September is Safety Month, so I though it would be appropriate to tell a story that is a little scary. First of all, I need to tell you that it isn’t easy for me to share. Even over two years later I feel ashamed and guilty, but also thankful that it didn’t end badly.
On this particular day, Mason, who was four at the time, was being especially trying. After the umpteenth tantrum he threw, I finally sent him upstairs to his room to lie down. He stopped napping at around three years old, but when he misbehaved I would have him go in his room to lie down or play quietly. He cried the whole way upstairs, and continued to cry once he was in his room. None of this was unusual, as he was – and still is – a pretty temperamental child.
After a few minutes of quiet I heard him yelling “Mooommyy come heeere!” I called back, asking what was wrong but he didn’t answer. I was holding Jackson, who was a little over a year old at that moment – and was also being a difficult. I suppose none of us were having a very good day. I started to get a funny feeling so I set him down and ran up the stairs to see what was wrong.
As I was walking up the stairs the doorbell rang. I didn’t even stop to turn around and answer it. When I got to the top of the stairs I could see into Mason’s room and he was nowhere to be found. I looked in my room. Nothing. My heart stopped for a split second.
“Mason! Where are you?”
“I’m here, Mommy,” he said, very calmly.
It was coming from his room. But where in his room?
I lifted the blinds…
“Oh my god, Mason!”
He was standing on the small ledge outside of his window. I quickly grabbed his leg and pulled him inside. As I held him tight I heard someone outside saying “You’re gonna be okay!” I looked to see two men, who I think were Census takers, walking away.
“What were you doing out there?”
“I was being a cat.”
He had torn a huge hole in the screen of the window. I hadn’t bothered checking it before I sent him upstairs because it was usually closed. We had cracked it open a bit the night before to let the room cool off and had forgotten to close it again. I had never imagined my child would climb out of his window, or that it could happen so quickly. An oversight that could have meant losing my baby forever.
I spent the rest of the day thinking that CPS was going to show up at my door and take my kids away for negligence, but thankfully that didn’t happen. It was a mistake, but it could have been so much worse. The next day I went through the house and childproofed every single window.
Has anything happened at your home that made you glad you babyproofed?