About Me

San Francisco, California
I am Ethan and Chase's Mama and my man's Sugar. I have flown a plane, driven a race car, and been pushed out of a train. I have swum with dolphins, climbed the Untersberg, and thrown tortillas in more than one location. I have great arms and a law degree. I hate housework. I can't iron. I love my dustbuster because I occasionally allow my kids to eat off of the floors. I wish I were taller and for my boys to grow up in a peaceful world.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I thought I broke my kid in three places

Ethan fell on his head yesterday. We were rough-housing on my bed. I usually throw him into the pillows, leave him in the middle while I run away and then full-speed run back and pounce on him. I chuck pillows at him. I lift him with my legs to do airplane. I swing him upside-down by his feet.

He yells. He giggles crazily. He throws himself into me and onto the bed. He bounces and loses his balance, little feet flying up above his body.

He loves it. I love it. We are like rambunctious puppies, spilling over each other. The wish for rough and tumble play was one of the reasons why I not-so-secretly wished for a boy when I was pregnant.

But yesterday he actually fell off the side. The top of my bed is a good two and a half feet off the ground. Ethan dove off. He was just barely outside of my reach. I missed him. I did not exactly see how he landed, but it must have been squarely on his head. He looked stunned and contorted on the ground. I thought I had broken my child in three places.

It looked like both his shoulders had been dislocated and I was terrified that his neck had been injured. Thankfully he screamed loudly right away. I consider that a good thing. I have no idea whether there are any medical grounds for this, but I think a head injury can't be that bad if the kid reacts to the pain quickly. It would be trouble, on the other hand, if he were too dazed to cry.

Oh. And by the way, my mother-in-law had witnessed the whole thing. Don't get me wrong, I love her. She's wonderful. But no mama ever wants her mother-in-law to see her as Bad Parent. Good Parents tell their kids no jumping on the bed!

I yell Bonsai! as I drop onto Ethan like a wrestler leaping off of the ropes onto a worthy opponent. Bad Parent.

As I pumped Ethan's arms and elbows, checking them for damage, held his neck, touched his back and head, asked him where it hurt, I was genuinely scared. But I was also mortified that I had been caught in the Bad Parent act. Even as the day wore on and my concern for Ethan's possible concussion waned, my fear of being judged as reckless continued. Later on the playground, as I watched nannies carefully handle their charges I thought, really, I would be fired if I ever tried to be a nanny. I imagined having to tell a potential parent-employer why I lost my last job. Dropped him on his head. No biggie.

I wonder if Ethan is safer with his nanny than with me. I wonder if I should be happy about that, or if I truly need to improve my parenting skills.


  1. As usual, I love reading your posts! I thought about the other night when I was letting my 4 and 6 year olds play tackle football with kids that were 3 times their size ranging in age from 9 - 14. I questioned my judgment afterwards only to squish it with the thought of "they are boys - it's what they are supposed to do" and that was that. I'm looking forward to your next post!

  2. I thought the same things as I let my 3 soon to be 4 year old jump off the diving board in a 12 foot deep pool. I was treading water to grab his arm as he went down into the depths of the pool. This way he wouldn't sink to deep. Of course he had on a floatie and I was freaking myself out. He can only go so deep. Still it was scary and I questioned my judgement. After 3 times with me he was doing it himself and spinning in the air as he yelled WATCH THIS MOM!!!!

  3. Aren't they amazing? It really amazes me that we can be so scared for their safety, but it is "what they are supposed to do." Deb, I loved that video of Jakers.
    Kids are so fearless.

    Where did our fearlessness go?? Or When?