They say farming is the most dangerous profession in the world, and there are probably statistics to back that claim up, but I disagree. I’d be willing to bet that if you took a hard look at the numbers, you’d find that being a parent is really the world’s most hazardous job.
See that red mark on the bridge of my nose on the right? That’s a parenting injury. One of many I’ve sustained in my year-and-a-half as a dad.
It happened two nights ago while I was lying on the living room floor bouncing a 16-month-old on my stomach in a simulation of “Hop on Pop.” (Parenting is dangerous, but I never said our injuries weren’t the result of some stupid decisions.) The little one was holding a copy of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and, on the third bounce, she released it.
The book fell about 18 inches, but it felt like a dictionary dropped from the Empire State Building. It really was a surprising amount of pain, which you wouldn’t expect for a book with only 11 pages, most of which have caterpillar holes in them.
The nose injury wasn’t even the worst of it. The rounded corner of Eric Carle’s best work smacked me directly in the eyeball, sending me into that five seconds of panic in the time between getting hit in the eyeball and when you open your eye to see if you’ve been blinded for life. I cautiously pulled my hand away from my face, because I was 99 percent sure my eyeball was dangling from its socket. It wasn’t. I also wasn’t blinded, but I did have a nice red mark on the white of my eye to go with the nice red mark on my nose.
Yes, that near-death experience is one of many reasons why I think raising kids is waaay more dangerous than milking cows. I mean, has a farmer ever had to wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning and worry about getting clocked in the face by a book? Not unless that farmer is also a parent. Crap! Farmers who are parents have the most dangerous job in the world. Alright, you win this one, farmer parents … but I’ll be back when I lose a finger in a tricycle accident.