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.