He stood clumsily, smiling as the sun hit his face. The breeze picked up his hair and I smiled at my wife in slow motion. And this is where our little commercial ended, right about the time he stumbled and wobbled to the left and then to the right and then straight down, planting his face in the driveway. Not real hard, but then again the driveway’s not real cushiony.
I picked him up and he did that delayed crying thing, you know, when they open their little mouth but no sound comes out. But he'd scratched his nose pretty good and pretty soon the pain caught up with the surprise of the fall and he found the volume button. So many things rushed through my mind. But I actually remained calm.
The blood followed. and it look like he was in round three of a losing proposition. I let slip with an Oh God. But then I remembered to stay calm.
We got him inside and I cursed the shoes, the wind, my own negligence. Shaking my head, I feared for his/my future. Flashes of bb guns, busted knees, a hammer to the teeth, a fish hook to my foot, Hey watch this! sledding moments, biking moments, firecracker moments, slices, abrasions, punctures, Molotov cocktails, and so many other accidents from my own childhood circled my mind until I was dizzy. A quick prayer, God? Please let this boy have some sense. And balance, that too, but mostly sense.But back to his spill. We cleaned him up and then it was snuggle time. He snuggled with Mom, thumb placed firmly in mouth and eyes avoiding me because I was closest to him when he bit it. I’m not ready for the face plant stage yet, but it’s here. And it really is the worst part about parenting.
With the day off from work already, I took him to the Vet. Not for the falling thing but because his ears looked infected. I know, not the greatest few days for the little dude. I got my wife to write everything down because I wouldn't remember. Walter Payton's rushing yards in 1987? Yeah I got it, but I'm not so great with remembering what to tell the pediatrician. Not that I don't love my son just because I don't remember what night he woke up crying, it's more that I'm like Rain Man when it comes to NFL stats in the eighties.
Anyway, I felt like the biggest dead beat parent walking my kid in there all red faced and crusty, like he’d tripped on my crack pipe and crashed into my beer bottles while I was watching pro wrestling. I felt like I was wearing a court ordered wooden Bad Parent sign. In other news my imagination wanders if left untethered. Moving on..
Lucky for me I know the doctor. We play basketball together and he knows I don’t like pro wrestling. So after a quick wait, we hustled off to the back to get him looked at. Lucky for Simon there were no shots, but I never bought it when my wife explained the way his little hands shake in there. No fun. But the doc was good to us. We were in and out quicker than you can say amoxicillin. He looked him over and told me everything was fine, just a little ear infection. right now he's in his room sleeping it off, and when he gets up I'm giving him chocolate ice cream.
Because Mom's not here and Dad thinks he's earned it.