Boys who climb trees ….

No secret that I am a little on the paranoid side.

At first glance I may appear like a relaxed mom, lounging with a large glass of Chenin, whilst her kids play in the distance. But this is all an illusion of being relaxed and a no care attitude I like to exhibit!

The first sign that all was not well, in my brain, was when I started to develop a phobia about leaving the house with Connor.

This was when he was about 12 – 18 months old.  It did not get better, it got worse each day, and each outing made it more and more excruitiating to go out.

It eventually got a point where I just could not go out with him – it was too stressful for me.  I would rather remain at home.  Safely at home.

I kept seeing the amount of ways he was going to die. (notice it was not that he might die, it was an inevitable happening…)

I never felt he was going to go missing at the wall, I always felt he was going to be snatched by someone.  And be gone. Forever.

He was never going to trip and fall, he was going to trip, fall, shatter his skull and die.

He did not balance on a small brick walkway.  In my mind, he fell.  His face broke his fall, and his grey matter was spilt all over the crazy paving.  And then he would die.

I would love to tell you that now I am a no-worries parent.  The reality is what you see is a facade as I nod in the general direction of my kids going “don’t worry, they will be fine.”

I still prefer not to go out with my kids, it is too stressful.  The screaming and fighting makes me want to kill them, personally. The constant “threat of death” from other avenues, other than me, is actually too much to bear.

We have a pine tree in our backyard, it is about 2 storeys high.

Connor loves to climb trees.  Boys climb trees – Kennith assures me.  Every time Connor climbs that tree I quietly stand and wait for him to fall and break his neck, or split his skull open. It is not a case of if, it is a case of when.  There is a large stone under the tree.  In my mind’s eye he always fell and hit his head on that rock.

It is winter, so I get a respite from tree climbing and the related stress that is associated with it.  In summer it is all tree climbing, diving in to the pool (excuse me whilst I throw up from worry) and other rather adventurous activities. In terms of rough and tumble, girls are far less stressful.

The most I can expect from Georgia … actually never mind, she did fall off a very low brick walkway to smack her mouth and her teeth to kingdom come, so please scratch that.

On Monday Priveledge said that her nephew fell out of a tree.  He fell from the tree onto gravel and hit the surface hard with his head taking the brunt of the force.

The little boy could not regain consciousness and he was taken to the hospital.  The hospital said that his injuries were so severe that he may never wake, and if he did he would be seriously mentally effected (not from waking, but clearly from falling….)

The family held out hope, though there was very little to cling to.

Yesterday morning a 10-year-old boy died in Paarl, from a head injury from a tree that he climbed often.

My son is 10 years old.

The problem with paranoia is that when it is confirmed by real life, then you realise that maybe you actually weren’t over reacting.

I feel so very ill today and the thought of the pain that Priveledge’s family must be going through.  All because “boys climb trees” and sometimes “boys fall out of trees.”

Leave a comment


  1. I feel the same. My son gives me near heart-attacks every day. He is about to turn four. So sorry for Priveledge’s family. That is just so sad.

  2. countesskaz

     /  August 23, 2012

    This touched a nerve with me. It’s one of my deepest shames that I worry about my kids so much. I try not to talk about it and I try and cover up my fears because I feel that by thinking them, I might be inviting them in. Do you know what I mean?

    i wrote a post a few weeks back about a 10 year old that died in a bus accident. I was distraught for a week. I bit too close to home. At the same token my husband says one can’t live in fear. So I carry the fear in private.

    I feel for Priviledge and her family. I don’t wish that on anyone.

  3. Our Mummy brains do horrible things to us in an effort to protect our children. My FIVE year old boy has just started to climb trees, there’s blimmin loads in our yard and it’s truly terrifying. He just keeps going up until he can get no higher, with no idea how he’s going to get down. We’ve had to ban it for now unless he has a parent with him, too too scary. Hubby and I run a playground company too, and I’m always hinting when he’s designing “don’t you think that one’s a little too high?/Needs another handrail?” 🙂 So sad to hear about Priveledge’s family too. So sad.

  4. John B

     /  August 23, 2012

    I feel ill for the effected families. I really do. both are terrible stories and I cannot imagine the pain and grief. maybe in a year or two I will understand better.

    But for now, all I can say is that Boys climb trees, jump off walls, ride bikes and so on. but relatively very few of theses become Trauma cases of note, very few. I know that statistics are easy to quote until you or a loved one becomes a statistic. far more boys are injured in car crashes as an example because they were not strapped in, Dad was driving drunk, speeding etc. these all should have been preventable with reasonable care.

    What makes my blood boil is seeing kids riding a bike with no helmet, or on a quad bike with no helmet and neck brace and so on.

    Again, I am sorry for those families.

  5. On Sunday we went to Kirstenbosch, and it is a family tradition to climb what we call the squiggly tree. I am rather partial to tree climbing and Amy loves tree climbing (any kind of climbing) so it’s not necessarily an activity restricted to boys – although the way they do it is probably where the diff lies.

    At the risk of giving you more examples to mess with your head the game is to go from one end of the tree to the other end. The tree is an enormous, horizonatlly formed mass of trunks that resembles a handful of spaghetti thrown across the ground and frozen in time just before fully landing.

    Half way along, she tumbled off. My heart stopped. But before I could react (time does actually stop!) she gave me such a looked that said “a fuss over this is unwelcome – move on” that I remained where I was and all was well. I moved on. I think my mind works in the opposite…..I genuinely find it difficult to worry about someting unless it is “sh$%##tg in my face”. Too much so. A balance of the two would probably be best.

  6. Think I need to stock up on wine…I only have boys *gulp* my shattered nerves.
    I hear you about struggling to leave the house, I find, now with the second child, it is much easier and less stressful for me to just stay home, thank heavens Pick ‘n Pay delivers.

  7. Nicole

     /  August 23, 2012

    oh my word, i said most of your post to my mother this weekend. I often feel like such a freak as I am constantly hovering over my son because of “incase”. Everyday I look at the jungle gyms at his school and think I wonder if today will be the day that he falls off and I get the call…… My dh and I hardly ever have date nights/weekends away because i constantly stress, even though he is in good hands. Thank you for writing this post, It makes me feel a little more insane and that there are other mommies ot there like me.

    I am so sorry about Priveledges nephew, how horrible and sad. My thoughts are with her family!

  8. My 9 month old son just fell from two steps on his head in his walking ring. His dad left the door open. This after he already had this fall a month ago. I was hysterical. He looks fine now. But we will never allow a walking ring in this house. And the door may never, ever be unlocked again.

  9. simone

     /  August 22, 2012

    Totally relate. I was nodding, smiling, cringing @ every word. I am exactly the same…my husband tells me to relax. I cannot…I have the same ‘skull splitting open’ visions…there is no mild fall…she will break her back/neck and be paralysed or die… And this is my daughter…heaven help me when my son becomes ‘of age’. Its very stressful and a horrible way to live. When I’m away from them its even worse…I wait for a call to say they fell and died. Or I wait for men to break in and kill us all….but that is a phobia for another day.

    • simone

       /  August 22, 2012

      And how awful for that little boy…that is so sad and makes me want to cry. I will be making sure we never have trees in our back yard!

  10. Oh gosh, I agree with you. I can not relax about things like that. ResQ remedy to the resQ


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: