Saturday, July 07, 2007

In inches

The distance from Spencer's head, as he stood in his carseat, to the pavement below: about sixty inches.

The location of the gash that resulted when he fell to the pavement below: six inches above his right eye and four inches above his ear.

The length of said gash: barely a half-inch, but oh my word, the bloodshed.

The distance I was standing from him when it happened: maybe twenty inches. With my back turned to him.

The long and short of it: he's absolutely fine, and within ten minutes, was cheerfully singing the alphabet song with his siblings, oblivious to the blood spattered across his shirt. I, on the other hand, will feel like absolute crap for some time to come.

Because I was right there. With (did I mention this already?) my back turned to him as he climbed into his car seat. And it took a full second after hearing the sickening thump for me to realize that, no, the stroller hadn't fallen out of the minivan; my son had.

I scooped him up and forced myself to breathe and stay calm while soothing him and inspecting every inch of his sweet noggin. Within a minute, I guessed that we probably wouldn't be dashing to the nearest hospital, but I called the after-hours pediatric hotline for a medical opinion.

Query: in the entire history of parenthood, has an accident like this ever occurred during regular office hours?

By the time the nurse called back, Spencer was singing and laughing, with just a few tears still perched precipitously on his cheeks. After patiently listening to me replay the entire awful scene for her benefit, the nurse assured me that he'd be just fine. To cover her bases, she reminded me of the warning signs for concussion, then said good-bye.

Then, and only then, did I allow myself to cry. Once I was all cried out, I stared glassy-eyed and vacant into space, terrified at the realization that if anything had moved one inch more, further or nearer, we might not have been as lucky.

Thank goodness, it didn't. We were. We are. And hopefully, will always be.

On a totally different note: it's often the case that a race is won by inches. Last month, Trey and his dad journeyed to Indy to watch a bunch of cars drive really, really fast.

If you want more technical details than that, you'd best read this. And if you'd like to see a small, carefully edited sampling of the nearly one thousand, four hundred pictures that Trey snapped over the course of the weekend, by all means click here.

None for me, thanks. I get my adrenaline rush just by running errands.


Anonymous Minivan Mom said...

As a fellow mom of 3 - HUGS!

We can't be there at all times. They outnumber us. They outnumber us AND our husbands. Even when we're less than 2 feet away, it can happen oh-so-easily.

So glad sweet Spence is okay. And of COURSE this always happens when the husband is away, right?

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, big hugs from me as well!

the important thing is what it is and you did what you could.

they never fall when we're far away (nothing serious anyway) and i can't even imagine with three how hard it is to keep up. even with one, you can't always catch them.

little man broke his elbow in a similar scenario in our bedroom when he was a year old. right there - couldn't catch him - tiny fall - big guilt and sadness.

no hospital visit though (this time - read there will be more and you will be a rock star when they happen)! so proud of both you and spence!

6:50 AM  
Blogger anniemcq said...

Oh, Sweetie. I can so relate. My favorite line is "Query: in the entire history of parenthood, has an accident like this ever occurred during regular office hours?" That made me laugh, and sigh, because I knew if you were writing that line that things must have turned out fine. OH, and the answer to the query is "No. Silly."

Last week I took JH to the park, and I was pushing him on the swing. He kept saying "Harder! harder!", and so I pushed harder, and while on the upswing his hands lost his grip, he slid out backwards and landed on his head, adding a sickening flip over at the end. I thought for sure he'd broken his neck. He lived to tell about it (and tell about it and tell about it) starting with the line "Mommy was pushing me way too hard on the swing..."
I'm so glad that sweet Spencer is okay. Tell him not to do that to his mommy anymore! ;)

7:38 AM  
Blogger Saint Richard said...

Ouch...Why are these incidents so much more traumatizing for us than they are for the kids? Last summer I was at Bailey's football practice. Sam and Lucy were running around (Sam playing his own imaginary game of football in front of me, and Lucy playing with a group of children off to my left). I was watching Bailey when I heard a cry (isn't amazing how you can recognize your child's cry in a crowd). Lucy was sitting on the ground crying, and a little boy was standing near her looking thoroughly frightened.

As I was walking over to her, she stood up and I saw the front of her dress absolutely covered in blood. It turned out to be a gash on her chin (didn't require stitched), but oh the blood. It was everywhere.

Still, within minutes, she was up and playing again, and I bore the guilt until the scar was no longer visible.


p.s. The word verification for this comment is "fangups"...I don't know why, but that makes me laugh

8:19 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

Big hugs from me as well!! Its seems to me the only time they do things like this are a)after dr.s office hours, b)when you are literally right next to them, c)when you are deathly ill and think you are about to die until they hurt themselves and you have to turn into supermom, d)or when you are trying to make a good first impression and it doesn't happen.

I have had the same things happen to me and you always feel terrible, but there is nothing you could do about it, hence the word accident.

I feel for ya!! But just know you are a fabulous mommy and no one could do a better job, even Mary Poppins!! Where is she when we need her???

8:35 AM  
Blogger Franklin5 said...

Thanks to all for your sweet comments, which did assauge my guilt somewhat... but it was Rich's p.s. that made me laugh.

Y'all be sure to tell me if you get passwords like "durotic" or "finsane." Then I'll know for sure that Blogger is on to me.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Sugar Photography said...

my word verification is oqxmmhga

I don't get it

anyway-don't get me started on accidents. you know I've got you beat (though tied with Isaac and his broken elbow).

'cause if my kids tell one more stranger that "Mommy buhn-ed Benny" I might just have to pick up a new extracurricular activity...drinking before 10 am.

that and the shrieking run from the kitchen that happens EVERY TIME I whip out the big pot to make some pasta.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous trabilcobb said...

A few weeks ago, Nicholas grabbed a bottle of all-purpose cleaner off the top dryer AS I WAS LOADING IT, went in the other room, opened it and took a swig. It took me a moment to realize what had happened. Fortunately, it is one of those all natural brands, and poison control said all-purpose cleaners are mainly soap, so the main concern is just vomiting. He didn't even do that, although apparently the taste of lavender in his mouth spoiled his appetite.

And I only have ONE! That you don't have a story like this every week is a testament to your mad mommy skills!

p.s. My word is cuijz. Not sure what it means, but I like the looks of it.

5:43 PM  
Blogger Shigeta said...

Don't worry Pepper...I'll save you! Cuz Ms. Chika only lets her kids fall out of shopping carts AND if you're really good I'll let you trip and fall into the corner of the couch and have prizefighter eye, 'k pumpkin.

mine's ailwck

9:42 PM  
Blogger life with the wisners said...

sooo...hopefully you're feeling better now after everyone's historical moments. happens to each and every one of us. and if someone says it doesn't. well, they're lying.

(i'm trying to stop laughing at weentrab's comment. sorry weentrab.)

big h fell off one of the bars at a playground, straight onto another bar. and we were told to watch for concussion cues as well.

fine moments these are.

(yikes! my word verification is fqkmol. what?)

8:01 PM  

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