Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Peter Pan

Lest you were thinking otherwise, we have now determined that the baby has no magical powers of flight, nor has he mastered any Jedi tricks involving levitation.

For about three minutes after dinner last night, all three of my boys sat on the floor with a blanket over their feet watching President Obama's speech. I've promised Slim that I'll be less effusive with my Obama-praise, which is a good thing, but I will say today that I really like how in control and in charge he seems. Whether you agree with his ideas or not, I think it is really hard to question his sincerity or his intensity. I was moved to tears when he announced the volunteerism bill jointly sponsored by Senators Hatch and Kennedy. These men, with their intense and genuine friendship have truly exemplified that to disagree does not mean to be disagreeable. Little Jedi looked up at me and said, "Mom, I'm wondering, what can I do for my country?" Wow. Can America fail if there are children like him? Like yours? Like that determined little gal who stood next to Michelle Obama and took the praise of a nation for her plea not to be given up on? I think not.

But I digress: we were discussing the Youngling's weakness for gravity.

When the three minutes of sitting quietly were up (which might actually be some kind of record), the big boys ran off down the hall on some rendezvous with a sword fight. Youngling followed, squealing, because he wants to be just like them. There was a fair amount of noise coming from their 11 x 11 bedroom which contains a crib, a set of twin bunk beds, a fairly large dresser, a basket for balls, a beanbag that has evolved into the naughty chair and a small trash can. It gets crowded and crazy when they are all in there together, but that pretty much describes my whole life.

I figured that Youngling was climbing up and down the bunk bed ladder, which he taught himself to do last week. (Last Wednesday I walked in the bedroom, scenting out the baby to change his diaper, only to see him sitting on the top bunk with a smug smile that threatened to split his mischievous little face. I asked Padawan how long Youngling had been able to do this and could he get back down? The answers were "For a couple of days" and "Sure!") I've seen him go up and down the ladder several times and saw that he really was proficient: just because my heart nearly stops every time I see him do it doesn't mean he isn't capable, right?

Further, when he sits on the top bunk, he just sits. Or he pretends to sleep after begging for someone to throw his blanket up there. Or he bounces on his padded little tushy. He acts like he is very aware of how high he is. Until last night, it seemed apparent that his new skill was much more about the journey than the destination.

Five minutes before the end of Mr. Obama's speech, there was a lot of extremely loud screaming that erupted all at once from the bedroom, followed by much running down the hall as I jumped off the couch. Youngling had not slipped coming or going on the ladder, nor had he accidentally fallen off the top: by all reports (by which I mean TWO, one from a 4 year old, the other from a 7 year old, so who really knows?) the Youngling deliberately stepped off the railing onto the floor and belly flopped on the carpet.

Before I knew the details, however, I only heard the screaming and so I completely disregarded all of my mediocre first-aidy skills. I did not ascertain if he had fallen on his head. I did not check for broken bones before I moved him. I did not clear the space. I did not order any one to call 9-1-1.

I picked up my dear baby who was crying harder than I have ever heard him cry. His wails were cat-like and high, just like a newborn's. Very scary. It took nearly fifteen minutes of walking and rocking to finally calm him down, and then when we did he was unnaturally still. He lay on my shoulder, hardly blinking, and then sat on my bed sucking his thumb and acting properly dazed. Plantboy said the two most horrible words for a mother, "Emergency room," but I just shook my head and insisted that it didn't do me any good to have two nurses (mom and sister) and a doctor (brother) in the family if I couldn't get some feedback about concussions and internal bleeding before rushing into the emergency room.

It turned out to be my dad who was able to give me the best concussion information. It seems that he was once clocked with a baseball bat. I get waves of nausea just thinking about it. And sis was the fount of knowledge about internal bleeding--incredible pain and puking up blood. Lovely.

The baby perked up by bedtime and seemed mostly back to his normal self, if a little bit resentful. His way of telling me about an injury (real or otherwise) is to point at the thing or person that hurt him and scream, then touch the injured part and make a hilariously pained face. Last night he kept pointing at the bunk beds, keeping them at a safe distance from himself in the other room, and jabbering a whole string of what I can only guess were profanities.

Anyway, I pushed, stretched, poked, wiggled, and prodded him all over and he seems to be doing fine, other than a little bit of resentment over how much of his personal space I chose to invade. Mothers can be so annoying like that. I wonder how he is going to take it when he finds the bunk bed ladder in the garage. . . .


Sherry said...

I was a climber too. And a faller. My mom claims (She's kind of an exaggerator) that I brought her a butcher knife when I was eight months old. Apparently I did this by dragging my high chair to the counter, climbing up, grabbing said knife, and climbing back down.

She also says when I was about that age she found me on top of the piano. It was a cabinet grand- so basically an extra-tall upright.

The climbing continued into my.... adult years. I still love climbing trees. And anything I can find to climb.

But I sure don't blame you for putting the ladder in the garage.

Janssen said...

Yikes. Glad he's okay.

I didn't have my first emergency room visit until I was 18, when I sliced my shoulder wide open by falling onto the fireplace tile hearth.

Sunnie said...

i cannot tell how afraid i am of my little one taking a header off the top bunk. she, too, loves to climb the ladder. everyday i have to remove it and put it on the bottom bunk. i feel your pain. i'm glad he is okay. so so scary.

Suburban Hippie said...

I was terrified reading about your little one's fall - I am glad he is okay!

"Mom, I'm wondering, what can I do for my country?" - one example of how your child is exceptional ;)

I LOVE Obama!!!

Nerd Goddess said...

I'm glad he's okay. Little boys do seem to have the tendency to want to fly. ;)

chris w said...

The worst is when they look at you like: "How did you let this happen?"
It's a good thing they are fairly cartilaginous (did I just make that word up?) for a while. :)

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Cartlilaginous is totally a word. Uh, sharks? It is the spelling that may be a bit dodgy.

Cathy said...

Injuries to small children are terrifying. My own small three have yet to end up in the emergency room but I know it's only a question of time and opportunity.

I'll never forget being 15, watching 6 siblings and 3 cousins, and receiving the report (from a not quite three year old brother) that my not quite three year old cousin had conked his head against the closet door after jumping off the end of the bed. Profuse bleeding etc.--but no concussion. The most amazing part (other than trying to keep a two year old quiet and under observation until my parents got back--I did know enough first aid to know that I didn't need an ambulance) was my little cousin's stoicism when his gash on his forehead was stitched up. No anesthetic, and he was terrified of the baby board they wanted to put him in. I held him and sang "Winnie the Pooh". He barely teared up. I'm thankful that childhood resilience protected the Youngling!

To the treeclimber--my husband and I climbed together while dating and now we climb as a family. Kudos for continuing!

denedu said...

Oh, how I know the wonderful and terrifying actions of little boys. :) It's funny how all of our commonsense just flies out the window when one of our young gets hurt. But then maybe, just maybe, our head and heart are working together to keep us in our right minds and letting us know they are o.k.. I remember when Jerdon clocked his head on the pavement when riding down the little hill by the D building in the snow. He got a pretty big goose egg on his forehead, but what fine. I figure...if there are no bones protruding from their little bodies, not blood spurting anywhere, and they are awake then they are o.k.. Mother's intuition can be a funny thing. Anywhooooooooo...glad he is o.k.. And thanks for the chuckle. It's nice to hear these stories from other mother's of boys. ;)

Christie said...

I'm so glad all is well. We've been to the emergency room with each of our childen. Absolutely no fun!

Slyck and Slim said...

Ok, so I know that hurt and I feel really bad for your baby, but I am laughing so hard at your description of how it all happened! Bunk beds make for some very interesting stories, don't they? One of mine slept-walked off hers a year ago and fell face first onto a nightstand. And by the way, if you like Obama, you can say so. That's what democracy is all about. :)

Slyck and Slim said...

Oh and now I get your title, too. LOL!!!!


I agree with Slim. It's your blog and you can gush about Obama all you want. I'll never think it's okay or the American way to penalize the productive in order to support the less productive. That crushes initiative to try harder and strive for more. I'll never think it's okay to ship my taxdollars overseas to subsidize abortions. I'll also never think it's okay to prop up and nationalize businesses with our tax dollars. Do we really want the government in charge of all our institutions? They haven't done such a great job with education. There's nothing to suggest that they'd be competent to run a nationalized health care system or the banking/auto industries either.

However, I know that this nonsense-aside from the coerced taxpayer funding of abortions-did not start under Obama. He's just continuing some of the craziness left over from Bush which leads me to ask where exactly is the change?