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Growth Spurts: True Confessions

We used the train-your-baby-to-be-on-a-schedule-and-sleep-through-the-night-so-that-you-can-sleep-too-and-everyone-is-much-happier-this-way method with each of our children. One night we heard baby Callie crying in her crib. I honestly don’t remember how long or short she cried, but we knew that she wasn’t hungry and didn’t need a new diaper. What we didn’t know, however, was that her little foot had gotten stuck between the crib rails. And since she had fallen back asleep, we didn’t realize this until the next morning. Poor baby!

When Caleb was 15 months old, he fell off the couch. He didn’t really cry, but as we observed him crawling over the next hour, we noticed him drawing up his right arm like a puppy with a hurt paw. We debated about whether or not to pay the extra money and go to the after-hours clinic to get it checked out, but we eventually decided to take him. Diagnosis: Broken arm and apparently a high tolerance for pain.

Katie has Celiac Disease, which means her body cannot tolerate gluten. A few years ago, my husband accidentally gave her the wrong waffle, and he spent the next few hours holding her in between her vomiting fits. They both felt terrible.

Two years ago, Kevin and I went to the wrong school for a Thanksgiving feast. Katie was delighted to see us, and we sat there and watched her eat a regular lunch. Meanwhile, Caleb enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at his school without us. Ah, the joys of multiple children at multiple schools.

Due to a mis-read text message between us, neither Kevin nor I picked up Katie after school one day. We realized it when I got a phone call and heard a sweet, “Mommy? Is someone going to pick me up?”

Kevin and I used to enjoy walking around the outlet center near our home in Maryland. And baby Callie usually enjoyed riding in her stroller…until the time Kevin and I were so caught up in our conversation that it took a stranger saying, “Excuse me!” and pointing to our daughter (who had slipped way down in her seat, her feet almost dragging the ground, her hands gripping the bar in front of her to try to hold on) to get our attention. And no, she wasn’t buckled.

When Callie was a toddler, I took her with me to Walmart. (I could almost stop the story here.) I put her in the child’s seat in thebuggy (correct), but I walked several steps away from her to look at something (incorrect). My life went into slow-mo as I turned around just in time to see Callie stand up in her seat to try to reach something and fall straight to the concrete floor, landing on her forehead.

Sadly, I could go on. Thankfully, children are both forgiving and resilient. As far as we know, we have not caused any permanent damage to them, and they seem to love us. I’ll bet you have some of your own stories that you may or may not want to share. Maybe reading mine has made you feel better about yourself. The point is that these things happen, but it’s usually okay. Learn from it, forgive yourself, and try not to make the same mistake twice.

Carrie Bevell Partridge has probably made the same mistake twice.

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at and

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