Ike fell off the changing table last night.
And I mean FELL. In the most SPECTACULAR fashion. Head first and naked, ass over teakettle, BAM. Forehead, meet hardwoods.
It's almost a rite of passage, you know? All of my children have now suffered at least one big tumble from the furniture, all before they hit their first birthdays. Noah rolled off the bed. Ezra did that too (on family portait day, no less), and was also prone to dive-bombing from the couch whenever he spotted something on the floor he wanted. Who needs hands or reaching or pointing? MY MOUTH IS A DIVINING ROD. WHOOMP.
Noah fell down the stairs; Ezra tripped over a push-toy and split his lip open. And later, same scenario, only the toy was an escalator and his lip was HIS HEAD. And then there was the time with the curling iron and the time he fell over the back of the couch and dented the soup pot and then he fell face-first in the Christmas tree lot and OH YEAH THE STOVE and anyway, point is, I'm aware that kids fall down and get hurt and bounce back from the bruises and boo-boos. Their skulls really are very extra hard.
And yet I will vividly remember each incident because I am saving up for a helluva wedding toast.
And because in each moment, there is still nothing worse, nothing scarier. Being juuuuust out of arm's reach when your baby goes from a sitting position on a stable surface to up and over the edge while your hands desperately grab at the air behind them. Hearing the THUD, the THWACK, and then the awful seconds of silence while they catch their breath before the pain registers and the screaming begins. Picking them up and trying to decide whether to pull them close for comfort or push them back so you can check for injuries. Look for blood, check the teeth, panic about bones and brains and things you cannot see.
I sat down in the rocker while Ike wailed and cried. I cried too. Jason jumped out of bed and came running. I choked out my confession: His diaper had leaked, his pajamas were wet, I turned around to grab dry clothes from his closet and left him on the table and...and...
You don't do that, of course. You never do that. Not once they can roll over and sit up and wriggle free of the safety strap (which I didn't even use, because he wriggles free so what's the point) and yet I did it anyway, because it was the middle of the night and I was tired and...and...
Yeah. My bad.
He's completely fine, of course. Those skulls are tough stuff, by this age. He woke up with a red mark that's already mostly faded and probably no memory of what happened, given all the wrigging and flipping and rolling he did during this morning's diaper change.
I remember, though. And I'll probably never forget, either.
(Baby Ike in Baby Jail. Stop looking at me like that. You can come out when you're ready to pen a five-paragraph essay about gravity, son.)