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The verdict is in.

I am a crappy parent.  But, by my rationale, many of you probably are, too, since you might sit your kid in a shopping cart without religiously belting them in.

I swear, I always buckle Alice up when I put her in little seat in every shopping cart she ever goes in.  Yesterday?  Not so much.  We went to Home Depot for the seventeenth time and I caved to Finn.  Yes, we can use the behemoth truck-shaped shopping cart.  Have you seen them?  It fits two little people up top, facing out and they each get their own steering wheel.

If you are a kid – AWESOME.

So awesome, in fact, that you might even take it upon yourself to take advantage of the fact that the damn seatbelts are busted and leap from your perch.  On to the concrete floor.  Head first.

Oh, Alice…  Why??  Why, my little Figgy Pudding, WHY?

I suppose I can call myself lucky that this was the worst scare I have ever had as a parent (knock on wood) – watching your baby plummet three feet to the floor in slow motion.  Oh, my god…  It is cliché, but my gut is twisting just thinking about it again. There is that awful silence where they just have their mouths open in that wide, blue-lipped baby scream…  And you just wait for them to suck in a breath now – please, little baby – NOW!

A few seconds pass and I realized that she really must have hit her head HARD, because half of her forehead is blue and swelling, and then I started bawling heaving sobs while hunched over her on the floor like a mother bear, because that helps the situation, right?  Then Finn starts bawling – not because his sister is hurt or his mom is terrified and in hysterics, but because “I don’t want to be in trouble – I want to go look at the toys at Walmart!!”

This kid has priorities, folks.

Within thirty seconds, we were surrounded by a swarm of orange aprons; I dialed Nathan with jittery fingers and the next thing I knew I was giving out my contact information and trying hard to hold my hand steady while I filled out a witness statement as I waited for Nathan to come.  Alice was already in good spirits and chewing on her icepack by the time we rushed to the car and shuttled her to the ER.

You really have to look for the bruise.  Which makes me feel a littl better, since I'm ashamed to say that now the American public won't immediatly think that I beat the poor little lady.

You really have to look for the bruise. Which, I’m ashamed to say, makes me feel a tiny bit better since the American public won’t immediatly think that I beat the poor little lady.

Long story short?  It looks like everything is fine.  It’ll heal before she gets married.  And it looks like I am never going to use a cart with a broken seatbelt ever again.  As for Alice, all she has is a faint shadow of a bruise on her forehead for her efforts.

And there is a lesson to be had, Alice – really, the ONE time you do something unprotected (like sit in a shopping cart without a seatbelt or have unprotected sex), something unsavory’s gonna happen.

Wow.  I have turned into my dad.

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