Friday, December 19, 2008

How To Drop A Baby

(I apologize if any of you were referred to this post and it was not here. In a moment of maternal guilt and panic, I deleted it. Then I figured what the hell.)

I gave birth to the most adorable child in the world. Now I know you are thinking that I am biased, but, seriously, he was the most adorable child ever born. That is, until I scarred him for life.

It wasn't entirely my fault. My mother was in town and she had me in a complete tizzy. At the very same time, Brody did something (I don't remember what) that warranted a time-out. I dragged him back to his bedroom. For some reason, he requested that he be put on the top bunk, rather then his bottom bunk. Not seeing any significance in this request, I agreed. The problem, though, was in the execution.

I am 5'2". Bunk beds are taller. Apparently, I didn't take the time to fully analyze the physics involved in lifting a 3 year old onto a bunk bed that was higher than myself combined with the relative weakness of my biceps.

Holding him, I took somewhat of a running start and stepped on the bottom bunk. My forward force suddenly stopped and we fell backwards. (This is the part I hate to admit). In a sort of innate self-preservation, on the way down, I dropped him. I didn't mean to drop him. I just did.

The cry was horrific. Worse since I knew it was my fault. He was lying face down over a plastic bin from Target. My first thought was "please don't let it be his eye, please don't let it be his eye." I picked him up and to my great relief, it wasn't his eye. There was, however, a huge gash on his cheek. Deep and wide.

Mommy emergency mode kicks in. Aidan (7) gets me a dish towel to hold over the gash. He also calls 911 and then hangs up, but that's a different matter. The police call me back and I explain that my son fell (no details) and has a cut and I am trying to decide whether I need an ambulance, but I think I can make it, so I'll drive to the hospital.

So I tell my mom to please hold Brody in the car with the towel over his face. She says, "Aidan can go with you. I'll stay here with Gunnar." With no time discuss the matter, we run out to the van. Aidan (remember he is 7) sits with Brody in the passenger seat (no one is buckled in) trying to hold the towel on his cheek. But he's a screaming, writhing, very annoyed little boy, so it didn't work out very well.

We get to the hospital. I try to explain what happened. They immediately take Aidan because, unlike my mother, they know that I can't deal with a 7-year old when I have an injured 3-year old. Person after person come in and ask me what happened. Each time, I have to say, outloud, that I dropped my child. Bad mom. Bad mom. Bad mom. They didn't say it. But I could hear it.

Eventually, someone came in and injected my poor child's face with what seemed like a ridiculous number of shots, and stitched him up. Crisis over, I started to feel light-headed and about to faint. The nurse gets me to lie down on the bed, puts a washcloth on my forehead, and takes Brody somewhere.

She calls my husband and tells him of my condition. We all wait for him to arrive. But. What? He doesn't. Finally, after their persistent calls, he shows up. Apparently, he didn't believe that I needed his help. I am a stud, but there are times when I really do need a little help.

So, every day since then (7 years), I look at Brody and see his scar. And every day, I think about the scars, both physical and emotional, that a mother leaves on a child. With any luck, the worst scar Brody will have will be the one on his face.

(I will provide a picture, I think, when I can scan one in. No promises, since the visual reminder is painful).

As an aside, Brody doesn't remember this incident. He has asked about the scar and his brothers have reported exactly what happened. So, I hear about it, all the time, especially around Christmas!


Comedy Goddess said...

Oh! Do I feel your pain! I took my daughter to a July 4th party when she was 3. The older kids had sparklers. Mine was sitting on the floor when a lit sparkler was being passed over her head. The kid dropped the damn thing which landed on my daughters upturned face just missing her right eye! I screamed, she screamed, the other kids screamed (yeah no, not for ice cream) this is turning into a blog...sorry...but the scar is still there almost 5 yrs later. It makes me feel horrible! Just thought you might want to know, you are not alone! And you have to forgive yourself! Some things are out of our control! You are a good mom. xoxo

Simplicity said...

While there are no scars to remind me of this, I still think about it and it's been over 16 years since it happened.

When my daughter was a few months old and barely shuffling around in her crib, I put her to bed and left the side of the crib in the down position.

When I woke up in the morning, she was babbling to herself as usual and I went to get a cup of tea. As I was walking into the door of her room, I watched in horror as she flipped OVER the crib railing and landed SPLAT on the floor!

That's not the worst part...:(

I stood there. Terrified. I could NOT make myself move forward to her even though she was crying. I actually stepped OUT of the room and then stepped back in several times.

I called a friend who talked me into getting my butt into that room to pick her up and check her.


I signed up for first aid classes the next week...the guilt still haunts me.

You are a great mom and accidents happen!

And...hi! I found you through Charmaine of course!

Charmaine said...

Ha ha. Don't you know that dropping babies on their heads is a family tradition?

We were all dropped on our heads. I think. I can't remember.

Just a tiny bit of brain damage that is insignificant, really. I think. I can't remember.

Irish Gumbo said...


I stumbled onto this from your sis's MAD site, couldn't resist a post with a title like that.

Just so you know, my moms dropped me on my head when I was a little gumbo. It must be a tradition or something. And I furned out tine. I mean, I fined out turn. No, wait, I'm okay. I think.

Seriously, you and the lad will be okay. I can tell. You have it on the authority of Irish Gumbo!

Briana said...

It's good to know I'm not alone. I particularly love it when people ask Brody how he got the scar and he says, "Mom dropped me." I've gotten some strange looks!

Briana said...

I just remembered that I have a big scar on my foot. I have asked my mother several times what it is from and she claims to have no idea. Hmmm.

Shakespeare's Housekeeper said...

Hi Briana!
Seven years and you're still reminded of this?
I would trade your family for a new one if i were you.
Don't fret any longer- you are not alone.
I remember shutting my daughter's fingers in a car door when she was two (she's 14 now).
I thought she had lost them all.
Thank god, she only has a few small scars- and she doesn't remember the incident at all....
and i'm buggered if i'm going to keep reminding her what a crap mum i am.
Great blog- and a lovely name you have!
SH xxx
PS Happy Christmas to you and yours.

Briana said...

Shakespears, I have to look at his face everyday, so it's never too far away. It only really gets worse when other people ask him how he got it and he tells them.