11 May 2007

It's a Good Thing Babies Are Sturdy

I learned quite a bit about babies when I was in the Peace Corps. There are a lot of babies in Gabon, so just by observation one takes in quite a bit. One of the main things I noticed is that babies are quite sturdy. I often saw baby arms used as handles to hoist kids from ground to hip or back. Kids often crawled and toddled around in relatively unsupervised conditions (there were always adults around, but only so many for all the kids), and they would fall over, run into each other, squabble, etc. and come out of most of it just fine.

I don't mean to be cavalier, but I'm glad to know that babies are physically more resilient than many people think.

What I'm getting around to saying is that it was not Madeleine's day. Before we even got out the door for a morning walk, she caught the corner of the office trash can in the eyebrow when Riley knocked it over, an encounter that left her with a minor cut. Then, in the lot where I park my car, she sustained an abrasion on her elbow as I did an inept job of taking the baby backpack off my back, losing my balance and causing the whole thing to tip sideways.

The crowning glory, though, was this evening. I'm ashamed to admit that she rolled off the changing table. Just like you always hear, I turned my back for a quick second and THUD! My heart sank. Foolish, foolish me. The good news is that she was more easily consoled than her brother, who saw the whole thing happen and was completely flipped out. I'm watching Maddie for signs of an injury to her head, but she seems to be OK. She definitely did not lose consciousness, and other than being startled, she was fine: alert, looking around, talking, etc. I just went in and checked on her as she slept and she looks as peaceful as can be.

I had planned to start changing them into their PJs on the floor--not sure why I decided against it tonight. Sigh. Lesson learned.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's happened to me, too (i.e. rolling of the bed, both of my children). And they weren't twins, so I should have known better with the second.

my daughter tripped and fell down a set of concrete chairs when I was trying to carry the stroller down.

as far as I can tell, they're still absolutely perfect.

bj

NP Ski said...

When my daughter was 5 months old, I left her stupidly in the middle of our king bed not thinking she would go anywhere and walked into the bathroom for that "quick minute" and boom, down she went....we are not perfect. Maddie will be ok for sure.

Lisa said...

How wonderful that Riley is so empathetic. Being a twin myslef, that is just such a good trait. What a wonderful brother he is!

And bumps and bruises always seem to come in 3s!

Tigger said...

When my sister was little, they called her "Stone Head". She has fallen off the changing table several times and when she was 4, she walked into a wall...bounced back...stared at the wall like "How did you get there?" and kept walking. My niece will do something and hurt herself...and will cry the big fake tears to make you look. If you don't look, she stops. :)

Kids have to be resilient. If they weren't, none of us would be here to read and write now. We'd never have survived our childhoods!

bugg said...

True story: when I was a baby, my mom took her hand off my tummy on the changing table for about 10 seconds, and I rolled off onto the floor. Today, I'm a Ph.D. student. So I guess I came out of it okay (though I'm sure some would beg to differ...)

Anonymous said...

Cripes, I can relate.. Darling son (now 14 and apparently no worse for wear) rolled off his very high changing table at TWO months old as I turned to grab a diaper.

His twin sisters stroller rolled off a sidewalk while I turned to check on the leashed dog and let go of the stroller for 2 seconds. Damned stroller rolled off a curb hitting both daughters heads on concrete, too heavy for me to right until a kind man quickly pulled over and helped me right it. A quick dash to ER and all deemed fine.

Kids keep you on your toes for sure. Motherhood is not easy! Or without profound moments of guilt.

We are all human and just doing the best we can. (My life motto dammit!)

amyinbc@gmail.com

Melany aka Supermom said...

I think many a child has fallen like that but not so many parents are willing to admit! Like you say, they are stronger than we think. Thankfully

Sitting in Silence said...

Love the pictures a few entries back, the twins are so sweet.
I can sure relate to the bed roll.

Suz said...

That thunk?!?! Thank goodness that I only heard it once when Henry rolled off the changing table when I was standing right there. His twin distracted me and then...thunk. Like you, I either change them on the floor now or use the strap. Henry was just fine!

Anonymous said...

I got hit in the head with the bat at T-ball practice. The girl who hit me later won a softball scholarship to a major university. I got some stitches, was the hero of the 2nd grade, and now I'm in law school. See, everything's fine.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

My daughter fell off the changing table too. I hate that long second before they start to cry. My son fell off the bed. My daughter got her head stuck under the climbing frame when she was four and I had to find super strength to get it off her. My son dropped lead weights from our old sash windows on his toes when he was three. He also decided to pick his toe nail off. Ouch!!

Yankee T said...

I feel sorriest for poor old Riley. You understand they're resilient, Maddie didn't feel too bad, but how do you explain to Riley that it's really ok?
God but you've got your hands full!

Anonymous said...

I dropped my daughter (while trying to balance 6 week old twins while feeding them) from the bed onto the floor. I was totally freaked out! But, she'll turn 6 next month, and there seem to be no ill effects. In fact, she says that I'm the best mother ever. I'll just wait a long time to tell her about the dropping incident.

AMH said...

If its any consolation, my daughter launched herself off the bed two weeks ago, while I was standing right there folding laundry. I felt like a huge, huge jerk. She was just fine, I cried for a good half a day!

You're doing a great job with those two, they are oh so cute. I need to find one of those bath seats you've got in the photo down below...

Rev Dr Mom said...

I think most of us moms have at least one rolling-off-the-changing-table type story. Yes, it's a good thing babies are resilient.

liz said...

It's happened to all of us. Hugs to you on this Mother's Day.

OTR sister said...

One of the things I think is amazing is that when I have accidentally hurt my daughter, either by bumping her into something or her falling down before I could stop it, her instant reaction is to go to me for comfort.

It makes me sad to think that for children who's parents are INTENTIONALLY hurting them, the reaction is the same.

OTR sister said...

Sorry for that downer of a thought. Happy Mother's Day! It sounds like you're a wonderful Mom.

Melissa said...

Happy Mother's Day!

Thanks for sharing that story - and thanks for making me feel better through the telling!

Hayden threw herself off our bed a few days ago (really - she just *flung* her wee body off the bed like some insane ballerina) in an attempt to jump in my arms (I think that was her motive) and the sound of her head hitting the floor almost made me faint/puke with horror. I felt like the world's worst mother.

But your story (and the oodles of comments) made me feel much better! Thanks, thanks thanks. And whew...

Take care~