God forbid I should become a “hover mum”, but I obviously stood back too far today. While I don’t want to prevent Nicholas from exploring his world and testing his limits, I realized today how important it is that I stop him from doing the really unsafe things. You know, the kind that come with a thud, scream, and a lot of blood!
He’s been so actively climbing recently that I’ve become a little immune to it … friends who were over for dinner last night kept wanting to hold him while he climbed into the (child-sized) rocking chair and proceeded to rock, standing up and facing backwards. I reassured them that he’s been doing this for a couple of weeks now and seems to be very well-balanced. I did, initially, try to stop him but my warnings went completely unheeded, so I decided to just sit by and wait for the inevitable tumble, hoping he would learn about his limits (and balancing abilities) and that it wouldn’t be too bad.
Well, it happened today … and it WAS bad!
I heard the crash as he hit the floor … as always, it was preceded by that “here I go now” silence … and turned to find him face down with blood already gushing from his mouth. OH CRAP!!! You can’t imagine how fast I hopped over the baby gate and crossed the floor to pick him up! That’s when I realized the blood was also coming from a gash on his chin, about an inch long and wide open. He hadn’t hit anything on the way down, so it must have just been the force of the impact with the floor that did it.
He cuddled in to me, crying (but not screaming anymore), for about 15 minutes and then decided he was OK and ready to play again (most of the blood had stopped running by this point, although we were both covered in it). I am so thankful that I feel calm in an emergency and wait until the panic is over to have my own reaction. When I felt it coming, I ran to a neighbour’s for a little consoling and she reassured me that I wasn’t over-reacting by wanting to take him to the doc to be checked (I didn’t know if the gash on his chin would need stitches or not).
The doctor explained that stitches are only necessary when the cut is deep, so he didn’t need them. He will, however, have a scar. I sure hope, for his sake, that it’s one of those cute little endearing scars and not one that he holds against me for life! There’s that “mummy guilt” again!
A quick stop to see Deb at the Health Unit – she’s a mum and a great source of comfort/support! Her advice … HOVER when he’s in an unsafe situation! Sounds so logical now … after the fact.
Lesson learned … for me, at least. He seems to have forgotten the entire thing. We sat him in the rocking chair tonight, to make sure he wasn’t afraid of it (a la “fall off a horse, get right back on” concept) and he proceeded to turn around, stand up, and start rocking again! UH-OH! He’s a daredevil and has a short memory … not a safe combination! Needless to say, the rocking chair is going into the cupboard for a few months … until he can comprehend the consequences of his actions.