Christmas Can’t Be Merry without the ER

I think I’m finally calm enough to write this out rationally…

We had a busy last couple of days. On Christmas Eve we went to visit MJ’s dad and his girlfriend Donna during the day. Then it was off to visit my parents and my brother. So we walk in and MJ immediately brings Will upstairs to see my brother, because my Dad has a tendency to steal Will right out of people’s arms. So we wanted to make sure Will got a chance to visit with Uncle Nate. For a while it was me, my brother, my dad and Will all playing upstairs in Nate’s bedroom and having a grand old time. Seeing as Will was being doted on, I retreated downstairs to talk with my mom.

What happened next was the most horrifying thing I’ve been through as a parent to this point in time.

I’m downstairs with my mom and MJ when all of a sudden I hear it. “Boom, boom-boom, boom…boom boom boom.” That was followed by the horrified sound of one of my relatives gasping. Immediately, I knew what it was and my heart nearly exploded. I ran as fast as I could around the corner and my fears were confirmed…

Will had tumbled down the stairs. 12 of them to be exact. From the second floor all the way down to the bottom.

My Dad was the first one to get to him and he held him while Will wailed. I demanded to hold him but my Dad was frozen in fear trying to check him out and I don’t even think he heard me. After the third time I demanded Will I got so mad I punched a hole in the wall. He wasn’t bleeding but he was crying so loud.

I immediately ran for my coat and car keys to head for the ER. At this point I didn’t know who was responsible but I was pretty sure that if I didn’t leave I was going to pummel someone. And the scariest part was driving to the hospital because Will was screaming bloody murder and then he was totally quiet. MJ had to shake his carseat to keep him awake.

When we got to the ER everything was fine. Will was already smiling and flirting with the nurses and we were in and out in 45 minutes. The kid didn’t even need an x-ray. But I was PISSED at the ER intake nurse. After we described what happened to Will she looked at him, told him he looked fine and said “Oooh, mommy and daddy are first time parents aren’t they?”

Thank God MJ spoke up first because I was ready to flip. Taking your kid to the ER because he fell down a flight of stairs is not nervous first time parent stuff. I don’t care how old my kids are or how many I have, if they fall down a flight of stairs I’m taking them to the emergency room. This wasn’t a visit to the ER because Will had a slight fever or a cough. HE FELL DOWN 12 STAIRS!!! I could’ve smacked the bitch.

And I refuse to name the relative responsible for Will’s Christmas Eve tumble because I know how awful he feels and that it was an accident. In fact, he felt so bad about it that he left and wouldn’t come back for awhile. Sure I was mad, but he is one of the most responsible people I know and he loves Will to no end, so I got over my anger pretty quickly and all was forgiven. Besides, he’ll have to hear about this every single Christmas for the rest of his life, not to mention the baby dropper jokes that await him. Poor bastard.

But I’ll be honest, I couldn’t shake the feeling the whole situation left me with. MJ was fine. She was completely calm and rational the entire time. But I blew a fuse. Hearing your child thump down the stairs and knowing there isn’t a damn thing you can do to stop it…it was horrifying. Rounding the corner to see if he was OK was the scariest moment of my life. I’ve never felt fear like that before, and unfortunately as a parent I know it won’t be the last time.

But hey, it wouldn’t be a Gouveia Christmas without some bizarre story to tell. Welcome into the fold little man. And other than that, Christmas was great. Will saw all of his relatives and got a crap ton of presents. Seriously, our families bought out toy stores everywhere. We can’t fit it all in our condo. We are so lucky to have them and my son is going to be the most spoiled kid on the planet.

You know, when they’re not tossing him down the stairs… ;-)

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15 thoughts on “Christmas Can’t Be Merry without the ER

  1. I would have done the same thing Aaron…right to the ER ..But I WOULD have knocked out the nurse! I’m glad Will is ok. You should never feel bad about being worried about Will, it would be unnaturnal not to be! Accidents happen and it’s no one’s fault but it can be scary none the less.

  2. My friends daughter fell down the wood stairs in my old house. I was on the couch and saw the whole thing unfold. She tripped and was like some horrible rag doll tumbling down. I did NOT respond well in that crisis moment. I started screaming upstairs for her father who’s name happens to be Adrien. So after we determined that 1. she wasn’t concussed and 2. her insides must be made of gelatin, I had to listen to Rocky jokes all night for yelling Adrien repeatedly at the top of my lungs. Good times.

    I feel you on the nurse thing though. Everyone within 30 feet of us would have known exactly what my feelings were on her glibness. My oldest son fell playing basketball outside at the Y when he was 6. When I picked him up I knew we were going to the hospital. Granted head wounds bleed profusely even when it’s not that serious but I knew he had a concussion. After a CT scan it turned out he actually fractured his skull. When the doctor said that I stopped hearing anything else. It sounded, in my ears, like I was suddenly underwater and everyone was far away. It was so much worse than the time his brother beaned him with a dumbbell bar.

    They’re boys, whaddya gonna do?

  3. I’m glad he’s okay. I’m sure he’ll have many more tumbles in his future. These things happen. Wait until he’s walking. Hope you had a great Xmas!!!

  4. I’ve fallen down stairs on Christmas before… Nothing like a bruised tailbone, a 15-inch scratch on the inside of one forearm, and a mild concussion to make the holidays more enjoyable!

  5. Last year I knocked myself clean out by slamming my head against the rail on my kids bunk bed. After yelling at them to go to sleep for the thousandth time, I went in, ducked under the top bunk and started yelling at them. That’s the last thing I remember about that.

    This year, well, I wrote a poem for my myspace blog about this year, lol…..

    Twas The Night Before Christmas..
    And all through the kitchen
    All you could hear was Jessica bitchin.

    An apple pie sat on the counter ready to go in the oven
    A 23 pound turkey just waiting for its stuffin.

    The big spiral ham to go in later the next day
    A huge Christmas feast to proudly display.

    The oven was preheating to bake the apple pie
    But when I opened the oven, something was awry…

    It wasn’t getting hot even though it was clearly turned on.
    Through my confusion, realization began to dawn.

    I stood there in shock and a growing sense of dread,
    Christmas the next day..11 people to be fed…

    Thats when my oven decided to shit the fucking bed!!

  6. Dude…knocking yourself unconscious while yelling at your kids is just flat out funny. Maybe not for you in that moment, but definitely funny.

    I used to laugh at my mom when she’d get really mad at us as teenagers and try to slap us around. We were so much bigger than her at that point and she’s about 5’1″ so she wasn’t the most intimidating figure in the world. She’d be wailing away on us and I’d be stifling laughter, which pissed her off even more.

  7. JEE – My oven shit the bed on Thanksgiving! I ended up cooking my turkey on the grill – Redneck style – and it came out awesome!

  8. Wow.. that must have been terrifying. My son is 3 weeks old today so I don’t have a story like that yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.

    But when I was 8, I watched my younger brother roll down the back steps and went running after him trying to catch him. My parents still tell the story of how after collecting my brother, who’s eyes were rolling around in his head like he had been in the spin dryer, yelled at my mum, “you’re a bad parent!”.

    Anyway, glad to hear you are all ok.

  9. Both of my kids have fallen down the stairs at some point. Kids are a lot less breakable than adults are so it’s really not quite as bad as it seems. You just have to watch out for signs of concussion, unless there is something obviously wrong, like a broken limb. The sound IS pretty horrible though, I know. I’m glad everyone is all right and the rest of your Christmas went well!
    Even if the nurse thought that about you being first time parents, she should have kept it to herself. Some people need better mind-to-mouth filters.

  10. Was he crawling and someone forgot to keep an eye on him? Or was he actually dropped? Time for the grandparents to put babygates up. Poor Will. So are you paying to fix the wall?

  11. He was crawling and someone didn’t realize how quickly he can get around. And yes, baby gates are in the making.

    My wife and I are most likely going to fix the wall ourselves.

  12. Oh, nooo. The poor person not paying attention. I’d die if that happened on my watch. Alas, poor Aaron, it is the first in a long line of scary shit and trips to the ER. I’ve seen my kid knocked out cold, bleeding profusely and with a fever so high that they were going to spinal tap him.

    It never gets easier, and I’m one of the punch a hole in the wall types who can think rationally and take charge but only after a good freak-out. That nurse would not have escaped my wrath, oh, no, no, no.

    After I bone up on my surgery skills, though, you can always give me a call ;)

    So glad Will is okay and that he gets to be the spoiled one in the family. And my thoughts go out to the person who didn’t see him take flight. You will NEVER hear the end of that Christmas story, man. I feel for you.

  13. Aaron – Christmas Day.. EGS dove like John McClane on steriods to grab little S who casually stepped right off the top stair of the ‘rents two story staircase.

    Did it in heels and wearing a dress.

    After I stopped shaking.. my Mom told the that my grandfather who was a
    pediatrician for 40 years… took COUNTLESS phonecalls and emergency visits from parents whose newly mobile babies had just tumbled down the stairs…His first question, right off the bat was always..

    “Did s/he go Boom Boom Boom Boom Booom… or Boom Boom?

    Every kid will do it, I guess. Its the Boom Booms we need to worry about.

    PS: I’d have smacked that nurse 8 ways to Sunday if I were MJ.

  14. Hi aaron! Glad to hear Will is OK. My dad once threw my nephew up into the air but failed to catch him on the way down. He fell onto a sidewalk and cracked his head. Nothing was damaged except Grampy’s pride. Of course, that didn’t stop him from losing grandchild number four at an amusement park. But hey, these things could happen to anyone.

  15. i originally read this post back when you wrote it in december and thought i understood your intense reaction because i, too, have a baby of my own and dread anything happening to her. well, this weekend my little girl – my 17 month old – fell (tumbled) down the stairs at my in-laws’ house as well. it was one of the most awful days of my life. now i truly understand how you felt. thank God that our babies are ok.

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