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Published August 06, 2012, 11:30 PM

Parenting Perspectives: Mom needs to remain ever vigilant

It’s no secret that we parents all worry about our children’s safety. We buckle their seatbelts, buy them bicycle helmets, slather on sunscreen – some of us even locate children with secret GPS on their mobile devices.

By: Kerri Kava, INFORUM

It’s no secret that we parents all worry about our children’s safety.

We buckle their seatbelts, buy them bicycle helmets, slather on sunscreen – some of us even locate children with secret GPS on their mobile devices. Lucky me, I’m definitely not there yet, but I don’t and won’t put it past me. I could most definitely see myself being that mom.

It’s interesting though how my focus for so long was on health, meeting the requests of many doctors and specialists, constant checkups, and an abundance of pull ups. I have a Wiki list of all the doctors and specialists he sees, the orthopedic specialists, the endocrinologists, the urologists, the lab techs that know Carter by name, the appointments we have in the lobby in Maple Grove because my son throws a tantrum that no one wants to see when he has to go “back der.” Also on that list are his three different therapists, his teachers at pre-school, the right person to call to set up an appointment when you really need to get in.

I check that list when I forget because it’s far more often than you might think, and it’s way too much to remember. You should see the nurses’ faces when you can tell them test result numbers that they have to look back on the old system just to find and verify. But I know – because I recorded it.

So momentarily, I feel like I have it all figured out, and for five minutes I can relax.

Wrong. Just when all is healthy in the land of Carter, we discover that with walking and jumping there are many dangers that mosey and hop his way, too. Don’t get me wrong, I knew this was coming; he’s been walking now for more than two years. But never until now had he taken the initiative to open our ever-so-squeaky door to go outside and play – by himself.

There is a reason I don’t fix that squeaky door, folks.

He has very little patience to wait for mom anymore. He is busy and has many rocks to sort in the sandbox. My interrupting this is not acceptable. So I try my best to catch that door, to veer him clear of the grill and the ever so captivating fires. I stop him from jumping on the bed since he doesn’t look where he’s jumping, I get the knives put away into the sink directly after I use them, and I keep him close to me at all times while outside.

Among our biggest safety challenges is the great outdoors, his favorite place to be. We live in the small town of Downer, Minn. There, I’m not too worried about the sun or the bugs or even the wild animals, but what I am worried about is the infamous “Downer Road.” For many this is the road to the lakes. It also happens to be our front yard.

I probably wouldn’t mind if people sped through the town quite so much if he didn’t have an urge to literally ask me if he can “Go play in street, momma?” He’s not joking; he would truly love to go sit on the street and play with the rocks on the road. I’m not sure why he asks, we’ve obviously never let him play on the road, but for two minutes if I have to run inside for something – he always has to come with me. It leaves me questioning, do I really need to go inside? Can I wait a few more minutes to go to the bathroom? Clearly, I cannot start supper – as I can’t check on it.

Well, I can wait and I can bring him with me, kicking and screaming that he is not yet done playing because we just got out there. He doesn’t yet understand we’ll be right back. But, he’s getting there.

We’d like to build a fence to keep our precious little boy in the yard, but its massive size would require a second mortgage to pay for it. Did you know there are no grants or special foundations for fences? I know because I’ve searched. So instead I remain diligent.

Do me a favor and take it down a notch and enjoy your drive through Downer. It’s a beautiful little neck of the woods to take in, and you could even help this mom with one more motherhood challenge.

Kerri Kava is The Learning Forum coordinator at The Forum. Her 4-year-old son, Carter, lives with Williams syndrome.

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