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Posts Tagged ‘gross’

I’m accustomed to L’s scrapes and contusions. They are an often repeated fact of his life. Several times, every day, the following can be heard in my house:

  • quick pitter-patter of little feet
  • large crashing sound, (sometimes followed by smaller, follow-up crashing sounds; sometimes accompanied by floor actually shaking)
  • a beat
  • “I OK!”

Mostly injuries are limited to minor bumps and bruises. Occasionally a huge egg sized lump on the back of his head. Usually blood is at a minimum except for his string of falls back between about 1-2 years old when he repeatedly put his teeth through his lip. These were disturbing and gross, and probably, retrospectively, needed stitches since I now affectionately call him snaggle-mouth. (But T assures me that this deformity is really only noticeable by me.) Poor L is constantly covered in bruises that I can’t account for. Sometimes I’ll get him up in the morning to find he has a black eye – a surprise to both of us. I think he actually had a cracked rib for a while since he complained of tenderness and had some pale bruising in the area which lasted for weeks.*

But, it’s not L’s injuries I want to talk about today. It’s S. She’s on the go. And, I’m afraid, she’s stupid. She now crawls quickly and with purpose, and pulls up on everything. The stupid comes into effect in her choices of things to pull up on, and the fact that she looks straight down at her own hands while crawling, instead of looking ahead at oncoming objects like coffee tables. The latter results in bashing her head against said objects all day long. The former results in her attempting to pull herself up on objects of questionable stability. Like, say, a can of soup laying on its side which she has just pulled down (narrowly missing her little feet) from the bottom shelf of our pantry.

I’m sure that getting used to L hurting himself was an adjustment for me. It’s so commonplace now that it’s hard to remember if I was upset by each injury early on. But with S, I’m having a hard time adapting. It seems like only moments ago that she was this tiny, screaming bundle, always carefully protected in my arms, in a sling, strapped into a swing moving 35 mph in hopes of stopping the screaming (she was colicky early on). It seems sudden that she is now moving under her own power, controlled by her clearly feeble mind. I’m not ready for her bumps and bruises.

But my attempts at protecting her are futile. She is one determined little baby and she will not be held. She kicks, arches and suicide dives in such quick succession that sometimes I’m lucky to catch an ankle as she flings herself free from me. She isn’t fooled by my constant redirection (literally picking her up and facing her in another direction). If she spies a can of soup she wants to lean on to stand up, she’s damn well going to make it there and stand up. But, oh, Stupid Baby, why can’t you learn that cans of soup roll, and that this endeavor invariably ends with you falling on your little face on the tile floor?

Worse, her injuries aren’t merely limited to her own doing. She also has L to contend with. L, who loves her dearly, but also has an insatiable curiosity regarding cause and effect which leads him to experiment until he learns precisely where the point is where S will cry, where I will get mad. He is a thorough scientist, and although in my opinion he has found this point again and again, he is apparently driven by a surprising need for exactitude in this area.

Hopefully S’s mind will sharpen as she gets older and she won’t be saddled with being dim (and clumsy) her whole life. If not, her dogged determination should get her through school well enough. As for me, I’m not bothering to hope that she’ll stop hurting herself all the time. I’m just hoping I get used to it.

*I did talk to a doctor about L’s rib. He said that it certainly may be cracked, but there’s nothing to do for it, so that was that. Neither L nor I know how he may have cracked a rib.

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It Not Easy

August 2009: L is about 2.5 and still sleeping in a crib, in a pull-up. I’m 8 mos pregnant.

I come into his room after his nap to find him absolutely covered in poop. His arms to well above his elbows. His legs in entirety. The crib, the walls, everything. So gross. His explanation: “But me just trying to make waterfall with my poop. It not easy.” I have no idea what he was talking about or what he meant. But poop waterfalls have been officially outlawed in this house.

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