My first super scary mom moment came when Bug fell head over heels down half a flight of stairs when we were visiting my best friend Randi in Iowa. I almost threw up and had a heart attack at the same time. I shook for a good while after that happened, even though it was evident that he was just fine… survived, thank God, with just a goose egg on his forehead.
One gray morning a few weeks ago, Bug and I headed to this awesome new playground in Sarasota. There was hardly anybody there even though it was like 10:30, which is prime preschool-age playtime, if you didn’t know. By the time Bug had his accident, we were the only people there. Cloudy skies make for scaredy-cats. Let me start by saying that Bug is not an uber-adventurous little boy. He is not, nor has he ever been, a climber. He is very cautious. This particular day, however, Bug actually wanted to climb things. At first, he wanted my hand on him at all times. About half an hour into our playground adventure, he was telling me, “Hands off, Momma!” Still, though, I was constantly standing super close, ready to catch him. Something about this playground… although it is awesome and fantastic, some of the high up spots are hard to get to for parents. Bug climbed up some stairs and was going to go down a slide, where I was standing, but instead took off a different direction to climb down this series of ladders (he was positioned kind of between two ladders). I told him to stop so he wouldn’t fall before I could walk around a climbing structure and another slide. Of course, he didn’t listen and started to climb down. He slipped and dropped about 5 feet to the ground, landing kind of on his knees and then onto his belly.
I dropped my camera and ran to my crying little boy. I looked him over and didn’t see anything wrong. Because he pretty much fell straight down, I knew he didn’t land on his head or neck. I thought maybe there was a chance of a sprained ankle or wrist, but nothing major. He was already starting to calm down when I saw blood on my arm. I immediately looked in his mouth, since he ended up face down after he landed… nothing. I looked at his ears… nothing. And then I realized that there was a lot of blood and that is was mostly on my arm. It was gushing from the back of his head. There was a gash about a quarter of an inch long, and deep. He must have hit the back of his head on the ladder behind him at the beginning of his fall. I calmly picked Bug up, picked up my camera and headed to our bag. I took out a clean pair of underwear (because it was either that or pants) and held them to the back of his head while I called my mom & Hubby & his pediatrician to see where I should take him to get it looked at. He stopped crying and just leaned against me while I held undies on his head. After a few minutes, most of the bleeding had stopped and we went to the car, where I cleaned most of the blood off of our skin with a bottle of water.
And then, we went to the Urgent Care clinic. I was expecting numerous ER visits with having a boy, but I wasn’t expecting the first to be when he was only 2. After I explained that we weren’t going to his usual doctor, who he LOVES, he was very concerned with what this new doctor’s name was going to be. He must’ve asked 100 times before I could finally find out the clinic doctor’s name. Once I told Bug that his name was Dr. Choy, he was just like, “Oh.” The doc checked him out and decided that although he probably could’ve used a stitch, it really wasn’t necessary. The nurse cleaned it and gave Bug a Beanie Baby for being so brave.
And let me tell you… brave he was. My bug didn’t cry the whole way to the doctor, even though he couldn’t lean his head back against his car seat. He didn’t cry one time at the clinic, either, even when the nurse was cleaning out his wound. He was polite and chatted nicely with the nurse and doctor. I was insanely proud of him. And, on top of all of that… he didn’t have an accident in his underwear the entire time. It had probably been 2 hours since I’d taken him potty, and I didn’t even think to take him before we left the playground (where the potty was far away, anyways) or right when we got to the clinic. So, we peed in the potty at the clinic, said goodbye and went to McDonald’s for a celebratory first real injury lunch.
We called Namaw (my mom) and she asked how he got his boo-boo. He said, “I fell at the awesome playground.” Later that night, Hubby asked Bug how he got his big boo-boo. He said, “I was climbing, and I fell and Momma didn’t catch me.” Ouch. Break my heart, why don’t ya.
A note on this scary moment versus the first… this was much less traumatic for me, even though Bug was actually injured this time. Maybe it was because the fall itself wasn’t as scary. Maybe it was because I saw how he landed. Maybe it was because as soon as I heard him cry I knew he was ok. Maybe it was because when he fell down the stairs, I was right next to him and couldn’t catch him in time. I am just thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured.