Adventures in Cloth Diapering, Part Whatever: 18 (FREAKING) Months Later
Family Homemade Chaos Night

For His Next Trick: BIKER GANG

First you spend nine neurotic months obsessing over your diet and kick counts and whether that weird twinge in your leg is a cramp or a symptom of Acute Doomed Pregnancitis. Then you give birth to your preshus snowflake treasur and realize that HO HO HO, your pregnancy fears were strictly bush league. Shit just got real, bitch, because the entire world is basically out to injure or murder your baby and you are completely powerless to do anything about it.

Welcome to parenthood. IT ONLY LASTS FOREVER.

But then, maybe, you start calming down a little, or at least pushing the most obsessive and irrational of your fears aside. Your hormones don't stay jacked up to 11, and you start to see that chilling the hell out is a necessary survival mechanism. You'd be miserable and anxious and completely insufferable otherwise. And then maybe you have another baby, and then another one, who are both also preshus irreplaceable snowflake treasurs too, but now you're simply too preoccupied with their whining about juice and boredom and who touched who to worry about much else.

So you start letting them play outside with their friends, sans helicoptering parental supervision, and stop closing all the baby gates since everybody has proven themselves fairly adept at getting up and down the stairs safely. Your toddler gets himself in and out of his chair by himself, and you deem this to actually be a helpful skill and allow it to happen on the regular. You decide it's not really that big of a deal if you find him sitting on the dining room table, and most of the time when he goes upstairs by himself he simply plops down by a bookshelf to read for awhile. And why get het up over the sight of him carrying a bottle of dishwasher detergent around? It's not like he can OPEN it or anything. He just thinks it's a fetching purse.


(Okay, so MAYBE the chewing on the underside of someone else's filthy shoe was worthy of some intervention, in retrospect. PERHAPS.)

Anyway, my point it: It is at this PRECISE MOMENT, after your children have collectively and methodically beaten down your guard and hyper-aware spidey-sense, that one of them will go on a goddamn Injury Rampage Parade to see just how many times he can injure his fool self in a single weekend. 

On Friday, Ike took a spectacular tumble on a playdate and bruised up his cheek and one of his legs. He fell on...a toy? Some furniture? YOU ASK LIKE I WAS WATCHING AT THE TIME.

But, you know, he really was just fine.

On Saturday, he fell down the stairs. The non-carpeted stairs. All the way, top to bottom, ass over teakettle and back over again. I heard the initial thumps and thought: Please be books. Please be the box of hand-me-down shoes. Please be a collection of priceless Ming vases that I had no idea we owned, just PLEASE DON'T BE THE BABY. 

I dashed from my spot on the couch to the foyer (YEAH YEAH I KNOW OKAY) and got there just as he landed head-first and on his stomach. We stared at each other for a few surprised seconds before the screaming began. (From him. I mostly managed to stick with some top-volume soothing-type noises.)

But, you know, he really was just fine.

On SUNDAY, he randomly faceplanted and bit the sidewalk. Just: Bam. Flat. One second he was struttin' his diapered swag and the next he was bleeding from his nose while a goose egg formed on his forehead. Jason was RIGHT next to him and I was all of three steps behind and we still have no real idea what happened. Sucker punch. Bar fight. Him and that sidewalk had words


But, you know, he really was just fine.





AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! My 11 month old is just starting to get really mobile and keen on risk-taking, so this is really relevant for me right now. Yesterday he climbed onto the bed and then launched himself off it face-first. I cried harder than he did. Thanks for letting me know that it gets easier (and also way harder, in other way).


Thank you for this! I have been worried for several months now that it's just my kid who is ALWAYS getting injured. She's 19 months old and every 2-3 weeks it's something new. A swing to the face (her fault). A block to the face (fighting with another kid and he let go, so I guess she won). One day involved a tumble at daycare, scary phone call about open wound, blood, maybe stitches, and I was in the car driving 90 miles an hour to get to her side only to find her eating a cookie and seeming just fine.

Yes - they are resilient, but still takes years off our lives


This is my future as a mom to a boy, isn't it? Oh damn. I should start stocking up on Xanax now, yes?


Owen, at 16 months old, is JUST like this suddenly. he's got bruises on his legs from .... banging a toy into it? he about fell off a PIANO at the children's museum on Saturday (one of the kinds that's about a foot off the floor, but still) and his preferred wardrobe choice for going down the stairs on his tummy? nakedness.

which ... ouch.


Yes! It's nice to know that I'm not the only former hovering-now-allowing parent. My youngest has been going upstairs by herself to her room to read since she was at least a year old, and my 4 year old has been playing outside by himself for a year and a half. They sometimes get bumps and bruises, but I think that's better than me standing over them and watching them 24/7. Plus it cuts down on all the yelling, because if I don't see him throw dirt on his sister then it didn't happen and I don't have to reprimand him. Also my sanity is much improved.

(Glad Ike is just fine!)


OMG, in that second-to-last picture, Ike is all sweet, sweet baby, and then he grins and poof, the baby is gone and he's all boy!

I think my youngest (and third) had her argument with the sidewalk at around the same age. She lost. It must be a thing.


My almost two year old is a walking accident with no fear or common sense. Or sense of balance. He falls when standing still. He fell of the first step of the bleachers at his older brother's soccer practice and got a bloody nose. TWICE. I give daycare an accident report from home so they know what happened there and what happened under the watchful eye of his mother.


Tis my recollection (yea though it may be foggy) that they go through a clumsy phase a few times? Where their gross motor skills seem to just FAIL...


I remember when my first was that age and I was so worried that someone would think I'd abused her or something. the third round of toddler vs everything, I'd realized that they ALL LOOK LIKE THAT all the freaking time.

He's a cute beat up wee dude.


I'm just thinking it's a good think you already did your holiday family photos ;)


Yeah for kids being tough! (Mom of 4 boys)


I have one just like that! I just stay out of his way now - kid's a disaster. I don't want him to take me down with him.


Boys..... :) Or maybe toddlers. Or maybe both.

Funny story, my Dad was apparently accident prone for his entire childhood and there are years (YEARS) of school pictures where his face is scratched up and he has at least a bandage or two on his face.


A very timely post, as my eight month old is newly mobile and has decided to HAVE WORDS with both friction and gravity. Repeatedly, and at the same time. And yes, one conversation involved stairs. Thanks for the reassurance!


My son has just started pulling up on stuff and wobbling his way between the couch and the coffee table. This weekend he tried to pull himself up on this built-in vanity thing in our room, fell, hit his forehead on the corner and got a huge lump and bruise. It was his first injury and I'm not sure which of us was more upset. That shocked cry/scream he let out took years off my life. Years! But he seems fine too.


Yup our eldest was our rambunctious precocious climber/adventurer. I found him standing on the dining room table one morning (he snuck downstairs without me knowing). He took on our carpeted stairs more times then I could count and of course they faced away from us so no matter where you were in the house you couldn't see them. Ever hear the bump thump from inside the garage...we had to buy DH a new drill when he pitched it when he was racing into the house while I fast walked as I knew by the time I got there it would be too late to save him from the stairs.

But alas they are boys (I have 2) and they heal mighty nicely but they just don't learn that stairs..they will bite..and gravity it will prevail.


LOL - my almost 2 year old (I'm sick of counting months) fell head first off the couch the other day while reaching for her precious bunny that had fallen... my first instinct was to laugh - which I did - followed promptly by lots of cuddles, kisses, soothing sounds and a head to toe inspection from Dr Bunny.


ERMAGERD. My baby brother had a goose egg on his head from the ages of 18 months to approximately 3. My parents were worried about permanent deformation but "the bump" eventually healed and he's a relatively presentable young adult.


The uncarpeted stairs. Holy fuck in all that is fuckable, I am telling you the damn 12 yr old on the stairs still freaks me out sometimes. I am so serious. And now my vision of Ike going ass over feet more than once? SOOOOOOOOO NOT GOOD I'MA HAVE TO EAT THE REST OF THIS PIZZA TO CALM MAHSELF DOWN NOW.

Zaid is not much of a faller. Yet. It's coming. He is so uncoordinated and the times that he has fallen are always, you guessed it: me watching tv not in the same room as him; me on the phone not in the same room as him; me probably gone to the grocery store NOT REALLY. I'm glad he's just fine though and that smile says it all. Give him some Life Savers. When I was 5 I burned the back of my leg on my parents' friend's exhaust pipe. It literally burned a circle of skin off of my shin back (the back of my leg? It's my shin. Except on its back. Shin back SHUT UP.) Anyway, as I commandeer your comments w/a story of my Missing. Pus. Bubbling. Girl. Screaming. Neighbors. Wondering are they beating that girl with an extension cord again, we should call the people. My mother gave me Life Savers. All crying ceased. I have no memory of what happened next. The burn scar is still there. The end.

(I wish my mama had a blog in 1978 so that I could know what happened later.) (Also, the world wants to injure, murder, and randomly abduct our children. Stay on guard.)


My 3.5 year old is this accident prone. My 20 month? not so much, but she's TRYING SO HARD


I don't know how no one has commented yet on how much Ezra looks like a teenager in that apple-eating, hanging-by-the-locker-80's-movie-heartthrob-style photo.

shin ae

Ha! It was this phase that had me very unironically searching for baby helmets online.

My younger son took a tumble down a set of wooden stairs like that when he was a year old. I'm not sure my heart has worked quite right since.


oh, Ike. you and your 6 million teeth are just too preshus
glad he survived his weekend of many falls. they live to scare the shit out of us.


Those first 3 paragraphs were the best part of my day.

Amelia Sprout

I tell myself the gates are mostly for the dog.

I remember the first time my oldest fell down the stairs. I just about had a heart attack. I watched it happen, like in slow motion, from either up or down from her. I can't even remember. I just remember head over foot insanity.
My first, totally cautious about everything. My second, total nutter. She is an ongoing lesson in letting go.

Suzy Q

Oh, poor baby! And yes, I mean you. Ike? Whoo boy.

Good thing he's not in school yet or CPS would be all up in your grill. Happened to my sister when her klutzy daughter gave herself a black eye by falling over...whatever it was. Can't remember.


I know this post is about Ike but I agree with Lori - OMG Ezra looks SO grown up in that picture! So so very grown up!


That boy is growing! My boys are very very clumsy when they are growing... the eldest will be 10 on Saturday and just tripped walking down 1 step ... le sigh...


I don't have children yet - but when I do I hope to god I am one step behind sometimes. Kids these days (teens I see mostly) are far too coddled by their parents they have never even scraped a knee. I work at a University and I have never heard so much whining in my life. It's good for kids to bang themselves up every now and then! ;)


Oh my. THIS. The first paragraph might actually be the most hilarious (and true) piece of advice I have ever heard.


Amy, I have commented before but my email has changed.

I loved this post. My first, a daughter (not that it matters) was cosseted. I swear her first words should have been 'be careful' (like that helps an 18 month old).

She grew into a fearless, somewhat accident prone adult (4 broken wrists, one ankle fracture, numerous sprains, bone bruises and goodness knows what else.

My second, a son, is fearless. I had no time to hover. He would fall, pick himself up and move on. He is still like that at 14.

Give them their head (as you have done) and they will be fine.

I take no responsibility for my beautiful daughter's tendencies. I will love her nonetheless (and none of these injuries occurred during high risk activity, unless you consider recess high risk!

Kudos to you all for raising fine, fearless and adorable boys!

Lynda M O

It's amazing how totally resilient the little buggers are. I have got three all grown-42, 35, and 27-and they've managed to survive war, animals, drought, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards and gah knows what else.

Love them, ice their injuries and teach them good sense.


I'm with Arnebya. The 12-yr-old at the top of the stairs. Oy. But, once you've suggested enough times that "ice skating" in socks at the top of the wood stairs isn't a good idea, the day it comes you get "I'm fine" through gritted teeth and held-back tears. Then, you don't have to say "I told you so," you can be the parent and sympathize because you know you've done dumb stuff, too.

Oh, and, that Ike kid? CUTECUTECUTE!!


Amy, you are a tried and true mama of three boys....I love it! (from the mom of two boys who is thinking about having a third soon - which will most definitely be a boy)


About 3 wks ago, 20 month old took 4 running steps,fell and hit this little decorative spindle on our chair,instant 2 inch high goose egg, ER wanted to do CAT scan but we chose the wait for 3 hrs & see option. He was fine. We came home, husband ran to neighbor's to borrow saw & sawed off all spindle things on chairs,but I think its just the beginning of the boy bruises. Can't saw-sand everything.


Shortly after moving to a new state and the DAY BEFORE he would meet his new pediatrician for a check up, my 15-month-old did one of those face-meets-pavement-for-no-reason moves. He was upright and walking, then he was on the ground with bruises and scrapes all over his face. But he's a second kid, which means he was back risking life and limb on the play structure 2 minutes later. But I was a little worried about having the Dr. call family services on me, though :-) (My first was super cautious, by my second is a DAREDEVIL!!)


Thank you for writing this! You are so damn funny.


I LOVE this post! You've perfectly described the paranoia that comes with being a new mom, and while my little one is only 6 months (hence making me still a bit irrational and lots batshit crazy) I can totally remember when my siblings reached that durable age and my parents didn't keep the eagle eye on them. Sending this link to all my friends and including it in my blog's Friday recap! Thanks for a great read!


neth the lawyer

Thanks forthe post.Yes Because your kid was growing up. Their need a lot of intension.|They will not stay in one placeonly they want to go out play out side if they see outside playing they want also to go out and play with them.


Growth spurt. That's my diagnosis.


We have a similar scraped-nose-and-lip situation going with my 15-month-old here. She's recently increased her pace from zombie walk to toddler jog, and her coordination hasn't quite caught up. She face-planted (and skidded) at the playground this weekend, and has the scabs to show for it now.

Good thing we already got the Santa pic, right?!


This makes me feel so much better about parenting! Thanks for being so awesomely honest.


Hoss was notorious for falling or bumping or whatever right before either picture day or a big family party. In first grade, he was jumping on his bed and fell into the headboard, hitting right below his left eye. I sent a message to his teacher right away about the bruising so that she wouldn't think I gave him the shiner. She responded the next day with a message about how proud Hoss was of his black eye, and how much his classmates loved hearing about his exploits.


A few weeks ago the 19month old decided to Thursday: Bump cheek on the edge of the bed. Bruised. Sunday: face plant on slide. Splatted nose and forehead bump (same side as cheek bruise). Monday night: Face first(why, boy child, must you use your face to break your fall?!) Evel Kinneaval style fall off the back of the wheely caterpillar ride on toy on which he was standing. Bleeding Nose. Tuesday: explanation to nursery as to why my offspring looks like he's been playing Shinty.

Meh it's all a bendy educational thing (learning curve). Not sure who for most at the moment.

Ike is so cute though - even with his wee skint nose. Also I love how Ezra is just standing watching his brother chew on a shoe.

Sonja E

Confession: With baby number three I was too lazy to get a baby gate for the staircase. The hardwood 14 step staircase. Yeah. He fell down the stairs at 9 months old. And yeah, I totally felt like shit. But he survived... and he seems relatively smart at the age of two. So all is well! So far, at least.


This sounds so much like my life (except I only have two boys). The safety lock on the kitchen cupboard broke a couple of months ago, and I didn't bother to replace it because my 2 year old had already figured out how to open it on his own. So far he hasn't tried to eat the capsules of dishwasher detergent. Today I watched as he did a hand stand against the wall and did such a powerful face plant that I was expecting blood. He cried, but recovered about 4 seconds after I gave him one of those ouchy pads (weird plastic bag filled with blue gel that you keep in the fridge). They are shockingly resilient.


My daughter is always, always getting injured. She's just so clumsy, she can't help it. The biggest reason is that when she trips, she doesn't hold her hands out to catch her fall; she catches her fall with her face.

So she's had to have stitches now twice (she's 4) in the face for splitting it on first a pitcher and this last week a chair. Not to mention all the times she's been scuffed up.

Glad to know we're not alone, a few times afterwards I've wondered what the random people think in the grocery store when they see the stitches or so forth. I always have to explain in a morbid amount of detail to total strangers.


Ohmygod. This had my heart thumping the whole time. Thank goodness he's ok! Thank goodness for that last shot of his smiling beat up mug.

Tina C.

TOO TRUE!! nothing beats the "backwards cannonball" that totally failed. but I WAS NOT THE PARENT ON DUTY!! so i get to lord that one forever.


You're very funny. And to relive my 18 & 21 year old boys through your humor is priceless. Merry Christmas


Seriously, why HASN'T Crocs created a line of teething toys? Even my now 4 yo still loves a good strap gnawing now and again...

LOVE having to tell the preschool teachers that no, the older wasn't in a bar fight (got a branch in the face on a hike) and the younger one - well, we have no idea what raised that goose egg on his noggin, but he's not complaining...

smart aleck

The things I have to look forward to. I just wanted to stop by and say thanks--I've been reading your week by week pregnancy blog while pregnant with my first kid, and it's refreshingly honest in a not scary way!
I remember weird injuries as a kid--falling into the (empty) bathtub my neighbors kept in their backyard as a drinking trough for their horses. In suburbia--it was true but the teacher gave me an I think you're on crack look. Before crack was invented (late 70s).

I also followed the link over to your post about flying Virgin to Blogher and laugh/cried my way through it. Disappointed that the comments were closed, so rambling here instead. I'm so glad you survived the process and glad they took care of you!


My daughter is now 6, but I will never forget the heart-stopping sound of her 3-year-old self falling allllll the way down my (wood) stairs. Nor will I forget asking her if she "hit anything" & her responding "I HIT EVERYTHING!!"

Nor, now that I know she was fine (& enough time has passed), will I forget the fact that there was a PAUSE, mid-fall, of about 5 seconds. Too short for me to recover from my shock/horror to get to her, but enough for her to catch herself for a few seconds, mid-fall. So it was THUD THUMP THUD :::paaaauuuse::: THUMP THUD THUD THUMP.

And... I will now also totally admit (aforementioned "she was ultimately just fine" withstanding, obvs), that to this day I can't think of that freakin' pause without laughing my ass off. SO CLOSE, KID!! ALMOST SAVED YOURSELF!!

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