Saturday, April 4, 2009

Things That Go Bump in the Night...or Day

That mark you see tainting my son's handsome face is Nate's first shiner from two days ago.

Ever the eager, active baby, he awoke on Thursday morning ready and rearing to exercise. Sitting is old news so first on the agenda was crawling to the edge of the bed and pulling himself up on the bed frame. Before I could reach out to support him in his efforts, he tripped on his footed sleeper and fell forward, hitting his face on the solid beechwood frame. HARD.

There were tears shed - by both of us. I was afraid to look at him, as I was scared to see blood. I swooped him up in my arms, rocking and cuddling him, when I immediately noticed swelling on his cheek. My attempts to ice it were fruitless, as he resisted the frigid washcloth. I could only kiss it softly and soothe him by singing his favorite song, Jingle Bells. The above photo was taken several hours after the incident, when the wound looked its worst.

The bruise is now yellow and, thankfully, is fading quickly. I wanted to take him to get his picture taken with the Easter Bunny this coming week and the last thing I want is an ugly blemish to forever serve as pictorial evidence of how I wasn't there to protect him.

I know kids will be kids. These things are bound to happen. This is just the first in a long line of bumps, bruises, scrapes, cuts, broken bones, etc. But seeing my poor baby hurt for the first time caused an ache in my chest. I should have been there to catch him. I should have stopped him from climbing. I could have prevented this. But I couldn't. I didn't.

I felt a slight pang in my heart. He's becoming more independent by the hour and I want to foster that independence. I want him to explore and learn lessons on his own. But he's only 8 months old. He still needs me. He doesn't know the meaning of danger. He doesn't realize his handicap. He's fearless and dives right into each new milestone full force, no matter the consequences. My responsibility as a mother is to guide him. Inevitably, I will witness mistakes and missteps. I will behold his pain but will at times be helpless to thwart it. It's indescribably hard to stand by and watch your greatest love suffer when your whole existence serves to eliminate said suffering. Especially when your greatest love is 2.5 feet tall and utterly defenseless.

One thing's for sure, I doubt I'll be nominated for any Mother of the Year awards anytime soon.


Fertilized said...

It's so hard when they get to this stage. We are going through this wanting independence stage also. Have for some time now. I want him to learn and explore but I don't know how to do it and provide complete safety. Good Luck to you

Robyn said...

My sister in law swears by Arnica. She had to use it quite often when my nephew learned to walk and fell quite a few times. It's worth looking into!

Dr. Grumbles said...

Aww, poor little guy! Don't beat yourself up, bumps and bruises happen. At least it bothers you, that shows how much you love him.