I wrote a post almost 2 weeks ago. I am only just now ready to share it. I decided not to edit it; instead, I’ll just leave this here, as it was when the emotions were raw.
Last night, I let Bumby fall down the stairs.
We were in the kitchen and he was standing up and holding onto the freezer. I was on the other side of the island from him, watching him and also trying to figure out how many pierogis are in a package. All of a sudden, he just took off for the stairs, cruising along the wall. I screamed “Bumby, NO” and he just laughed and went faster. I couldn’t get to him in time. He turned to look at me with an evil little glint in his eye, and then stepped deliberately backwards off the top step. He slid all the way down to the bottom on his back, head first. I was one step behind him, screaming NONONONO the whole time. When he got to the bottom, I finally caught up with him and scooped him up. He fussed for a minute but never seemed to really even cry. I held him and patted his back and cried. He smiled at me and tried to shove his fingers up my nose.
I think he had lifted his head up so he kind of slid down the stairs on his back, rather than banging his head all the way down. I had tossed a cardboard box down the stairs to take out to the recycling, so he hit that at the bottom and didn’t slide onto the stone tile. His pupils were reacting, and he has no bruises. I had my sister call her boyfriend, who is a doctor, and he said that if Bumby was acting normally afterward, with no injuries and no tears, he is likely fine and there is no reason to go to the ER.
My logic-brain says things like, “This kind of thing happens to all kids.”
“That is why kids are made of rubber. Bumbys bounce!”
“I was watching him, but just wasn’t fast enough. It could have happened to anyone.”
None of this matters. It didn’t happen to all kids, it happened to mine. It didn’t happen on anyone else’s watch, it happened on mine. I spent the night terrified that he would not wake up. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw my baby sliding backwards down the stairs.
I had planned to write this with a little humor interjected — What do you know? Kids apparently have no self-preservation instinct whatsoever, because Bumby flung himself down a flight of stairs while laughing maniacally at my attempts to save him from himself. But the truth is, I’m just not there yet. Everywhere I look, the world suddenly seems like such a dangerous place. This thing is sharp, that thing is a choking hazard, these stairs are DEATH TRAPS and should not be permitted in residences.
This is right on the heels of a work mistake (two, actually). I was, for once, feeling rather on top of things at home, and thinking perhaps I should not bother with the whole gainful employment thing, and should stay in the domestic realm where I was hitting it out of the park. That is over now. I sincerely hope this is the third thing in the trilogy of bad things that are coming in threes.