This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
I have heard the horror stories. I’ve been told it happens to every parent at some point. But still, that does nothing to assuage the anguish of dropping your baby for the first time.
I was trying to put him in his swing yesterday because he was getting fussy. I was bending down and I had him seated and was getting ready to strap him in. But then I moved my leg forward to get better footing and my calf struck the bottom of the swing. That jerked the swing back and sent Will toppling forward out of his seat. Fear and terror gripped every part of my body and mind, but out of sheer instinct I shot my hand down and kind of half-caught him. But it was too little too late and although I managed to avoid a full blown header into the wood floor, he did bump the left side of his temple off the floor.
For a second I thought I had escaped any and all harm. He was calm and had a very confused look on his face for about two seconds. But then he started to turn a deep shade of purple as his mouth opened wide and for about 10 seconds not a sound escaped his mouth. And then the screams burst forth and he was wailing like a banshee. Meanwhile I was nearly in hysterics. I picked him up and held him close and kept saying “IT’S OK IT’S OK IT’S OK IT’S OK IT’S OK!” over and over again as if I’d somehow convince him that daddy didn’t just drop him on his head. Then I checked over every part of his body for bruises, welts, a concussion, etc. Granted, I have absolutely no medical training and had no idea what I was looking for besides blood, but I still checked. I even checked his feet and legs. I don’t know why since he hit his head, but I wasn’t exactly sane at the moment.
As it turns out, it was much to do about nothing. Within two minutes he was back to normal, smiling and cooing like nothing had ever happened. And sure, no one was home at the time and he didn’t have any marks on him, so I could’ve pretended like it never happened. But that’s not me. In fact, I felt so guilty I immediately called MJ at work to tell her that I had dropped him but everything was fine. I have such a guilty conscious and that makes me a terrible liar, so I usually just spill the beans to get it out of the way. She was good about it and assured me that Will was fine and that I’m not a horrible father for fumbling my son like Tiki Barber in his early years. But secretly I think she’s happy about it because she dropped Will on the couch when he was about 3 weeks old and now she’s got ammo against me.
I was really shaken up about it, but I’m over it now that I know he’s OK and that it happens to almost everyone. So I think instead of lamenting my baby fumble I’ll end on a positive note.
Yesterday I had to have my car worked on which meant Will and I spent 90 minutes in the waiting room of Falmouth Toyota. Will was very well behaved but I did have to keep him occupied. We spent the whole time practicing standing up, sitting up and how many times I could make him smile and laugh. When we got to the payment window, the lady working the counter said “I just want you to know that he is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen in years.” I thought that was very sweet and thanked her. Then she went on to say “I was watching you playing with him and oh my God does he love you. It’s so easy to see just by looking at his face when you guys are playing together.”
Thank you Mrs. Toyota Lady for the very nice compliments and for making my day. Sure I wish I hadn’t dropped him on his head a few hours later, but it was nice nonetheless.