The Tasmanian Devil

That’s my new nickname for Charlotte.

I love this kid so much it’s ridiculous, but lately… oh my dog, she is just a holy terror. It’s exhausting trying to keep her safe.

I understand that she’s discovering her world and learning about cause and effect and boundaries. It’s just—well, it would be nice if we could do it with a bit less bloodshed.

For starters, she absolutely refuses to sit down in the bath tub. We thought maybe it was just that she wasn’t comfortable in her ducky tub anymore, so we “graduated her” to the big tub. We got the spout cover and an extra long tub mat and figured we’d be good to go. Except she still wouldn’t sit still and now she’s smacked her forehead twice on the edge of the tub when her legs go out from under her. (Not because she slips—just because her balance isn’t great and she falls.) The sound of my baby girl’s head hitting the side of the porcelain tub is a sound I could really do without. Now we’re looking at spending $36 on a cushion thing for the side of the tub. (I’ve even tried getting in the tub WITH her, but it doesn’t help. She just wants to stand. She’s freaking impossible to contain.)

We have a bunch of little square coffee tables from Ikea in the house. When Charlotte first started pulling herself up, we added corner protectors to all of them and called it a day. Then on Sunday about 10 minutes before we were going to leave the house for my cousin’s birthday brunch, Charlotte had pulled herself up on one of the tables and let go, subsequently falling and hitting her head once on the edge of the table, and then two more times on the table leg as she fell. The result was a small gash in the crease of her eyelid (HOW?!!!) and two lumps on her head. It looked like she was crying blood. I was terrified.

Of course, that was nothing compared to this morning. Catch leaves for work before I do, so I’m left to get ready for work by myself while simultaneously trying to keep the Tasmanian Devil from injuring herself. I usually let her crawl around on our bedroom floor, which is great except that she can now climb the three steps we have in our room, so it goes something like: zip pants halfway, grab child off steps, find one shoe, grab child off steps, button one button, grab child off steps… repeat. I was so busy worrying about keeping her off of the damned steps this morning that I let my guard down when she was playing over by the metal rack we use to hang wet clothes on. The next thing I know, she’s crying. I pick her up to comfort her and realize we’re both covered in blood. Blood on her forehead. Blood on her ear. Blood on my hands and shirt. I was freaking the fuck out as I wiped at the blood on her trying to figure out where it was coming from. Turns out, she cut two of her fingers pretty badly. There was a sharp edge on the metal rack that I wasn’t aware of.

The nanny was about ten minutes away and I was sitting there in my underwear covered in blood trying to keep Charlotte’s arm elevated and keep pressure on the cuts while also getting a good enough look at it to figure out whether we needed to go for stitches or not. I’m sure you can imagine how easy it was to try to keep an unhappy almost-ten-month-old baby still in my lap while I held her hand.

Eventually, I knew I had to get pants on, so I set her down for a second and grabbed my pajama pants that are too big for me. That detail will be important in a minute.

The nanny arrives with my dad (he drives her in the morning) and we all tend to Charlotte’s wound. The bleeding was slowing down (thank dog) so I handed her to my dad so I could go find bandages. As I stood up from the couch, my pants fell down. Right in front of my dad and the nanny.

People, I am exhausted.

Later, I’m on the phone with my wife telling her that we have GOT to do something so that we can safely corral this kid because I am sick of the injuries. (I’m thinking play pen-type thing like this.) She yells at me and tells me we have to stop spending money on things that Charlotte can use for ten minutes. I tell her that I need somewhere safe to leave Charlotte so I can do things like go to the bathroom and bring in the groceries. She tells me to take Charlotte into the bathroom with me and that I just shouldn’t go grocery shopping when I’m alone.

Real helpful. Thanks.

The nanny reminded me today that 100% of adults survived childhood. Yes, that’s true, but we’re not considering the ones who DIDN’T MAKE IT TO ADULTHOOD. 100% of children who did not make it to adulthood did not survive childhood. How’s that for a statistic.


Do they make giant hamster balls for babies?


26 thoughts on “The Tasmanian Devil

  1. Oh my god the pants dropping made me laugh. For real. (I’m sorry). Just…isn’t mom life so glamorous?! Why do we do this to ourselves?! Remind me…(I jest. Mostly).

    Charlotte will make it out of her infancy alive. Toddlerhood too. Just with lots more bruising, probably some more bleeding, and more grey hairs for her moms.

    PS – I support you buying the baby cage.

    • The baby cage will be there when I get home today. We’ll see how long it takes for her to figure out how to hurt herself in baby jail. My money is on ten minutes.

  2. You are currently in the period where Darwin hurt herself the absolute most times per day. Diving down steps, crashing had first into anything that existed within a ten foot radius, falling on a cat food dish and killing one of her nails. Seriously. I feel so much for you right now.

    • Oh man… She killed a nail!? Ouch! I feel like we can’t go 5 minutes without hearing a thud and the subsequent cry. Thank dog we have health insurance.

      • Yeah! The night Leah and I were hung over from the norovirus. We were so sick that we didn’t realize until a day or two later. The nail grew back though!

        For serious about the insurance. Having a kid has strengthened my resolve that everyone needs access to medical care!

  3. Oh, man. This stage is the crazy. They are so curious and also SO clumsy. I wish I could tell you they get less curious but I think they find better coordination. 😉

    We have one of those play pens and we used it for several months both inside and outside. It helps to have a place to drop them and keep them contained, but I totally get the frustration with baby purchases at this age. They whip through that stuff quickly!

    I was going to wax poetic about how genius a hamster ball for a baby would be but then I remembered the only time I put my hamster in that ball, it launched itself down a flight of stairs and yikes! My kids would find a way to hamster ball down the stairs. They are just those types of kids.

    I think Charlotte’s adventurous, curious side is adorable because I’m not pants-less in front of my dad covered in her blood, but know that she’s not going to remember these tumbles. Yay baby brain development! 🙂

  4. Our playpen was used a lot during this stage. But actually, we have used it lots since then to protect other things from Roo or Roo from them eg Christmas tree, heater, oven. So probably not a short term purchase.

  5. We have this same baby jail! Both of mine chew the metal bars through the mesh and get their teeny tiny baby teeth stuck! In my mind It’s like flossing so it’s actually saving me a job! Getting that 10min sanity break to pee or get some jobs done is golden! Enjoy!

  6. I have that thing. Charlie hates it, but I have used it for bringing in groceries and I can get about 10-15 minutes of gardening in before she throws a fit. I’m sorry you guys are having a hard time! Charlie moved and falls down a lot, but no blood so far (and hopefully ever!)

  7. They do settle down eventually! I mean B. is still all over the place and wild as ever, but he is starting to learn a little more caution- all of those bumps and bruises have taught him I suppose. With toddlerhood I am definitely more active- so that’s a positive, right?

  8. Oh man you have one spirited little girl on your hands. She keeps you on your toes at every stage. I giggled at the pants thing, a little reminder we have to keep humor in our hearts to keep from going crazy.

    Hopefully baby jail helps. My best friend bought one and it didn’t take her daughter long to figure out how to use the little holes to put her toes into and climb. They’ve now resorted to the high chair. They take that thing into the bathroom, and pretty much everywhere in the house. Good luck!

  9. Callie was loosing her shit with twins at home by herself, and like you BEGGED me to get a baby gate. Went to a consignment sale and got one of those baby coral things. BEST. THING. EVER! She threw some toys in there and they would be pretty entertained for about 20-30 minutes, but also, she couldn’t leave the living room or they would lose their shit! Hope that baby gate works out! And hey! The blood, bruising and tears….right of passage into toddlerhood.

  10. Aw, poor little Charlotte. Why are babies so intent on braining themselves? The number of times that I’ve stopped J from diving off the couch… It’s like we’re always a hair’s breadth from disaster. And I can see from your account that it is only going to get worse in the next month or so. Yikes.

    We have that play pen, too. I think it’s time to whip it out – this morning I left J on her quilt on the floor to grab something in the other room, and came back to find her motoring across the room toward a piece of plastic bag (where did that even come from?)

    Oh, and my new bathroom trick is to stick J in her empty bath tub with some bath toys. She loves the change of scenery and I get to pee without anyone screaming. Also – it is the only time she will sit in the tub. If there’s water in it, she devotes all her time to standing, reaching for anything that is out of reach, and figuring out how to take her eye out with the bath spout. I need to get one of those stupid covers for it…

  11. Uh please let me know how the baby cage works out! I work at home one day a week and mostly I spend half the day chasing my kid and making sure she doesn’t kill herself and then frantically trying to do work at nap time!

    And maybe it’s time to invest in some new pj bottoms 😉

    • This morning was the first morning that I pout baby jail to work and it actually worked out pretty great. She hung out in the pack & play in our bedroom while I got dressed for work and was happy as long as she could see that I was right there. Then I dropped her into the pop n play while I ducked into the kitchen to cut the fruit for her meals today. She was in there for about 10 minutes and I was out of sight for 5 of those minutes. She fussed at me when I first set her down but then distracted herself with a toy and was happy from there on out! I am SO GLAD we did this. It made my morning go so much smoother. I also “work” from home one day a week (although not this week!) so I’m really curious to see if I can get anything done next week. And yes–definitely time to ditch those PJs! Lesson learned!

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