I had a dream last night that my husband took me to a David Hasselhoff concert for Valentine’s Day.
Well, that certainly was never on my bucket list, but I did wake up laughing, so I guess it was a nice way to start the day.
I’m pretty sure that Valentine’s Day has never been my favorite holiday. But now that I have kids, it really is much more fun. I love hearing their comments as they sit at the kitchen table and cross off names on their class lists. With their cardstock cards ripped apart, their commentary is hilarious.
“I thought you spelled Phillip* with an F.”
“Max – I’ll give him this one because his favorite shirt is blue.”
“Jessica has really, really long braids.”
“I think Aaron has a crush on me and on Paige at the same time. Is that okay?”
“Heather’s mom always puts two desserts in her lunch.”
Not that I like to promote their gossipy-ness, but it is very enlightening to hear a little snippet on each of their classmates. Until I heard this…
“Danny’s mom might go to jail soon.”
“Yeah, she is a babysitter and one of the kids got hurt,” my 7 year old told me, “So now she might have to go to jail because the baby needs surgery.”
My heart sank. I asked a few more questions. And my heart sank more. I still don’t know all the details because I was getting the 7 year old version, but here is what I do know: babies are precious.
Every mother, father and caregiver needs to have an escape plan.
Babies cry, toddlers have fits and preschoolers get really good at pushing our buttons. So please have a plan so that when that moment comes, you can put your child in a safe spot and walk away for a few minutes.
Crying is OK. Little ones cry for all kinds of reasons: too hot, too cold, hungry, belly ache, itchy pajamas, pick me up, put me down, wet diaper, ear aches, colic… And when you’ve met all their needs and the crying continues, and you’re done, please walk away.
The overwhelmed feeling happens to every parent at some point. So be prepared with your escape plan. Take a break, phone a friend, do your own crying in the garage, throw couch pillows around, whatever, but the most important thing is to walk away.
Here is a confidential number you can call if you every want to talk to a counselor: 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) All calls are FREE and CONFIDENTIAL. Counselors will guide you through the stressful and challenging time. And you can learn more here: Shaken Baby Syndrome
So, with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, give those babies in your life a sweet amazing snuggle that they will always remember. And make sure that anyone who cares for your child also has an escape plan and knows that it is okay to walk away. Never shake – take a break.
*Definitely changed all the names for this story.