The Day I Flipped My Lid


A couple of years ago a significant change happened in my life.  It wasn’t getting married.  It wasn’t having children.  It wasn’t moving, though we’ve certainly done enough of that for a lifetime.  No, the change I’m talking about is when I full on lost my mind.  From the time Tevye was born until the time he was learning to walk I was a very nervous parent.  I still am, but to a much lesser degree.  I’ve had a huge amount of trouble just standing back and letting the kids make their own mistakes, get cuts and bruises, and fall off things.  With Tevye I used to make sure that he was in a playpen if I wasn’t in the room.  He wasn’t to be left outside even for a second when we lived on the beach.  It wasn’t that we were worried about him getting kidnapped, as there were very few people in the area.  No, we were worried that a bald eagle would come and take him back to the nest.  Looking back on it, it seems a little silly.  I mean, how many times has a bald eagle, or any other predatory bird for that matter, swooped down and scooped up an infant in its talons.  Of course, if this did happen, Tevye would then have to have adapted and lived the life of an eagle from then on, subsisting primarily on fish from the ocean.  I really don’t even know why we were worried.  Tevye was a very large boy and I doubt very much that an eagle could’ve picked him up.  Even if the eagle had picked him up I’m pretty sure Tevye could’ve taken him, or at least pooped on him.

As Tevye got older, he became more mobile, as is often the case with children.  This of course opened up a whole new world of things he shouldn’t be touching and getting into.  The more he grew, the more he could get into, and the faster he could get into it.  The more he was getting into, the more of a nervous wreck I became.  This all came to the boiling point one afternoon around Tevye’s first birthday.  He was just learning to walk, and we had a coffee table in the living room with pointy corners, at least that’s how it looked to Nicole.  When she would be at work and I was home with Tevye in the afternoons this table would transform into a death trap.  The corners were no longer made of wood.  They would actually morph into some terrible torture device, the origins of which I’m sure came from the witch hunts.  Huge metal spikes would protrude forth from the corners which were wrapped in rusted barbed wire, and most likely, though I can’t prove it, covered in infectious diseases previously thought to be no longer in existance.  I tried telling Nicole that this is what happens when she goes to work, but she never believed me.  While learning to walk, Tevye wasn’t very careful anywhere, but he would become especially clumsy around the corners of the table.  I don’t actually recall if he ever bumped his head on the table while learning to walk, but just watching him come so close to impaling himself on the barbed-wire covered spikes was enough to make me flip my lid one afternoon.  I couldn’t take the danger any more, so here’s what I did.  Instead of, oh, I don’t know, moving the table or just buying one that was less pointy, I went and found four hand towels and some duct tape.  Anyone who came to our house over the next few months really enjoyed the look.  I had so much duct tape over those towels it was crazy.  Oh, and I could only find three towels, so there was still one corner exposed.  This corner later became his favourite place to play.  After all of this taping and freaking out I realized that some change needed to happen, and it wasn’t that I needed to find another towel.  I vowed from then on to try and be a little more relaxed around Tevye, and to not be so overbearing.

Since that day, I have managed to let the kids make many more mistakes, and lo and behold, they haven’t succumb to any serious injuries.  There have been falls, even big ones, and each time something like this happens I really want to run and find the towels and duct tape again, but each time I refuse to let myself.  As a result of this attitude, I’ve found I’m much more relaxed around the kids, and I generally have a much better time around them, unless they’re creating poop murals, in which case I’m less than relaxed(this actually only happened once, and it was right around the same time he was learning to walk.  Actually, you couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of it.  But that’s a story for a different time).


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