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The danger zone

January 26, 2010

My son has turned rambunctious. And suddenly we’re dealing with the recklessness of toddlerhood, a thing that goes bump no matter what time it is.

Jack spends much of his day bouncing off the walls. Literally. When he runs at top speed, with crazy eyes and a wild holler, the walls help him change directions and maintain an upright position. Watching him, I’m reminded of Pong and bumper cars . Too bad everything in the house isn’t encircled with rubber.

Last week he dived off the arm of the sofa — on purpose, as far as I could tell. It was a nasty fall that landed him face to the floor and screaming, and a bit of his forehead quickly swelled into a goose egg.

It wasn’t his first knot or fall, but it outranked the others. We got out a flashlight and studied his pupils. Then, while we watched for signs of strange behavior, he gave a hesitant, sleepy grin and started to nod off – two hours before his bedtime.

I was sure this spelled a concussion. But how can you tell? Jack doesn’t know the president’s name or what day it is. And he’ll say “two” even if you’re holding up all of your fingers. My battery of questions included “What sound does a cow make?” and “Do you like dogs?” He responded appropriately and then stayed up until ten, and I stopped worrying.

On Sunday morning he had another great fall, this one bloody. It  started and ended on the floor in a series of trips and turns that covered a distance of several yards. I scooped him up and found a gash in his forehead. Gushing – and not with compliments.

He got a pacifier and his first butterfly bandages – stitches would have scarred him more, physically and otherwise – and all was well. Within an hour he was careening around the house again, narrow misses abounding.

I was never a graceful kid, but I was aware of it and so was also fearful of falling, afraid of skating and running and bats and balls and any combinations thereof. (Sometime I’ll share my greatest moments in sports history, but I’m not ready to confront them yet.)

I’ve always felt I ought to be more adventuresome. But watching Jack, and remembering the gashes and sprains and burns and breaks my parents had to tend to, I’m not so sure. Now I’m just hoping that Jack either starts to take after me in the fear department, or after someone else in the realm of coordination.

(I’m sure it goes without saying that I blame his father?)

6 Comments leave one →
  1. crnnoel permalink
    January 27, 2010 12:19 am

    Both of my kids are the same way, and it makes me insane!
    I also blame their father 🙂

  2. January 27, 2010 2:39 pm

    Randy told me that he saw y’all at IGA and that Jack had a “boo boo” on his head (Randy probably didn’t use the word “boo boo,” but I am).

    He sounds like he is becoming quite the feisty, active little man. WATCH OUT!

    And I too blame Don. And I blame Randy for Hayden’s level of activity as well as Hayden’s sleep “issues” (the issue being that he doesn’t need much sleep). Stupid genetic traits.

  3. January 28, 2010 1:46 am

    Husband and I are both nervous Nellies and our older son seems to take after us. We spend a fair amount of time wondering if we’ve made him neurotic. Your lovely post reminds me that we moms never have a shortage of things to be concerned about: you that your son takes too many risks; me that mine takes too few.

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog, especially because it gave me the chance to find yours! I love your writing style and your story-telling. Pleased to “meet” you.

  4. February 4, 2010 2:37 am

    So much of what you said reminds me of my little guy. Only he’s not sooo little at 6 and he’s still bouncing of things…usually one of the couches or the kitchen door. What you said about the direction change and still remaining upright…hilarious and so true. ha!

  5. February 4, 2010 3:41 pm

    Oh boy oh boy oh boy do I know all about the bumps and gashes. With three boys in the house it’s a free-for-all around here. Bites and hair-pulling, friendly wrestling that ends up in a skinned knee or some rug burn. It’s all I can do to keep them quasi-safe around here. We’ve managed pretty well so far. Only one trip to the ER–though I think it is simply due to LUCK. Plain ol’ luck.

    Sincerely, I’m amazed our youngest still has all his teeth for the amount of times he’s whacked his face on the stairs, the tub, the floor. I’m amazed that he still has a bottom lip, for that matter, as the teeth always go THROUGH the lip when he takes a header. Ouch!

  6. February 7, 2010 2:34 pm

    I love that you asked him questions……(lol)!
    Be prepared for more spills and injuries. We already had a set of chin stitches here and narrowly missed a few others.
    Thank God, their heads are pretty hard!

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