Shortly after my youngest was born, I started having vivid nightmares of him being run over by a car. He wasn't even walking then, but it still freaked me out. He's now 2, walking/running everywhere, and I still have those same nightmares. They still freak me out.
We've had a couple issues with him running off and running into the street or a parking lot. Luckily, they've always been quiet streets, but we're still working to get the point across to him. He thinks it's a game. He loves the chase and just doesn't pay attention to where he's going.
I've always wondered in the back of my head if I would really throw myself in harms way for the sake of my child's safety and well being. I know I always wanted to say I most definitely would, but I still kind of wondered. Does that make me the worst mom ever? Regardless. Yesterday I learned, that without a doubt, I would do anything for the sake of my child's life.
Enjoying an afternoon of shopping with my sister and my children, in a split second, my youngest went from playing hide and seek with me in a rack of clothing to darting out the front door of the store, straight through two parallel parked cars and into the street - and oncoming traffic. As I was yelling at him to stop; dropping my desired purchases on the floor and then screaming frantically at him as he ran into the street (and then dropping my purse, and it's contents all over the sidewalk), I was acutely aware of three things.
First of all, there was a car coming towards my son. Secondly, there were dozens of people standing there just watching me. Third? I'm pregnant. Not only was I risking my safety, but also the safety of my unborn child. My goal was to just get into the street fast enough for that car to see me. I knew he wouldn't see my son. Soon after I reached the street, I was able to grab my son's shirt collar and pick him up by it. He was laughing hysterically. I was shaking uncontrollably and was, again, acutely aware of everybody looking at me. Heading back into the store to find my sister and older son, I had a couple of women ask if I was okay and give words of encouragement. I greatly appreciated them! I was so sure that everybody was just standing around judging my horrible parenting skills. Once I found my sister, I crumbled. Shaking, crying, and trying to scold my son who, at that point, finally seemed to notice the fact that I was crying and not laughing.
I keep finding myself questioning my parenting abilities, but I'm trying really hard to not let myself. He is two. He's quick. I don't know what I would have done differently. I do wish that just one of those dozens of bystanders would have tried to help in some way, but I'm trying to not judge them either. It all happened so quickly.
Needless to say, this little man will not be walking on his own anytime soon. He will be held, in a stroller or forced to hold somebody's hand; all of which he hates tremendously, for some time to come. Most days, I love his strong-willed, independent, fearless personality. But some days? I wish he weren't quite as bold and fearless. Right now I'm just glad we have more days to work on balancing it out!