in a pen. I have pretty good Cheerio-tossing aim from over the top of my laptop.)



No words of comfort from me as I have a 13 month old in full RUNNING mode and is oh so very much unlike his big sister in that we've already had to bring him Urgent Care for face stitches due to fire place fall during which BOTH parents were chatting in the kitchen. In short: You should be afraid of walking. BUT rest assured that we're all chasing after our own little dare devils with a net that keeps thoroughly missing the mark.


Hi Amy! I started reading your blog a while back, but this is the first time I've wanted to comment.

I burned myself when I was 5 years old with my mother's curling iron! I was going to be all big and grown up and brush my own hair, which involved me reaching up (instead of waiting - read: I was the most impatient toddler ever) onto the bathroom counter and blindly flopping my hand around "looking" for my brush. Well my right wrist landed instead on my mom's totally on-for-full-heat-power which resulted in a third degree burn that went down into the muscle. I had to go to the pediatrician everyday for three weeks for a burn soak bath to regenerate the skin. I still have a huge scar on my wrist. At least Ezra won't have to explain how no, I was just a stupid kid, I did not try and kill myself.

Hope the little guy's doing well and don't worry, it happens to the best of us!


My first son pulled my HOT flat iron off my bathroom counter and burned himself when he was probably about Ezra's age. Darn those toddlers and their determination to hurt themselves. The mommy guilt never ends, does it?


Hey, it happens. My sister and I once let our brother (whom we were babysitting) fall onto the brick hearth and get this massive, ugly bruise right across his forehead, poor little guy. Our brilliant strategy for after was to attempt to convince our parents that, hey-- he had that bruise when you left, don't you remember? It worked about as well as it sounds.

Someone Being Me

Don't beat yourself up too much. I am still recovering from my 2 year old pulling down the heavy stocking holder on his head the day after Christmas last year. (He just wanted to look in the stockings again) Mind you, both of his parents and his grandparents were in the room but those toddlers are fast. He cut his head a little but those head wounds bleed a lot. I think the adults were all more traumatized than he was.


same thing happened when my son was 2.

I was done with the curling iron and in the process of putting it away and out his reach.

Quick little boy with long arms and the desire to get things he wasn't supposed to have, he grabbed the barrel.

No doctor visit required. Just motherly guilt.


Maybe you guys should move into one of those MoonWalks! You could have a two story moon walk with inflatable furniture. It would be awesome.


You know he'll find a way to get hurt popping the bubble wraps.


Don't worry, I was 18 when I gave myself 2nd degree burns on my butt, by laying on a heating pad while totally cracked out on muscle relaxers for my spasming back.

Darned kids. we get into trouble so easily.

And, added bonus? My parents had to bandage my butt. Humiliating.


Ouch! Ezra DOES sound determined! I envy your curling-iron skillz- I have never, ever been able to use one without creating that awful dent at the end. I know, it's pathetic.

Sprite's Keeper

What those second borns won't do to get some attention, huh? Glad he's okay!

Megan@Blueberry Scones

My cousin totally burned herself on a hot pan when she was about Ezra's age. She's fine and just went off to college (I mean, this happened like 17 years ago. It wasn't like she was burned by a magic pan that got her crazy-smart and she's one of those kid geniuses or anything).


Once when I was 2 1/2, my mother was cooking on the grill, she turned her back for a split second, and guess which little punk decided run over and place BOTH hands firmly on top of the hot metal? That's right, THIS GIRL. I don't remember anything about the accident itself, but I DO remember crying, and then I also remember having this seafoam green tupperware bowl filled with ice water that I had to soak my hands in for a week or two. I can still see the blisters on my hands - I swear they were the size of eggs (at least, they were egg-sized in my two-year-old mind). It's the earliest memory I have, which, you gotta say, is a pretty awesome one. Anyway, I say all that to say this - even with my Mars-sized blisters, my hands look completely normal today, you'd never know there had been any burns whatsoever, and aside from the year 2004 when I went kind of crazy, I turned out okay despite the OMGBURN!TRAUMA.


Yikes. A story to make you feel better...
My sister and I were once babysitting our parents' friend's daughter, while they were in town from London and our parents went out. My sister decided it would be a brilliant idea to style this 5 year old girl's hair, this girl that was very timid and hesitant about us babysitting in the first place. Well. My sister got the round brush stuck in her tangly hair... asked me to help... I got it stuck even more. I mean to the point that we thought she'd either have to get a haircut or go to the emergency room. Sooo... we called our moms, all three of us crying I'm sure.


Ummm...yeah, so my 11-month-old 'fell' out of his high chair this weekend, somehow while I was in the same room, paying attention to him. I don't think I clicked the tray and in the one moment my back was turned, he pushed/kicked the tray off and slithered out. He has an awesome greenish bruise on his forhead. My husband's response: I'm surprised this is the first time.


Yep, my FEARLESS 17 month old has cuts and bruises on his face for everyday last week. Oh, and he has been dropped down the stairs, cartwheeled off the bed, etc. Makes you feel so quilty but they have a freakin' death wish. We just have to keep them from killing their foolish little selves.

Heather Ben

hey - if it makes you feel better...(i'll preface this by saying everything is okay)...when i was about 6-7 months old a grease fire started in a pan and when my mom moved across the kitchen to the sink to put it out in the faucet i was (of course) underfoot and the pan spilled on to me. Luckily, it went on my hand and elbow (so easily could have been on the face...) and i was so young i don't remember any of it. one of my hands is scared but it really isn't that noticable by now so alls well that ends well. but, my mom tells me that she was so horrified that my aunt had to come from down the street and drive us to the ER.


My 6 1/2-year-old is like Noah--SPD, generally cautious, never much thought about getting into stuff. We figure that means our second (on the way) will be like Ezra. Couple that with the fact that our first-born is just now really getting into things (and he's taller! and can take things apart!), and I hate to think what our household will look like in 16 months.


Oh, yes, just wait. Walking makes things 750 % worse. I can no longer allow my 17 month old anywhere in my apartment, and tend to confine him in a 5x5 foot area for most of the day (JUST KIDDING). Although just the other day I had to save him from the moving wheels of a Toyota 4x4, he is usually fine as long as I am firm when I say "WE DON'T TOUCH HOT STOVES/OPEN DIAPER CREAM CONTAINERS/CARVING KNIVES/THE PENNY JAR!!!".

Good luck with the whole walking thing!!! It's a blast!!!


Then there was the time that my brother got his tongue stuck to the icecube maker. Why, brother Daniel, are you licking the icecube maker?

Because his tongue hurt. From where he burnt it on the curling iron.

It should be noted that my brother was old enough to reach the top-of-the-box freezer with his tongue when said incident occurred.


Maybe this is just a second boy child thing? Callum is like Ezra - I have found him on top of the gas stove in the kitchen... Hope you both feel better soon.


When my daughter was 3, we stopped by a friends house...(WHO ALSO HAD SMALL CHILDREN)

Apparently, in her house, it's cool to use a straitening iron IN THE FREAKING living room...where the kids run and play. Needless to say, my barefoot child was running into the kitchen and stuck her foot right into the iron...her entire bottom of her foot was blistered.

I was pissed..I was like WHO the hell does their hair in the living room? My friend was just like kids know not to touch it.

I didn't talk to her for a while.


Curling iron? Flat iron? People still use those? I knew there was a reason I never bother to style my hair. It's for my child's safety.


My 3 and 5 year old were goofing off in the bedroom and hallway. The 3 year old swung the bedroom room open just as the 5 year old leaned in towards it--hits him right in the eye. I have to send him to his first day of school with a giant black eye and the explanation that he ran into the door knob! I was certain DSS would be calling that afternoon!

Bachelor Girl

So very, very true: my best blog stories come from me making a complete ass of myself.

Fortunately, I do that a lot.


When I was his age, or maybe a few months older, I escaped my bed at the mountain house where we were vacationing, and pulled a container full of kerosene off of the dresser and onto my face. Though they were fairly certain that the kerosene only landed in one of my eyes, I still had to sport eye patches for several days. Mom had some good times explaining that one to the ER doc.


Two days ago I was sitting on the couch with my 2.75 year old. He somehow managed to slither sideways and down between the couch and the coffee table. I grabbed his arm to yank him up and cracked his head on the table. Nice green bruise next to the scar from stitches from when he faceplanted on a rock, at daycare.


When I was in Kindergarten my mother completely toasted my neck with a hot glue gun. Still have the scar... it ruined me!


I'm calling CPS right after I pull my kids' fingers from the light socket.


I'm pretty sure we have the same kids. My son is all mellow and never got into things. My daughter is...ummm...determined. She has been uninvited to my sisters house (jokingly - she still watches them 2 days a week) and is not allowed around chairs unless she is strapped in.

My daughter has 2 bruises - one under each eye. I was already embarrassed by my bad parenting. Then my husband asked me what happened. I told him she feel on a chair... twice.

That is something straight out of law and order - kid with 2 black eyes. mom says they "feel on a chair."

Jessica (@It's my life...)

I once cringed at the pediatrician's during a well baby visit and swore up and down that the bruises on my toddler's legs were self inflicted. She kindly told me that she only worries about the kids without bruises.
Go Amy! Letting Ezra explore the world! Let's see... today he learned that sometimes wisdom is HOT HOT HOT!


So, not your intention, but I just ran over my $200 stroller in a parking lot full of onlookers and this story made me feel better.
I knew I could count on you :)!!!
Feel better, Ezra!

Tracy H

I'm glad Ezra is okay, but I want to hear the story about you looking like a moron. I will laugh with you, not at you ;0)

Kate F.

Yeah, some kids are just determined to get into panic-inducing trouble. There is a popular story in our family about me, at 16 or 18 months, taking upon myself to:
1. Climb up onto the kitchen counter
2. Open the child-proofed cabinet door
3. Find the child-proof bottle of iron pills
4. Open it
5. Eat all the pills and sit smugly on the counter with the empty bottle.

At the ER they told my mom they could pump my stomach but the bottle of ipecac that she kept in her purse for just such occasions would do fine.

Don't be too hard on yourself.


When my (now 21 Y.O.)second born son was a toddler he put his nose on a lit lightbulb to see if it was hot. Dunno why he didn't use his finger, but his brother thought the burned nose was hilarious and called him Rudolph for months. A few years later he ran through a storm door and almost cut his nose in half. Fortunately the doc was pretty good with his stitches - hardly any scar at all. Second sons are definitely a handful.


my sister poured an entire pot of hot coffee on my head once, by accident. (Long story) I like to say she 'poured' it. more like i 'ran' into it. Anyway, I survived. totally fine. don't beat yourself up about it. unless you WANT someone to graft your ass skin.


Oh wow. I was going to write a comment about how I had a dream with you guys in it last night - Ezra and Noah fell thru a trap door into a river and I managed to catch them right before you fell down and I yelled "STORCH!" at you....but now I'm just going to say this story and all of these comments are really making me scared to have a toddler. My 8 month old is still very immobile, for which I thank the lord, and I'm terrified for the day she pitches herself down the stairs. Eep! Glad Ezra wasn't too hurt!


"....donor tissue from my neglectful ass" = the funniest thing I have ever read


This happened to us too, with my little destructo-machine when he was 9 months old. Sooooo horrified -- He couldn't even pull up yet. He was playing at my feet while I got ready, and then I stepped out to spray my hair (so it wouldn't fall all over him and he wouldn't breathe in the toxic chemicals that I was stupidly so preoccupied with that I didn't stop to think of the curling iron cord!) and he scooched over to the cord pulled down and rolled on top of it with his arm. I won the horrified, lame-o parent award that month, for sure. He's nearly 6 years now and we've both managed to survive. Hang in there.


Yeah, that age seems determined to hurt themselves, don't they? When I was Ezra's age I'd just discovered standing, and was able to pull myself up in the bath using the hot tap - which I then proceeded to turn on, giving myself second degree burns on wrist and ankle. I still have scars, but I quite like them, to be honest. So to echo others: he'll be fine. And I can understand your embarrassment at the doctor's, but I think most paediatricians are used to kids' self-destructive ways!

Amy in Oz

Heh, don't be too hard on your-fabulously-curled-hair-self. Scenario from this weekend away with my sister & her family:
Nephew, Age 4, in bath: Hey Amy! Look at what this thing does!! *submerging strange object in bath water & watching bubbles issue forth in an obviously amazing and exciting fashion*
Amy: Yeah! Wow! Hey..what IS that...thi....OMFG! No, no, no, never put electrical items in the bath! EVER! NEVER EVER! EVER! Where did you get that?! OMFG! *Amy discovers it's a HAIR DRYER (unplugged for those at home)*
Nephew, Age 4: Cousin, Age 2 (yes, my daughter...sigh) got it out of the cupboard and put it in here for me!

My heart still has that spiky/sick 'Gee that could have been properly, um...fatal?!' feeling.

Debbie S.

Sounds like your house has a bad case of SCS (second child syndrome)!! My first son (second child) got 5 different sets of stitches before he was three years old!! I was so afraid the e.r. was going to call DYS, that I actually thought about trying to stitch him up myself!! Just couldn't figure out how to get that leg under the presser foot of the sewing machine!!


When my firstborn super special snowflake was seven months old, he put his hand on the open oven door. Aaauugh. He is fourteen, and I can still hear that little gasp from around calf level, and it still makes my knees weak. He had just crawled faster than I'd expected. I WAS RIGHT THERE, stirring the potatoes in the oven.
Anyhow, he had some fairly ugly burns, as you can imagine, so after a trip to the ER and many many tears (he cried some, too), he was all salved and bandaged up. His little hand was wrapped up like a wee prizefighter.
Next day I was in the grocery store with my son and a woman with about a hundred grubby children asked me what happened to my BABY. I told her, and she grunted and pointed at one of her kids. "Yeah, I dropped the iron on that one last week. I don't even take 'em into the doc anymore."
My point is that we all know you're not the scary woman at the grocery store. Sorry you both got wounded. Feel better fast.


Haha, Kate, are you sure we weren't the same child? In addition to my kerosene to eyes incident, I also ate a bottle of strawberry flavored vitamins. Only I took them into my bedroom and shared them with my younger brother.

Jen L.

How convenient that you were going to the doctor anyway! Things worked out for us that way on the day of my son's 9 month well baby appointment. I slipped and the two of us fell down the stairs that morning. We were fine (especially him, what with the baby fat rolls for padding), but it was good to have the doctor check him out anyway. For the record, i did NOT curl my hair that day.


My husband was peeing the other day and wanted to know why the little screw knobby things that are normally under the toilet were on top of it. I told him the baby was playing with them so I took them away. While I was peeing. He got all indignant with me and wanted to know why she was playing in the dirtiest part of the house. The alternative is that she play with the flat iron. Seriously, what do these men think we do all day? We make the best choices we can, morons.


That kind of stuff is why we set our table w/ knives in the middle. Not that I have known any cruising baby to reach up and grab a steak knife (gently, I don't know how, but thank god it was gently) by the blade and me pleading in that creepy whisper-y voice for her to give it nicely to mama.


Just know that your cautionary tales do do some good.

I still do not sit down at the toilet without making sure the iPhone is out of my back pocket. Yes. Thanks to you.


When Drew was 15 months old he darted to the open oven while I flipped pork chops and placed both palms down on the inside of the oven door. I grabbed him but the damage was done. I couldn't even get cold water out of the faucet because it was August in Georgia and there is no cold water in the pipes. I had to use ice knowing full well he'd lose a lot of skin. Gross...gross...gross.
We had to use super antibiotic cream on is hands and tape with gauze for a week. He was not happy. My husband made me feel like a criminal...but I had moved him halfway across the house before opening the oven. Kid was speedy.

Mariana Perri

I just have one thing to say: "Boy, do I feel better about myself now!!!"
At least I know for sure that I am not the only "awful parent" in the world.
My 20 month old is actually pretty calm and alll, but I have managed:
1) to fall asleep with her on my bed and woken up to the sound of her pretty little head hitting the ground!
2) let her unattended for 5 minutes on one of those rocking chair for small tiny babies thing and found her looking somewhat like a turtle under the tipped over apparatus! (she was only 4 months old then!)
3) Trade off her stroller, with her sleeping in it, for a complete stranger's shopping cart, and only notice that about 5 minutes later! (do not worry people, I recovered my bundle!)
4) pull her elbow out of place while trying to heroically save her from rolling off a park bench!
Need any more???
In Portuguese we say that to be a mother is to rest in heaven... I just don't believe the resting part!lol


I think it's called delurking? Anyway, have been reading you for some time and after today's post just had to tell you that you make my 58-year-old ass laugh out loud. And that is priceless. Thank you. And hey--you're a great mom with a wonderful family.


I have your solution here:

Hum. Maybe it's a good thing I never had kids.


We've all done something similar.



My now-ten-month-old managed to scoot off the Highest Bed in the World while I was changing him at my parents' house when he was about seven months old. He routinely crawls under the coffee table and tries to sit up. The other day, he sat down too hard and bit the inside of his cheek hard enough to draw blood with his four little teeth. And those last two things? They happened essentially in a pen. We have an enclosure that we use to cordon off the living room part of our great room (read: shotgun house) because it's all we could manage to babyproof and even in there he manages one or two head-bumps/cheek-bites/shutting-his-fingers-in-the-door-of-the-video-cabinet-because-oh-he-has-to-empty-the-video-cabinet-every-day-or-the-world-will-ends a week. And every time we try removing a piece of furniture or putting a big basket of toys in front of the video cabinet, he finds something new to bump his head on. And it's always on my watch because my husband? He is about head bumps how Jason is about skinned knees.

Parsing Nonsense

Don't feel bad! It sounds like he really is just determined to go caterwauling through life headfirst. It'll be fun to see what foibles he gets himself into later.

If it makes you feel better, I was watching my niece and narrowly missed her sticking a key into an electrical socket. It was the one outlet they hadn't covered because it was very tall, but she stood on her tippies and was about four inches from a nice little shock.

Kids. Taking years off caregivers' lives since forever.


Cone of Shame! I use that reference all the time and no one ever gets it. For a while I thought I was the only one who saw UP! (and I work with kids). Yay!


My son, who is 11 months also, just did something similar with a bowl of hot soup last week. He now has lovely second degree burns on his legs. THEN, when we were at a follow-up doctor's appointment on Friday, he manged to leap off the exam table OUT OF MY ARMS, with both the doctor and I right there. And I do mean right there, you know how tiny those exam rooms are. I nearly had a heart attack and came close to crying right along with him, but managed to look at the doc and say "Guess I'm not winning any parenting awards this week!" instead. He's fine, by the way...not even a bump from his death-defying leap onto the linoleum.


Kids are terrifying and apparently determined to break themselves. My middle son fell down a flight of stairs when he was 11 months old (he'll be 4 in December) and was, amazingly, God-blessingly, unharmed. Just a little surprised. I am still grateful to my husband for how he reacted to that phone call, telling me that as long as the baby was okay, everything was fine; I was sure I was going to win some sort of Worst Mother Ever award for that one.

You were being ultra-responsible; it's too bad Ezra didn't get the no-grabbing-things-off-the-counter memo. I'm glad he's okay and hope you are too!


Every time my child injured himself, I was one foot away. Sprayed dirt with trowel onto open eyeballs, one foot away. Fell off of playground equipment five minutes after summer camp dropoff, I was still in parking lot. Bashed nose into back of another kids skull, while I was watching from the other side of the play area at Chik Fil A. they are too fast!! it just happens!! its not like he fell into an open pool while you were painting your toenails in the house.... besides, at least he's active and curious, right?? Remember, there's really no award for mother of the year, is there?


At least you tried to keep the curling iron out of his reach! Not so my own mother... (My mom was curling my hair one Sunday before church and she dropped the curling iron on my leg. I still have the scar!)

Loretta S.

I was totally wondering if you curl your hair on a daily basis until I hit the explanation. I was this close to being awed by your perseverance in curling your hair to stay at home with the kids.


I'm not sure who this is more embarrassing for, me or my aunt, but when I was maybe 7-ish, I SAT on my aunt's curling iron. Because she kept it on a CHAIR, which is of course the first place one thinks of to put such a thing. I ended up with a hellish burn on the back of my leg (it was summer, had shorts on, it was. . . it was very bad).

Not sure where I'm going with this, but at least your curling iron was where it belonged. And Ezra will be fine, as I eventually was, although I couldn't sit down comfortably for a while. His burn is more conveniently located than that, thankfully!


When I visit my friend who has BOYS she has always insisted that when I am done with my curling iron I unplug it and then run the barrel part under cold water. She taught me that when the same thing almost happened when I was there once.

I don't know how good that is for the curling iron, but I always have cheap ones and it never seems to bother them.


Being of the non-parent variety, personally, I've been told by many a parental friend that I worry more about their kids than they do.

I'm told that when you're a parent you get used to keeping one eye on them all the time and not hovering...

I think I'd be a wreck!

The comments to this entry are closed.