Wednesday, March 01, 2006

the payback child

Everyone warned me that Kaylie was an unusually easy child. I heard what they were saying, but I didn't listen. I was confident that Kaylie's sweet demeanor was due to my diligent attachment parenting. I'll admit it - I was smug. And then I was blessed with child #2.

Early on, Claire was different. Even in utero, she never seemed to stop kicking. At the hospital (when I was having an asthma attack) the nurses couldn't keep the monitors on my belly for Claire's constant movement. She wasn't one for napping or sleeping. She screamed almost constantly and couldn't be soothed. I was often sure that I was speaking the wrong language to her, we were that disconnected. On the flip side, she's talented in ways I never dreamed possible. She's a born performer, dancer, singer. She's captivating.

We almost lost her last week. Despite all our warnings and thinking she was old enough to know better, she decided to play with the dog's metal choke chain, a plug and an electrical socket. Josh and I were in the garage having a discussion (how I wish we'd been doing something more illicit or exciting) and saw the lights flicker. It immediately set off Josh's internal alarm, but I passed it off as the old wiring in the house. Then came the pounding at the garage door and we both rushed in. Claire was so frightened that she couldn't speak. She could just motion toward the area of the offense. I was the first to spot the singe marks on the wall and the choke chain partly attached to the leash and the other ring of the choke chain melted to the metal prongs of the plug. She'd put the plug through the end ring of the chain and attempt to plug it in. Thank heavens she was holding the plastic part of the plug and not touching ANY metal. She came away unscathed, with nothing but soot marks on her hand. Even to type this all out makes my heart pound and my stomach turn, thinking of all the horrible ways this could have turned out. And yes, we stepped up our child-proofing and Claire-watching.

Or so we thought.

As I crawled into bed last night, I just couldn't resist curling up around Claire who had fallen asleep in our bed. She was so sweet in her little nightgown and her face buried in my pillow. I reached out to pull her closer to me and that's when I noticed her finger. She'd wrapped a stray piece of thread around and around and around her finger and fallen asleep. Her finger was terribly discolored and it felt like forever before I could unwind the whole thing. My reaction (yelling "OH CRAP!") had woken her up screaming and she sobbed for a good half hour. I couldn't stop thanking my lucky stars (or Claire's very attentive guardian angels) that I saw the finger before putting her in her own bed. And yes, we let her sleep in our bed last night.


frectis said...

OMG. She reminds me of Chloe (who has yet to burn down the house). I'm glad she's not hurt!

April said...

Oh Baby Clairey! That's so scarey! Hey, that rhymes. I'm glad you both survived another week.