By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Sep 10, 2007 at 5:22 AM

There's a joke in our culture that goes something like, "He must have been dropped on his head as a baby." It's usually said in a lighthearted way, but for some of us parents who have accidentally injured our kids, it's not so funny.

After five  years of not inflicting so much as a miniscule scratch on my boys, I managed to practically mutilate one of them this summer.

Incident No. 1 happened in June, when I unintentionally slammed Levi's fingers in the door of our Jeep. It was one of those moments when I saw it happening, but there was nothing I could do because it was too late. I simply slammed the door, and he reached inside the car at the very last second to grab a Transformer action figure and the next thing I knew he was screaming louder than a locomotive with his middle fingertip looking flattened and red.

Days later, his fingernail fell off -- revealing a small but nasty black-and-purple bruise -- and not even the highly-coveted Spiderman band-aids could cheer him up. He was freaked out by the missing nail, and so was I. My mom told me a story about doing a similar thing to my sister, but I still felt like Mother Stupidhands.

His fingernail had barely grown back when the the second incident -- a devastating soup mishap -- occurred. I warmed up a can of soup on my stovetop -- it was Campbell's chicken noodle; I'll never be able to see the label without cringing -- and I didn't boil it, but the soup was definitely warm.

You probably know where this is going: Within seconds of giving him the bowl of soup, he dumped it in his lap. Ironically, I was on my way to the fridge to get an ice cube for my Diet Coke, and suddenly Levi was hysterical, with a bright red groin area and little round noodles stuck to his penis.

I rushed him to the bathtub and splashed cold water on his wounds, applied a soothing Chinese salve, and called a nurse from our doctor's office who said it didn't seem bad enough to bring him in. She was so nice to me on the phone that I actually wept a little, and reassured me in a warm, maternal voice that this kind of thing happens all the time.

Later that night, I shared the soup story with a friend who told me that her son pulled the cord of a percolator filled with hot coffee on top of his delicate one-year-old body. Another woman told me about her friend who was stung by a bee, dropped her baby and he broke his arm. Yet another friend busted out with a story about how her daughter rolled off her changing table onto a wood floor twice in the same week.

Thanks to their honesty and  humor, I  felt a little less like a negligent dumb ass. I realized that I spend so much time thinking about how fragile my kids' lives are, that I had forgotten how resilient these little crayon-eaters really are. 

Levi ended up with two blisters below his belly button and yes, one on his groin. Imagine a kid with a heavy lisp saying, "I got a blister on my penis." Hearing him say that almost makes me laugh -- but not quite.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.