As a Mum of a very active and adventurous tot, my day to day life has pretty much become a series of small heart attacks as I simultaneously try to let my son explore his surroundings, while hover within reach to leap in and keep him out of harm’s way (a frequent occurrence, he is completely attracted to danger!)
Because of this my husband and I have carved out evenings to be a time of relaxation with our little danger-mouse, as we wind-down and spend some chill time together before he goes to bed. During this time we all watch a bit of TV together while playing calmly in the baby-proofed zone of our living room (which closely resembles the inside of Early Learning Centre with a sofa and a TV thrown in).
Imagine our horror then after a busy day of extreme play (yes, we have finally mastered climbing the periphery wall to get Mummy’s plants), a big dinner, a nice bath, and having all settled for the evening to watch Indiana Jones, when Zachy trips on his Dad’s feet out of nowhere. In a split-second he went face-down, full-force onto the tiled floor…only inches from the soft rug which would have cushioned him.
We knew he had hurt himself. We heard the bang, but were subject to that blood-curdling long silence before the scream (any parents will know the silence I mean). I think it was about four seconds before he let out the first wail as he was already on my lap. It was all very horrifying and I am pretty sure I let out the first cry when I saw his little mouth full of thick red blood.
All the teeth were there, but I genuinely thought he had knocked them into his gums. The pain and anguish on his face was excruciating to see and I wished more than anything that I could transfer his pain to me. I felt helpless, like I could do nothing except comfort and cuddle him while his Dad ran to get ice.
Upon closer inspection it was his top lip that was bleeding, not his teeth. It was an incredible relief but he/we were all in shock. After several minutes the bleeding started to subside and Zachy started to calm as we soothed his mouth with his freezer chew toy (which I’m pretty sure acted like more of a distraction than actual pain relief, but same same).
He was snuggly and cuddly for a while, and he soon got his smile back despite the increasingly fat lip. Then unbelievably he was up, toddling around and laughing again like nothing had happened!
I was still shaking as my husband declared that he was off to pour a large glass of whisky to calm himself. We both sat traumatised as we watched Zachy toddle around, before my husband commented upon how utterly resilient kids are. And it’s so true – on the floor and literally bleeding one minute, they’ll be up and laughing and smiling the next – it’s really quite remarkable!
In hindsight it was all over in a matter of minutes, but it made me realise that accidents, the little buggers, can jump up and bite you in the blink of an eye – even in the safest environments. I know it was nothing my husband or I did wrong. It wasn’t an accident waiting to happen. It was just an accident that came out of the blue – unforeseen and unavoidable.
As a Mummy, there is nothing worse than seeing your cub hurt. No matter how minor the bump or scrape, the Mamma-Bear instinct gets triggered in the depths of you and you’ll do anything to protect your baby and make them feel safe.
Luckily this was just that – a minor bump. Zachy is no worse for wear, despite his Rocky Balboa lip. Unfortunately my husband and I are not quite as resilient as Zachy, but I guess we’ll be more aware of his (and my husband’s) feet-tripping habit in future…
(P.s. this image was taken about 30 minutes after the incident. Zachy’s beautiful smile hides his big top lip. Too precious not to share and pretty much sums up this post. Brave boy!)