I don’t know about your weekends, but our weekends have turned into chaos. I’ve been cooped into the house most of the week, so Kyle tries to give me time away. We both have a list of errands that we are trying to get done. There is often one or two kids that are trying to weasel their way out of nap time and then there are the typical temper tantrum moments, doing laundry and on and on and it adds up to not quite enough time of enjoying each other’s company.
This Saturday was planned to be that day, instead, we took a moment to slow down. Kyle got in from a business trip around noon. I was getting ready to go, but then he laid on the couch for a minute and the errands left my mind. I laid next to him and then Kellen climbed on top and Owen found his way over too. We don’t get many family days and so I made the decision to skip errands (yes, Target is often my “mommy time”. The luxury!) We spent the whole day at home and just hanging out together. There was a little laundry done, but no towering piles. Kellen helped me make dinner. We had a late, but leisurely dinner and then somehow, I ended up playing a certain Sir Mix A Lot song that the boys, fortunately, didn’t quite understand and we had a family dance party in the dining room.
It was perfect. It was the type of day when we look back on life, this is how we’ll want to remember it. Lots of hugs, lots of giggles and time together.
After dinner and the dance-athon, I told Owen it was time to go to bed. I gathered his oxygen tubing and his feeding supplies and he headed up the stairs. I didn’t see exactly what happened next, but I am pretty sure he got to the landing and was looking out the window. He’s starting to get more adventurous with static standing lately and occasionally lets go of what he’s standing against. What I do know is what I heard; “thump, thump, thump”. As I was running to the stairs I could see Owen’s feet in the air as he was cartwheeling down the steps.
I was crying before I got to him and was relieved to see he was crying too. I whisked him to the backroom to assess him (and gather my composure) without Kellen’s worry. He stopped crying quickly and gave me a look that said, “how did that happen”. He had no bumps or bruises and started playing peek-a-boo with Kyle and Kellen when they came back to see how he was doing. He then started crawling around on the floor and acting normal.
My gut reaction was he was fine, but it was 10 stairs. I called the nurse who had my same reaction. She felt like it sounded like he was fine, but recommended he be seen by a doctor based on the severity of the fall.
Kellen wasn’t thrilled to hear that Owen had to go the doctor (we didn’t specify that it was the ER), “but there are germies at the doctor’s!” (He’s well trained on where germies live).
The ER was busy, so we had to wait an hour and half to be seen and then the visit was short and pleasant. When we went back with the nurse I cautioned that, “he has medical anxiety” and she said, she remembered him well. They weighed me holding him and then just me, instead of putting him on the evil scale. We waited for about 30 seconds and, with a smile, in walked a doctor that has known Owen since he was one month old. He’s an infectious disease specialist that followed Owen until last summer and has also a hospitalist who has been the attending during a couple of hospitalizations. Saturday night, he was apparently moonlighting in the emergency department.
Based on Owen’s demeanor and how he reacted immediately after the fall the doctor’s concern level was low. Instead he was awed to see how great Owen was doing. He asked to see him cruising and said with amazement, “his legs aren’t going to stop him!” He had never told me he thought Owen would struggle to walk, but, it seems he had some private wonder. Just think, last June when this doctor last saw Owen he could barely support his own head when being held and now, he’s having accidents because he’s got his mind-set on walking. We also talked about the fact that Owen’s only had one night in the hospital since last April, but I quickly changed the subject (stay away you evil jinx). And then we were sent home.
The fall was terrifying, but fortunately Owen escaped injury. Our day was no longer perfect. We were reminded that with the reward of new skills, come new risks. We had reached a place where we were becoming comfortable with Owen going up and down the stairs by himself. However, as he now is working towards static standing and then walking, our guard has to come up again. I hate that I didn’t figure that out sooner, I don’t even want to think about how badly he could have gotten hurt. I have a lot of guilt, but mostly, I’m just thankful that it turned out okay.
© Copyright Tatum, All rights Reserved. Written For: Ain't No Roller Coaster