Last night I was talking to my mom on my drive home from work, and I was telling her what a good little boy Alex has been lately. "Soon I may even love him as much as I love Mia!" I said.
I was joking, mostly. Alex has not been the easiest of babies, which is a whole other blog post all by itself. Or maybe 10 posts. But my mom just laughed and said, "Oh, but you already do. If something were to happen to him, you'd realize that."
She was right. This morning I put Alex on my bed while I got dressed for work, and then I walked over to the closet to get some shoes. When I turned around, I saw Mia climbing up onto the bed and Alex reaching out to touch her face. And then, right before my eyes, he tumbled off. It happened in a flash, but I processed it in slo-mo, lunging toward him with a scream as I watched him land on the floor, on his head.
On his HEAD. Like, if I held him by his ankles and let go, that is how he fell. I was hysterical. I scooped him up without thinking, and he wailed in my arms as I held him and watched his body for movement. He fell at just such a grotesquely bad angle – his head bounced on the floor like the end of a pogo stick – that I was quite convinced his neck was broken and I was going to have a little Christopher Reeve baby for the rest of my life and it was all my fault.
Now, for the record, 10 minutes later he was giggling in his high chair and eating a waffle. So clearly the kid is fine. But how stupid I felt. It haunted me all day long – the vision of his little body crashing into the floor replayed in my head a thousand times. I should never have walked so far away. He is too fast and mobile right now, and I KNOW that. I was just distracted, rushed, exhausted ... three ever-present traits of a working mom. Terrible excuses, though. This was entirely my fault, and I felt horrible.
And all day long other moms comforted me with stories that were as bad (or worse) than mine. So this is obviously one of those parenthood moments where right now, today, it seems like The Worst Thing That Ever Happened, but at some point I will be one of those seasoned moms who hears another's story, nods wisely and goes "Oh, yes! That. We've done that." I remember fretting over the possibility of a C-section when Alex was breech at 8 months, and a friend told me, "Well ... then that's just another square you'll get on the Bingo card of life." Today I got my Bingo square where I turn my kid into an ACTUAL EXAMPLE of the punchline "Yo momma dropped you on yo head."
p.s. I really, really miss writing here. It's just that I am a terribly slow writer, and after I take forever to write something, I then edit the hell out of it for a few more hours. Not a process that's easy to fit in along with two kids, a husband, a job, a house, a crippled dog (yep, still crippled!) etc. But I have decided that crappy, unedited posts are better than no posts at all. So ... here's to (hopefully) freestyling it for now.