Real Talk – My oldest daughter fell out of the trampoline and it was my fault

Real Talk is the space where I plan to talk about the less flattering side of mothering. I feel like a lot of the things I read highlight Pinterest arts and crafts, healthy meals, and conflict resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I am all of those things too, but sometimes things just happen. I want the blog to be a place where I share, acknowledge, and work through the mistakes or disappointments in parenting. So why not share my first of many bloopers. Yes, you read correctly, Saturday night my daughter and I were jumping on the trampoline and I jumped her the biggest most exciting jump, only to watch her fall out of an unzipped entrance. I will start at the beginning.

After dinner and before bedtime we all jump on the trampoline. Lets get real, this has only started in the last two weeks and will probably end the moment quarantine lifts, but for now its a staple in our routine. We file outside, bring the soft sensory balls, set the timer, and throw them at each other for a silly five minutes. It always ends up being girls against boys, leaving my husband to be slammed in the face by ball after ball. We laugh and jump while getting out all the pent up energy and sometimes resentment. Saturday was no different, everyone headed out to the trampoline while I made a pit stop at the bathroom, I had a 9+ lb baby. As I was walking up David was carrying Talya back inside with a poopy diaper. I replay those moments over and over in my head. I beat myself up as the image of her flying onto the concrete is burned into my eyes. Why didn’t I immediately zip the net? Why did I think we wouldn’t jump? I even blame David, why didn’t he remind me? Why didn’t he wait for me to climb back in?

At first Orly and I took out the balls and got ready for them to return, lots of laying on the trampoline and talking strategy. This quickly escalated into throwing the balls at each other which then led to jumping. If I am honest, out of the corner of my eye I noticed that it wasn’t zipped but I didn’t run over to zip it up, the thought was fleeting. We started to jump and double bounce each other, laughing and giggling. I have replayed these moments over and over, did I know it was unzipped when we started, NO! I would never intentionally put my daughter in danger, but shit happens. I double bounced and she hit the net, then moved over to the open area. The moments that happened next I can’t accurately recall because it was a blur. I looked down and she was face down on the concrete, I held my breath awaiting the scream, which thankfully happened immediately.

I screamed David with all the fear I could muster, and I am sure that he felt it into his toenails. I climbed out and picked her up, if your reading this and think of all the things I did wrong, join the club. I immediately realized that she was most likely ok. She was screaming but no tears, she was moving all parts of her body, and with my embrace told me that she protected her head and face. Yes, I have a four year old who can articulate her response to falling out of a trampoline. By the time David arrived, moments, Orly had already calmed down and showed us where it hurts. We got oils, and gave lots of hugs but this is where the real talk happens…..

We are in the middle of a quarantine. So, normally I would have called the doctor if not 911 but that’s not really an option right now. Instead my husband and I checked her body, listened to her, and used our instincts to understand what was going on. She wasn’t hurt, she was scared and shaken up. I am lucky that she wasn’t hurt but the beating I did to myself I wouldn’t have done to my worst enemy. I was cruel, belittling and punishing for an honest mistake. I was so present for my daughter, talking through her fears and getting back on the trampoline together that day. Did I forgive myself so quickly, no? I continued to replay the incident only with worse case scenarios. I texted my husband every 5 minutes during bedtime asking about symptoms, complications and giving him permission to be mad at me.

Now time has given me perspective. I don’t know if I would feel this way if she’d been injured but luckily she wasn’t. I am a mom, who is doing the best she can in less than ideal circumstances (quarantine life). I forgot a key piece of safety but nothing was malicious. The truth is I need to model self forgiveness for mistakes to the kids in my life. My daughter watches not only the way I treat her but the way I treat myself. I would NEVER want her to treat herself the way I did myself. I apologized to her, and she lovingly said, “I forgive you, and mommy I love jumping with you, lets always remember to zip it up”. I probably won’t make that mistake anytime soon.

 Recovering very nicely!!!

Recovering very nicely!!!

The morning walk

We all know that routine is important. It gives everyone a sense of safety and stability especially during the chaos we are currently living. My commitment to the schedule waxes and wanes as time passes but the one thing I AM ABSOLUTELY STICKING TO is the morning walk.

 David picked her up and put her in that tree

David picked her up and put her in that tree

During this stressful time the morning walk is my calm in the storm. Its the perfect trifecta of physical activity, fresh air, and fun. After breakfast we argue about why we have to go on the walk, I continue that its a non negotiable part of the day, a have to job, and Orly begrudgingly agrees. After putting on shoes, jackets, getting the stroller ready and making sure everyone went to the bathroom we embark. It’s magical the transition as we exit the garage. The girls become inquisitive, excited, and more carefree. The walk up the hill to main road becomes a race. We stop at the Catholic Highschool to pick up trash and look for snails, the way back is a game of red light green light.

Perfectly Imperfect

The walk isn’t perfect. It comes with whining, fighting over everything from the stroller to the snails. Whats perfect for me is the routine. This routine allows me an opportunity to know what’s happening next and so I feel safe. I like the sunshine and fresh air. But most importantly its normalcy before the storm. The calm comes in the storm I know.

Family Yoga

The weekday schedule includes a morning walk from 9-10 which seemed like a pretty safe bet when you live in Southern California. Today has been what seems like the hundredth day of nonstop doom and gloom with a side of rain. The morning went fast because my mom was still here but when she left around noon, it became clear that physical exercise for everyone was non-negotiable. I am not a yogi, I’ve never trusted exercise that isn’t hard core cardio, I just don’t love exercise enough to do it without what I perceive to be worth (calorie burn). About 18 months ago David, my husband and I, started doing yoga. We started because we were looking for an activity to do together that wasn’t eating. Over the past year and a half my practice has grown and evolved. I have periods where I love it, periods where I hate it and periods that I do it because I am paying. With all the things going on in the world and my fear based reactions I decided that I am doing yoga no matter what everyday. So, add in the kids being with me 24/7 and now my husband and sister not working I have to get creative. This afternoon we did FAMILY YOGA. I love that people are posting on instagram all these free options, kids yoga, and picture perfect families doing yoga, that’s not us. We are 5 humans with all different desires, levels and patience. David picked a class he was interested in and we just did it. Talya screamed often, Orly stopped after two minutes and drew, I did the best I could. Sometimes yoga and life are like that.

Day 1

I am not calling these ideas homeschooling, although I have always fantasized about the idea of homeschooling my children. I am imagine homeschooling to be full of adventures, quality time, life skills and most importantly protection from all the harsh realities of being a kid. I have wanted to home school to control the experience my child has in a way that might not best prepare them for life.

Day 1 Teach at Home

We are using the schedule as a guideline for the days to keep myself sane, the girls in a rhythm and to hopefully get some learning done. We started the morning on a walk, my mom came, because fresh air does the body good. We brought two bags, these were my eldest daughter, Orlys suggestion. The first bag was to collect outdoor treasures that we can use for art, I’ll take any ideas I can at this point. The second bag was for trash, unfortunately even our community (upscale, suburban) has copious amounts of trash. We walked for about an hour round trip, stopping often to look at things, collect roly polys, and complain about how far we’d gone.

When we came home we washed hands and had a snack. Then it was lesson time. I introduced the first two letters of the alphabet. We wrote them, practiced the sound, and then found them in a book. After that we had an hour of creative play (we made a list of options for creative play). Today we made 4 puzzles and then cleaned them up, this took about 40 minutes but we were running behind schedule.

Orly ate lunch, followed by a treat and then vocalized she needed just some play time. Inside I wanted to resist the urge to get off schedule but it ended up being a great restart into chores. She and I decided, together, which gave her an invested interested in the outcome to wash dishes and put away her clean laundry. My mom and her are laying together and reading books before the days is DONE.

The afternoon might include screen time, maybe yoga, possibly a bribe. My intention is only to do the best I can and provide structure which creates safety for my littles!!!