As moms, we often pride ourselves as professionals in multi-tasking. Actually, even if you are not a ‘natural’ at multi-tasking, you’ll be forced to learn the ‘art’ as soon as you become a mom.

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So on that fateful morning, as usual, I was multi-tasking. I was trying to pacify my restless baby while also preparing breakfast for my 5-year old. Breakfast that morning was supposed to be pap and akara and I was running behind schedule as I sprinted between my fussy baby in the living room and the partially prepared breakfast on the fire. In those tense minutes, my 5-year old was being of absolutely no help. Actually, he kept getting in my way and so I told him to return to his bedroom until breakfast was ready.

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Eventually both the akara and pap were properly cooked and all that was left was for me to serve out the meal. However, by this time, my baby was yelling up a storm while my 5-year old was running very late for the school bus which was due to arrive soon. So I was understandably tense as I tried speeding ‘things’ up.
Looking back now, I admit that at this point, it was only logical for me to have quickly served out breakfast before picking up my crying baby. But in that crazy moment, I actually believed that there was no way I could bear hearing my baby cry for another second. So I picked him up and holding him across my chest with my left arm, I returned back to the kitchen.

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Then, even though I knew it was a dangerous move, I decided to pick up the pot of pap by its long handle, using my right hand. With the pot in hand, all I needed to now do was tilt the pot, allowing the pap to slowly pour into a bowl which I had earlier set on the table. If slow enough, I was confident that the pap will not spill. So carefully, I proceeded. However, in the split second that was to follow, the pap somehow missed the bowl and instead, a substantial portion landed right on my baby, with the rest dripping unto the floor.
How this accident happened, I honestly cannot explain. It wasn’t that my older kid had bumped into me or someone had hit me from behind. No, none of that happened. The accident was all my fault. It was my own hand that had somehow lost its bearing and believe me, the sudden shock of seeing my baby crying from the burn, is a trauma I am yet to recover from.
What even made me feel more rotten was the fact that instead of stopping the pap half way through, I had just stood there, screaming my baby’s name and unable to move an inch. Obviously, my hand was also a victim of the whole process but I had no time to think about myself as I rendered the only first aid I could think of – removing the pap off his skin and then running cool water over his body – before bundling him off to the hospital. I really did hope that by running the water, I wasn’t doing more harm than good.
Anyway, fast forward to five days later…I am still keeping watch by my son’s hospital bed. But thankfully, he is recovering well.
Based on a True Story. Told by Mommy Moments

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