I just stood there..

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-15-2013
I just stood there..
Tue, 05-27-2014 - 12:16pm

Yesterday I was taking my 5 year-old for a bike ride and we rode past the house of a friend (age 11) who has 2 American bull dogs. My son jumped off his bike to say hi to his friend. The dogs barked and the friend told my son to go to the side of the house. He did and the dogs ran out the side garage door and knocked my son to the ground; barking the whole time. They were jumping on him and he yelled for me to help him. 

All I could do was stand there... frozen. At the time, I thought they were just excited but once he yelled, I froze. His friend grabbed one dog and the other one stood at the edge of the electric fence barking at me. My son was able to get up and run to me, when I noticed the scratch on his side. I broke down into sobs and apologized for not protecting him. He told me that it was OK but since then be keeps asking me why I didn't protect him.

I'm the mom! I'm supposed to step between him and anything that is meant to hurt him...but I froze :(  How can I ever expect him to believe that I can protect him again? His dad and I are divorcing after 20 years of marriage so that doesn't help my guilt at all. I can't protect him from a dog and I can't protect him from the pain of his father leaving his mommy and breaking up the only family he knows.

I feel absolutely useless and like he and his sister would be better off  without me. I wish I could go back to that moment so that I could rush to him, scoop him into my arms and carry him away. That is what he expected and what he deserves...instead he has a mom who froze.Cry

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-25-2013
Tue, 05-27-2014 - 1:26pm

I am so sorry this happened to you but please stop beating yourself up. NO ONE knows how they will behave under periods of extreme stress and fear until it happens. We would all like to believe we would throw ourselves onto a gun or in front of a speeding car for our loved ones but in all reality we won't know until that moment happens exactly what we would do.

Tell your son the truth, that you froze up and you don't know why.

Avatar for weaintgotmoney
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2011
Tue, 05-27-2014 - 4:30pm

I agree. It happens. Shock portrays itself differently in everyone. I wouldn't beat yourself up. I'd definitely explain to him that you were in shock so he doesn't think you just stood there. He's old enough to understand somewhat. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 05-29-2014 - 11:18am

The good thing about kids is that they are very forgiving.  If you say that you are sorry and you don't know what happened but you just didn't know what to do, by next week he'll probably forget about it.  Luckily he was not hurt.  You will not be able to protect your kids from every bad thing that could happen to them--that's just life.  As far as the divorce, if you and your DH can learn to get along for the sake of your kids, they will be ok, even if they would prefer that you stayed together.  I got divorced when my kids were 7 & 1 (not my idea) and now they are 25 & 18 and they are both fine, well adjusted, smart kids who never really gave us any big problems.  But their father & I had a good co-parenting relationship and they still have good relationships with both of us.  It would be much worse for your kids if you weren't around, so don't even go there.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-2014
Sun, 06-01-2014 - 4:07am

Hi Justwantpeace.  I'm new here and had to respond.  I had the same thing happen to us just that it was an old man yelling at my son for no good reason.  I just froze.  I thought of a million and one things to say later on!  Listen, no one was seriously hurt and you were a good mommy that day too.  If your son is happy don't worry any longer.  From this you'll learn.  It won't happen again and you'll be ready if it does.  Tell your son how electric fences work.  I'm always amazed how the boy's parents didn't even apologize.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2014
Tue, 07-08-2014 - 4:39am

Hi Justwantpeace! If you are here on the forums seeking for advise then you ARE a great mom cause you care. Stop this self torture.

I was in the same situation and could not move to help with the mad dog. Such things are out of our control. It may well be that your son is just curious. Keep us posted!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-27-2014
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 7:22am

I don't think you can do anithing right now. Since now you have to show him you will protect him always. Yo will not be able to explain him something. Just do your best otherwise he will not rely on you. You can read some special books on Baby Haven Wish it will help you