Bumps, Falls, Scrapes and Bruises

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I honestly thought that this would be an article that I would be writing later in my child’s life, but already, at a ripe age of 11 ½ months I am faced with the continuous heart-stopping incidents of my son falling and hurting himself and he is not even walking on his own yet! What is even more frightening, according to my friends, is that once he is walking on his own, the number of falls will increase exponentially. Are you kidding me?!!!! Every week I am nursing a new bruise or bump after he has had an unsuccessful round of pushing something around the house or he has experienced a failed attempt of climbing off of a couch, chair or bed. The irony is immediately after the fall my son sounds as if he is the one who is injured, however, after his bruises heal and the pain subsides, I am the one left with a feeling of pain and failure as a mother because I let this happen.

Just the other day, he slipped in the tub and hit his head which resulted in him swallowing a significant amount of water! Okay, there was only about a half an inch of water in the tub and it barely covered his legs, but the story sounds better if I say it was a significant amount of water. Anyway, he was sitting when this happened, and I was sitting directly in front of him. As I held my screaming and coughing child all I could do was hold back my own tears and shame. Once his pain passed (which was literally 5 minutes later) he was ready to jump right back into the tub again and play. However, I had that huge bruise on his forehead to remind me of my mistake. Anyone with a small child knows that attempting to put ice on a baby’s forehead is a useless endeavor. They will swat you away every time no matter how you try to sneak in from the left or wrap the ice with something fun, if they are anything like my son, they are not having it! So needless to say I had to look at that bump all evening. I concluded the evening with another sleepless night because I kept watching him all night to ensure he was breathing. Unfortunately, when you are armed with a little bit of information, like watching your child for an hour after they hit their head, us obsessive mom’s will take it to the extreme because if watching for one hour is good isn’t 12 hours better?

This is only after one year folks! He is as an adventurous little boy and I know that the mishaps and falls will increase, but I don’t know if I can handle it. The very first documented fall was the most traumatic for me and truthfully, it was my fault. I haven’t shared this with anyone but, I was holding him when it happened. It was a cold winter morning, maybe last January and we were both sleeping on the couch. I was exhausted after a long night of breast-feeding, pumping and stressing over a new baby. Well, I fell into that deep REM sleep that is so treasured but rarely reached when I felt my left arm relax completely ( in my dream I was reaching for my dance partner on “So You Think You Can Dance” and I was wowing the crowd as the oldest and most talented participant). That moment of bliss was quickly interrupted by a crying baby lying on the floor next to the couch. I swear I was two heartbeats away from a heart attack at that moment and I vowed to myself to never allow my child to fall again. Needless to say, ten months later I have miserably failed at that vow.

There is only so much baby-proofing you can do in your house and nevertheless, my child still seems to be capable of finding that small area to slip and fall and HIT HIS HEAD! I mean the percentage of head impact falls is way above the other body parts and you can’t cover that stupid bruise with clothing. One thing our child loves to do now is push things around the house, be it chairs, boxes, playpens, you name it, if he can move it he will. We thought we were being extremely clever when we purchased this great push toy that you can also ride like a little bike. Well, the initial fall occurred after we placed him on the bike and we realized that he couldn’t get off (he hadn’t mastered the leg raise over the bike move yet). Well, he promptly fell sideways and hit the floor, landing on his head (yet again). We then decided that maybe it was too early for him to ride on the toy, so we transformed it into a walker, in efforts to assist him in mastering this skill. Well, our child attempted to push this toy and ended up in a strange position where he was leaning forward at about a ninety degree angle. He was stumbling around in an almost drunken-like state bumping into whatever was in his way with a pregnant momma and coaching papa following close behind. Needless to say these instances have mostly ended in falls because we haven’t given up on this toy (we spent money on this contraption). And to make matters worse, our son walks with perfect posture and form whenever he is pushing one of the kitchen chairs around the room, not the fancy contraption we purchased. Imagine that!

The most recent fall occurred today with my little adventure-seeker hanging on the handle to the oven door. I only glanced at him for a second, just in time to see the door open and my little boy float backwards to the floor, along with the door of the oven, hitting that noggin again. Lord, give me strength, what am I going to do? After 5 minutes of crying he was back to swinging on the oven handle again, which is now locked by the way. I am not so sure I am ready for all this excitement in my life, which will be times two in the near future. I know my skin is going to have to thicken a whole lot to handle the future escapades. I guess this is one of those times when having a little girl doesn’t seem so bad. Anyway, I can only hope for the best, meaning less head impact falls, better luck with icing the bruises and a good glass of merlot to help me chill out.


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