Multi-tasking. You've done it. I've done it. But it seems the one trick every parent has employed to actually get things done is responsible for the latest "baby in washing machine" horror story.
The 5-month-old's dad was trying to do laundry and change his son's diaper at the same time, and somehow the little guy ended up IN the family's washer. The worst part? It was just beginning to fill with hot water -- 150-degree water no less -- and his tiny body was covered in vicious burns.
How does something so awful happen?
Easy. Dad turned his back. For a second the authorities say -- they're treating the baby's fall into the washing machine as an accident, and they say there are no signs of abuse.
I've done it. You've done it. Most of us just got lucky.
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I wasn't in that New Hampshire home. But I can picture how it all went down. Here this guy was, trying to get things done around the house, and his little guy made a stinker. He doesn't want to leave him to sit in his own poop, but the washer is filling. So what does he do? He grabs the kid and starts changing his diaper, right next to the open washing machine. He turns to grab something and ... oh. My. God.
I'm not going to pick on this poor father. He's already kicking himself, I'm sure.
But as this little guy gets treatment in a Boston hospital, his story can help the rest of us. We can't stop multi-tasking as parents. If we did, my house would look like an actual warzone (not that "street the day after a parade" is much better, but we're working on it!), and no one would actually eat a meal in this place.
What we can do is slow the heck down. Don't get so caught up in what has to be done that we stop thinking about "how" to do it. True emergencies in life are -- thankfully -- few and far between. Really. It may feel like it all has to be done this very second, but those towels will not get up and walk off in a huff if you don't scoop them from the bathroom floor in the next five seconds. That phone call can wait -- if they don't leave a message on the machine, they obviously didn't want to talk to you THAT badly.
Just think -- if you don't chill out, that could be YOUR little one inside the washing machine next.
What's gone wrong in just a few seconds in your house?
Image via Andrew Kelsall, Graphic Designer/Flickr