Friday, August 17, 2007

Another Day, Another Head Injury

I knew it!

I knew what he was thinking and I RAN! But not fast enough to stop it.

When it's nap time, I tell the twins, “OK, its time to go upstairs!” and they love to climb the stairs so much that they run with glee to the gate and shake it violently until I get there to open it. Luka begins to climb, but Ethan likes to turn around and slam the gate shut before I can get through it. I always overact that I am locked out, which makes him giggle every time. It’s a ritual.

Then they climb the stairs. As they go around the landing and up the second flight, they either stick their faces through the bars for a kiss, or they giggle and go right past my waiting pucker, and I of course, act like I have been wronged again!

Then upstairs, I let them play for a couple minutes, exploring whatever toys Noah left on his floor, slamming the bathroom door, seeing what I left too close to the edge of my dresser (which is like, everything!).
I was in my room adjusting the pillow in the playpen where Ethan naps separately from Luka, and had a good view down the long hall to the top of the stairs where Luka had just gone. He was standing beside a box of Legos that had come back up the stairs on someone’s recent trip but hadn’t quite made it back into Noah’s room.

Ethan toddled down the hall toward Luka and stood beside him. That’s when Luka dropped the baby rattle he had carried from his room onto the first step down. And it played out in my mind just what was about to happen. Just like its playing out in your mind. You see it too, right?

Luka looks down at the rattle and wonders if he can bend over and pick it up. He bends down to negotiate picking up something lower than his own feet. I drop the pillow and run. Ethan is looking at Luka’s back and then as Luka bends, he is looking at Luka’s diapered rear end. I am only half way down the hall. Ethan reaches out and just gives a little push, and over he goes.

And over and over, somersaulting down the stairs as I round the corner. He flattens out and almost stops half way but then keeps going laying out sideways like a kid rolling down a grassy hill. Only this hill has many bumps and he is screaming all the way down.

I don’t even stop but throw myself around the corner, hurdle over Ethan’s head and practically leap down to the landing, thinking perhaps I can go faster than he is, and catch him. I don’t even feel what must have been me kicking the box of Legos, as I find myself skidding down the steps in a hail of little squares and rectangles in crazy colors everywhere like rain.

Thank god there was a landing to stop him from continuing down the rest of the stairs, and again I am thankful for the carpeting. I swoop the little guy up into my arms and try to soothe the wailing screams. But then they double in volume. I look up to the top of the steps and there is Ethan standing there screaming, frightened, probably from the noise, and being kicked in the head, the sudden flurry of Legos showering down everywhere, and the inexplicable commotion caused by one little push on his brother’s rear end.

So I scooped up Luka and carried him to the top step where I pulled Ethan into the same embrace. Neither could be comforted what with the screams of the other deafening in each other’s ears. At nearly 20 months, they really are getting too hard to carry at the same time, but I couldn’t leave either alone, so I dragged them up into an uncomfortable hold for all three of us, and brought them into their room where we fell into the much-too-small-for-three-people rocking chair and tried to rock it off.

Ethan recovered first, and slid down to inspect the fan. Luka needed a little more cuddling, making those gasping sounds you make at the end of a good cry. I lifted his face to wipe the tears, and checked first his mouth, where most of his tumbles cause bloody teeth and gums. Nothing. Looked past the remains of a cut and slightly blackened eye where he had pulled a can of beans down onto his face from the pantry shelf a few days ago, and lifted his crazy bangs.

There it was.

A huge stripe of angry red was hiving up on his forehead surrounded by hot white skin. Likely from the baseboard that runs down the steps on the side he was facing. It didn’t appear to be cut or bleeding but by the next day it would turn dark brown and scabby.

I noticed the lump on the side of his head where he had hit the fireplace (sending him to the emergency room a couple weeks ago) was still there but finally receding.

He is not even two yet.

Between this boy’s penchant for climbing, and Ethan’s love of experimenting with his brother’s balance (not the first time, won’t be the last), we are in for a looooong wild ride.


Elaine said...

Oh, poor baby! Poor MAMA! But I have to say, it was a ride to read your account... I was right there with you, picturing it and feeling it and just IN the moment with you.

Huh, turns out you're a kick ass writer!

Mom said...

Geez, Luka. Enough already!! Poor babies. All 3 of you.

And I agree, Karen, you are a K.A. writer. Not a bad photographer either. Guess that degree is paying off. :-)

Pea Pod Mommy said...

I am so glad my little boy is not the only one who gets bumps on his head!