The sky is falling!

by Angela on June 22, 2012 · 4 comments

Remember in our previous Insta-home: Greenville post, we rejoiced at the safe, plush apartment we snagged — in dire contrast to our non-kid-friendly Miami predicament? In fact, I think Mike used the term “non-lethal” to describe our home here in South Carolina.

Well, we take that back. We had a Phantom of the Opera moment this morning. I was still snoozing in bed at around 9 am while Mike took care of Max, when I woke up to the sound of shattering. The glass bowl from the light fixture above our dining table fell without any warning or provocation, and smashed on the table — as Max and Mike were having breakfast.

No one was hurt, but Max could have been severely injured had Mike’s laptop screen not been shielding Max’s face; the computer was set up so that Max could watch some of his favorite YouTube videos. And to think the day before, I was having a serious parental discussion with Mike about not letting Max watch videos during meals. YouTube saved my son’s life!

Evidently, whoever screwed the glass bowl in last (probably to change the light bulb) did not do it correctly, and it just loosened over time and fell.

This is what the chandelier looked like when we moved in. Everything looks normal, right?

Who would even think to check the security of the fixture unless you were OCD? Here are the remains after the center glass bowl dropped and hit the table:

Mike’s not one to get too angry about things that were clearly unintentional, but he was livid because of the peril it put Max in.  But who do you blame? It’s not customary to check the security of light fixtures when a new tenant moves in, is it? Should it be? We felt like crazed, helpless parents.

The great folks over at the McBee Station Apartments leasing office got a maintenance worker named Dave to come clean up the glass shards pretty quickly, after I left a few irate messages. They were very apologetic. Then Dave mentioned to us that this sort of thing has happened before, in this complex. With that history, shouldn’t checking the light fixtures be compulsory every time there’s tenant turnover? Again, I felt like a crazed, helpless parent.

We have no control in this situation that was clearly a fluke. An accident. I’m actually the laid-back parent between the both of us; growing up in a very traditional Chinese household, I felt suffocated and vowed to give my own kids space to breathe.  But as parents, we want to protect our child in every way imaginable. But we can’t, without becoming completely maniacal.  Mike (the dramatist) has said in the past, and I quote: “I never want Max to feel any pain. Ever.”

Accidents happen all the time. You can’t live your life in fear that one will happen to you. There are some things, like a loose light fixture that falls without warning, that can happen to anyone, anywhere. How far do you go to keep your child safe? Do we travel with a ladder in order to check every fixture that’s potentially hazardous to our kid, wherever we go? Short of putting Max in a protective bubble, there is no way to ensure he never feels pain. It seems like a slippery slope. When does being cautious tread into the overprotective zealot territory?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron June 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Very relieved to hear that everyone was okay and not one was injured. Actually, I never trust those sort of light fixtures and in the apartment we used to rent, I took them down, just for safety’s sake. OCD? Hardly. Call it experience!


Angela June 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Ah Ron! I need you to send me a link of dangerous unexpected household items. Please share your expertise!!! xo


June Han June 23, 2012 at 7:47 pm

It is definitely scary to think about all the things that could somehow hurt our kids. I’m glad that everyone is safe and sound.


steve mccarthy June 24, 2012 at 1:05 am

Fortunately little Max escaped a bad accident. I wish you well and please know you are doing a good job!


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