Urban Baby Blog: Explaining my daughter’s black eye

Parenting is hard. You try your hardest to keep your kids safe and happy but sometimes stuff happens. We all question ourselves sometimes. Despite my occasional episodes of self-doubt, I’ve never felt insecure about my parenting. I know some parents like to judge other parents for their decisions but I’ve always ignored them.

That is, until a couple of days ago.

My daughter got a black eye. It looks bad. Really bad. I wasn’t there when it happened, this was on nanny time, but the story the nanny gave made sense. Adi was jumping up and down on a beanbag chair next to her bed and decided to throw herself forward onto the bed and banged her face on the side of her headboard. Adi likes to jump and flop around, and this could have just as easily happened under my watch. The actual event wasn’t that traumatic. She cried for about two minutes and then got over it. The black eye started out as a bruise and then gradually got worse looking (as black eyes do). Since Adi didn’t seem to mind the black eye, I didn’t make a big deal out of it with her. It looks kind of bad@$$ in my opinion. The day after the incident it rained, so nobody really saw her eye aside from my Instagram followers. The day after that, it was really nice out and everyone in the neighborhood saw it. Most moms when they asked what happened chuckled at my story and then told their own version of that story with their kids. Some moms were horrified that I would let my daughter jump around to the point of injury. One mom who had never really spoken to me before asked what happened and then asked me how things were “at home.”

And it gets worse. Walking home Adi decided that she wanted to run into the street after a squirrel. I told her not to, and instead of listening she tried to run again. I grabbed her arm and yelled at her to stop. Adi didn’t take it well.

So here I am, standing on the corner, with a little girl with a black eye who’s crying “please don’t yell at me mommy.” It’s not a good look. Everyone passing us on the street was giving me the side eye. I was waiting for one of them to follow me home so they could tell social services where I lived.

Despite my daughter’s awful-looking black eye, I still think I’m a good mom. Things happen. Things like black eyes. I’m not that upset about the black eye itself, but the looks I get because of it. The black eye will heal. Adi will learn not to flop onto her bed. But the idea that people think I gave her that black eye is upsetting. I try not to associate with the judgmental clique moms, you know, because they’re judgmental clique moms, but I don’t want them to think I abuse children either. Little boys getting black eyes aren’t as big of a deal as girls because of gender stereotypes and so on but I’m too upset to write about misogyny and the gender roles society tried to thrust on our children. Adi is happy. If you see her outside chances are she’s running around laughing or climbing a tree or playing soccer.

Kids get hurt. It’s part of growing up. In a couple of weeks her eye will heal. Until then however, I’ll steer clear of the playground.

Urban Baby Blog: Explaining my daughters black eye rachel levin figueroa revised nbc parenting family NBC Latino News

Rachel Figueroa-Levin is a soapmaker, cofounder and educator at Urban Babywearing, a hyperlocal Inwood blogger and organizer, a political/life/religion/parenting satirist, and all around trouble maker.  She is also the creator of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Spanish-speaking alter ego @elbloombito.  You can reach her via twitter @Jewyorican.

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