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First Impressions

When you have fought tooth and nail for the ability to bring home a bundle of love to call your own, you make darn sure your tie is straight, your hair is combed and there is no spinach in your teeth when you go to first meet your new child and the social worker responsible for gifting said child to you.

You mind your manners and smile prettily and pray to everything that is holy that you don't accidentally slip up and drop a F-bomb or reveal any family skeletons that have been deeply buried for a reason.

You do everything in your power to appear polished and polite, charming and likeable.

And if you are really lucky, (or you have a husband who is capable of keeping a tight reign on the leash he's wrapped around your neck,) you succeed.

Which results in your very own delivery from the stork.

You have one last hurdle to jump over, but you have come so far, been through so much that this tiny little bureaucratic loose thread seems insignificant now that there are plastic kids toys once again scattered through your house and the sounds of a small child making himself at home just down the hall from you.

You let your guard down, relaxed and at ease, so when the social worker with stork-like wings and the child's foster care parents drop in to check on your child and examine your parenting skills first hand in your own natural habitat, you don't blink or give it a second thought.

You've succeeded. You've swung at the adoption pinata and the most beautiful, charming child you could ever imagine dropped from the sky and into your lap. Your prize is a lifetime of love and you feel so blessed that one last visit from the guardians who cared for your child until you were able to claim his as your own is most welcome.

You want to show them this child was meant to be yours. You want to show them the boundless depths of your love for him and the world of possibilities and joy that wait for him under your roof.

But that's when the moment arrives. The moment your veil of shiny parental prowess is pulled back and every dint and chink in your progenitorial armour is revealed for all to gaze upon in horror.

It didn't even take one full hour for my perfect parenting facade to crack and disintegrate.

Not sixty damn minutes.

Oh crap!

All it took was me swooping my lovely brand-spanking new son into my arms and sweetly putting him down for an overdue nap. I kissed him and cuddled him and tucked him in tightly and with nary a thought I closed his bedroom door behind me while I beamed at the company watching my every mommy move.

I visited and laughed and served fresh made brownies and home made pastries while my darling Boo served coffee and charmed our guests, our child's protectors, with the very vision of perfect parenting.

Until the THUD came.

A loud THUD.

The moment my perfect mommy illusion vanished with a puff of smoke.

I forgot to make sure the guard rails on the side of my precious bundle of love's bed were firmly latched.

And off the boy rolled like a ball down a steep hill. Onto the floor.

Even worse, I didn't even hear the poor boy hit the floor, his former foster daddy did.

Worse yet, former foster daddy raced in to the room to rescue this poor boy who is now eternally stuck with incompetent parents and lovingly tucked him back into his bed after ensuring the rail was safely latched, while I sat and hung my head in shame and Boo tarred and feathered me with a simple look.

Luckily for me, my boy, my sweet precious boy, is made of strong stock and actually laughed at his new adventure in a strange bed. The child, like his new mommy, likes to be bounced around.

(Different bouncing of course, but bouncing nonetheless.)

Also luckily, my husband is a quick-witted man with some experience cleaning up his wife's blunders, and snake charmed the social worker so she didn't feel the need to snatch our boy out of our hands and back into government custody.

The truth had escaped it's locks and chains and my hopes to pull the wool over everyone's eyes with my swell parenting were forever dashed.

Welcome to our family little man. It may be a bumpy road but I promise, you'll always enjoy the ride.

I also vow to never forget to latch that damn rail ever again.

I make no promises about remembering to bring diapers and wipes every where we go though.

Your momma does like to walk on the wild side.

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Reader Comments (60)

you never cease to amaze me. i don't think i've ever read something so candidly vulnerable and hilarious all at once. let's go have a drink.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenternic

DUDE that would have totally happened to me too... seriously, you know it would have. And yes, momma does like to walk on the wild side.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkatie ~ motherbumper

With all 4 of my kiddo's I never felt properly initiated into motherhood until one of them rolled off something. Welcome to the club! (All in good humor I promise).

Best of luck with your new little guy.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl

I am STILL so in awe that someone gifted us with our son that I know exactly how you feel imagining that he'll be taken away.

Thank GAWD those people don't show up when he's in full meltdown mode...I might well be the one they're taking away!

Aww, sugar, these things happen, and our kids survive just fine - that's why they're all bendy and squishy when they start out, don't get solid until puberty, so when we drop 'em, knock 'em over, send 'em flying, or forget the Velcro and let 'em fly off of, into, under, or through things, they'll just dent a little and keep going. <---runon sentence, sorry.

I bet they were a little relieved, actually - the shoe dropped right away, so they didn't have to wonder what was hiding behind the perfect facade.

Shade and Sweetwater,

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKyddryn

When my daughter was 18 months old we moved her into a 'big girl bed' from IKEA. Those guard rails don't really work on IKEA beds with the slats and all, so we just went without. It's pretty low to the ground, so we reasoned there wasn't much risk of serious damage. My precious bundle's fallen out of that thing at least 8 or 10 times, and none of that actually propelled me to solve the guard rail issue, she just eventually learned to sleep next to the wall.

So compared to me? You're a rock star. ;)

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmber

I told my youngest that I had dropped him on his head when he was a baby. I was totally messing with him. Which is worse? Me. *hangs head in mock shame*

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterwitchypoo

Ha, all of my kids have rolled off of things (or maybe, *ahem* crawled off...right in front of me...) The 4th has yet to do it, but she isn't exactly mobile yet. I figure she isn't officially part of the family until she does. We're all a little knocked in the head here. :) (I had to laugh at Cheryl's comment because I feel the same way!)

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpsumomy

(and I managed to misspell my own "name"...that would be psumoMmy. Oops.) (Not that it matters. I just feel the need to correct it.)

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpsumommy

My kids have rolled off all sorts of stuff. Sometimes of their volition... sometime my "oops".

So far everyone seems okay, as I'm sure your son is too. And have you picked a bloggy pseudonym?

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermandy

Seems to me like the social worker should have applauded your efforts to try to toughen the kid up at an early age. You know, show him that the world's a tough place and whatnot, instead of just rushing right in at every little incident and setting him up for disappointment later in life. "Life has no guardrails", thats what my mom always said. That was clearly an exhibition of tough love, and therefore skillfull parenting. Well done!

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Here's what I did when my youngest was only a few months old and I was completely sleep-deprived and forgetful: I was nursing him on the couch. My older son, then 4ish, stepped onto a short stool (probably 4 - 5 inches high) to get a toy. He started to wobble, so I jumped up to catch him before he fell the few inches to the ground.

I completely forgot about the baby that was ATTACHED TO MY BREAST. Until he flew out of my lap, fell about 2 1/2 feet and the hit the hard, wood floor. And screamed bloody murder.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLolita

I would've really FREAKED OUT! Good thing you didn't or they would've been wondering about your coping skills...which btw, no offense, I've noticed may need some work.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermaggie

That sounds like something that would happen to me. Of course, I'd also bump into a table or a doorway or something and they'd probably think I was drunk, but honestly... just a klutz.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I watched my daughter fall off of a chair and break her arm several weeks ago.Last week my husband was playing with our youngest at the top of the stairs and guess what happened. Life is what happened. Super Mom doesn't really exist unless you count the love

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermomranoutscreaming

I once walked into a door frame while nursing my little one.

The best part? He actually glared at me before screaming. Yeah, welcome to the fold kid.

We've all had Super Mom moments, company or not!

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmo

Just to think, things can only get better from there. lol. Congrats!

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames

I think falling out of bed is a childhood rite of passage. You're just trying to give him as many experiences as possible!!

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJill

Hey you are OK, he is OK. All is good.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Oh, shit! Hahahahaha! Well, what're you gonna do? We all is what we is, I guess. :) Now you'll never have to worry again if they visit, since what the hell else can happen?!

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterastarte

talk to me when you let him crawl off of a counter, fall 4' onto a concrete floor.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDomestic Extraordinaire

I'm pretty sure DCF would take my kids away if they came to my house, and I birthed them both.

(ps - please don't call DCF - i exaggerate slightly for effect on the interwebs)


Well, now the worst is over! You've succeeded even in an "oops" situation. Congrats again on your new bundle.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterellieranc

haha no worries! If it makes you feel any better, I rolled out of a hotel bed twice in the same night when I was six months old and landed on my face both times! It happens, everyone knows it happens! Im so happy to hear your son is finally home!

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbekah

HAHA it has to happen to each child right? Both my daughters rolled off the couch when they were about a month old. No harm now.... I think.. :)

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkaren

Must have been all the tequila shots he downed for breakfast.

Cause that is what you feed 'em, right?

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelley

I love the little reminders of imperfection.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBetsey

I've been reading your blog a long time now and this is the 1st time I've really LOL. I just almost fell off my chair. My little Roo, who could never roll over or get anywhere by herself, was bounced off her bed a few times by her sisters. She loved when her sisters jumped on the bed, she loved any kind of movement, being thrown around like a sack of potatoes, being held upside down. It mortified some people around us because to them she was delicate. That used to drive me nuts, she was strong even with all her disabilites. So what if I was carrying her around chuckie cheese by her ankles upside down. I think her favorite was being bounced off the bed it did bring the biggest belly full of laughter from her. Thanks for helping this memory come into my mind tonight and for the good chuckle. And congrats on your new bundle of joy!

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFLUSSH

What's the big deal about falling out of bed? I do that at least once a month uh week uh but not every day - I don't think.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPops or iflyrc0

I'm glad no one spotlighted my parenting. None of us is perfect.

Congrats on your new family member! I'm so happy for you.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRhea

Wow, nothing like putting it all out there.

So, so happy for you that your newest member of your family is with you. It must be just an amazing feeling.

So sorry that he fell out of bed and that his former foster Dad beat you to the stairs. I would have been knocking him out of the way yelling, 'this is my turf now!'

Glad he is fine. And wish you many nights filled with checking his bedrails and kissing him goodnight.

February 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeachMama

Mine was always smacking their heads against the side of the car while trying to get them into their carseats. (Yep, every single kid (4 of 'em) got their head banged at least once).

The mantra at our house is "what doesn't kill them makes them stronger." My kids are VERY strong now.

(Isn't that what good parenting is all about?)

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermomzen

The things that go bump in the night. Kids are supposed to fall from bed, that's like a real family environment, you clearly love and want to care for this kid, that trumps a few bruises, scratches and saw backsides.

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSingleParentDad

Ah, no harm done. Your new son is a lucky fellow, bed mishap or not.

Hope you're all adjusting to the change and enjoying being with the latest addition to your family :-)

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjellyhead

I think the fact that the former foster dad recognized the sound of the child falling out of bed goes to show you that this has happened a time or two [or three or four...] before. Don't sweat it - you're a great mom and the world knows it! I hope to be at least half as great as you at this mom thing when my turn comes this summer. And with me as a mom? THUD will be a common sound in my house. :-)

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBuster's Momma

Never a dull moment, for sure! Whew! As long as everything is okay.

How are you doin'? :)

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterIrish Gumbo

The fact that you can laugh about it (the situation, not the fall) afterwards is what makes you such an excellent mom. :)

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteramysprite

I was having a Perfect Mommy moment recently. I was happily fixing dinner in the kitchen while my four boys (ages 9, 6, 3, & 6 months) were playing and laughing in the oldest's bedroom. They were laughing. I was smiling, chopping vegetables thinking how wonderful life was and what a good mother I am. Then I heard the thud. And the scream. Went running. Discovered the older boys had piled all their pillows between the bed and wall. Then they were sitting the baby on the edge of the bed and letting him fall off onto the pillows. Apparently everyone, including the baby, thought it was a great game, until he hit the wall instead of the pillows.

In our family, you don't just accidentally fall off beds. We set it up for you to make SURE you fall off the bed, ;)

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAimee

did you say Boo was a snake charmer or has a charming snake. either way, glad he has your back.

working together is what makes parenting work.

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTony

It may be a bumpy ride but it will be paved with love which makes it a lot less bumpy. I am thrilled for you and your family but even more so for your new son. He is very lucky that his mom and dad and siblings have found him and brought him home.

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRebekah

Aw, it'll get better, just hang in there =) You're still a good momma.

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Just consider yourself lucky that no bones were broken. Because it happens. Trust me.

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSammanthia

This reminds me of the time Katie fell down the stairs . . . it happens to the best of us!

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

After doing a little cleaning up of the "dark side" of my Google Reader, I asked *my* readers to recommend their favorite, great content, wholesome and funny blog reads (I ask a lot, don't I?) and your blog kept coming up in the comments. They were right! My introduction to you on this most recent post was one that left me smiling at my own parental vulnerability. Now, let me dig into your archives - I can hardly wait!

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDana

That is too funny!!!! Scary but funny.

I was adopted and even though we already have 4 here plus my 2...we have still discussed adopting one more. Adoption is a wonderful thing.

By the way...check out your nomination at http://hotdads.blogspot.com

Maybe you will be the next Hot Mama

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBedsideTalesMan

Oh no!!! Oh well, it's over and you can laugh at in now forever and ever. COngrats on your newest bundle of sweet joy!!

February 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

It's moments like this that really make life wonderful. Sure, they also make us a nervous wreck, but the end result is all the more worthwhile.

I have to say I just LOVE the way the tone of your writing has changed with the new addition to your family. It's good to see that joy again.

February 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTSM_Oregon

I think you're wonderful. If I haven't told you so before. Congratulations on fooling them all ;)

February 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLeah

Oh gawd lawd Tanis... you dag!!!

That made me giggle - too funny that it happened when the foster dad and social worker were there. I had a kid who would deliberately vomit up his naso gastric tube - grinned like a little devil once the bloody thing was out of his face. And I would curse and then cuddle him (smiles were much sought after!) and traipse BACK up to the hospital again to have that tube inserted AGAIN. We resorted to a PEG eventually and life was much better. And now... that kid still has the worst gag reflex in the world, but can burp on command and make ME want to vomit.

He'll get you back, you mark my words!!!

February 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBush Babe (of Granite Glen)

this is just one of those things that happens!!.when my oldest was a baby he fell asleep sitting up with his forhead resting on the rails.he had rail marks on his head for hours after!.[ made sure I checked on him more often after that]..lol..now your little guy has been initiated!

February 22, 2009 | Unregistered Commentershelly

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