Last Monday while I was busy polishing my “Mother of the Year” trophy, David fell off the couch.
Actually, I was right there. My hand was on him and he lunged off the couch head first. Doesn’t that make it worse? If I can’t keep him on the furniture while under my complete supervision, then there’s no hope. He only fell a few inches, but OH MY GOODNESS!
It was the start of a bad week. The next day I was walking into the grocery store and I paused in the entry area to buckle David in the buggy. Safety first, ya know? A huge gust of wind blew through the door, dislodging two ceiling tiles which fell and split in my cart. The manager of the store was standing right there and started screaming on her radio about how the tiles fell a few inches, no AN INCH! from a baby. She was too busy screaming to offer us a free bag of Cheetos. With my heart pounding, I quietly walked away and started shopping.
Friday morning I was putting some dishes away. We have a high shelf in our kitchen. It holds our glassware, crystal and lots of other very heavy, breakable things, including Tom’s coffee grinder. I put the coffee grinder on the shelf and the whole thing came crashing down: carafes, a crystal pitcher, vases, mason jars, a hamburger press. All of it fell and shattered on our floor. And David? David was right there behind me in the exersaucer. Tom ran and grabbed his screaming baby and trembling wife. Heavy, heavy items were shattered on the floor. Glass was everywhere, including inside the exersaucer.
We stood in the kitchen and hugged and thanked Jesus that nothing fell on David.
This is the wreckage, after Tom had picked up the big pieces.
As Tom swept broken glass and crystal off the floor he looked at me and said, “Well, at least we got rid of a lot of stuff we don’t use.”
That, my friends, is my husband’s version of optimism.
The incidents fit well with what seem to be the themes of this month: struggle and safety.
Let’s talk about struggle first.
This month David has been struggling to crawl and cut teeth. That simultaneous struggle means mama and daddy have been struggling to sleep.
He has one little tooth on the bottom. Depending on where you go for information, symptoms of teething include drooling, chewing on toys, fussiness and lack of sleep. If you’ve ever been around a baby you know that’s also a list of THE ONLY THINGS THEY EVER DO.
Other resources say teething is linked to fever, diarrhea, fire-breathing, back-talking and snapping fingers in a Z formation. David does all of that, too.
And there’s the struggle that comes with learning to crawl. David loves his new ability to move around the house, but that space between wanting to move and being able to move? Well, that was torture.
And even now that he’s crawling but not quite crawling, he grunts as he drags himself around the house. It’s helpful for me because he can’t sneak out of a room. As soon as he stops grunting we’re going to install one of those beeps cars have when they’re in reverse…or a cowbell.
And now on to safety.
I didn’t really “nest” when I was pregnant. I never felt the urgency to have a nursery ready or to organize my pantry. But as David got closer to mobility, I started nesting. This sort of nesting has been in the form of getting rid of things, fussing at Tom to pick up small objects, covering up outlets and rearranging things in the living room.
But can you ever really baby proof your home?
So far David’s favorite toys are cords, plastic bags and doors. His dream is to be wrapped in a power cord with a bag over his head, moving a door back and forth.
I could easily leave a door ajar and go meet a friend for coffee. When I returned a few hours later, he’d still be right there basking in the glow of the door.
Once he tried to get his door in his mouth for 45 minutes.
I watched him, amazed that he wasn’t geting frustrated when the door swung out of his grasp. And that door? It will never fit in your mouth, David. I’m so sorry.
It was a moment I chalk up to Tom’s genes, he definitely inherited his lack of spatial reasoning and extreme focus from his father. No way mommy would have kept at it for so long; I would have gotten bored two minutes in and moved on to snacks that have a salty, satisfying crunch.
David still loves people and activity. He’s all smiles whenever we’re surrounded by strangers, and he likes playing much more than napping. When I get him out of the crib, he gets to excited he shrieks and beats the mattress with his fists. One day I took him to a track meet and the spectators often clapped at the end of races. Each time he heard applause he practically stood up and took a bow.
When his daddy comes home, he flaps his arms and kicks his legs. The only other thing he gives that sort of reception to is the ceiling fan. It’s that kind of full-body celebration that makes every day feel just a little like Christmas.
The photo above really doesn’t do justice to the carnage in the kitchen. There was glass everywhere, in four rooms, under the oven, all over the counters, on our guest bed. We’ve vacuumed, Swiffered and swept multiple times, but every now and then we still find a big piece of glass in the middle of the floor.
When I changed you, I found glass in your pajamas.
After ceiling tiles fall on you in the grocery store, it’s tempting to think, “I’m never leaving my home with my baby ever again.” And then we had a much more frightening experience right in our kitchen.
If anything, the couch-dive, the grocery store, and shattered glass should serve as a reminder that mama’s not in control, God is. He’s in total and complete control. And you know what, David? That should give you more comfort than anything else you’ll ever learn about this big world.