Last week, while exploring my responsible fatherhood and around the outside of a local business in the early afternoon with my son there was an accident. There was nothing out of the ordinary about the moment, terrain, activity, or clothing. I had just redirected Lex away from the trash collection area and he took off running like he usually does. Then it seems his feet failed him. One foot caught on the other, I think, and Lex fell hard and fast. I recall two sounds, the first one seemed normal, like little knees or arms hitting the ground, but the second one was bone chilling. It was an almost hollow thud.
I jumped into action quickly expecting the worst, but acting like nothing that bad had occurred. Lex was speechless at first, but his mouth was open. So I scanned him quickly, checked the teeth and the chin immediately. I was looking for blood or at least a telling mark. I found nothing at first, but then it found me. Within seconds a large baby-sized goose egg was forming on my son’s forehead and there were small scrapes to confirm undeniable wound. That thud was his forehead bouncing off of the asphalt. Ouch!
Lex cried, of course, but it did not last as long as I through it would. Now I was singing as I jogged with him over to the car were I knew his sippy cup was. The sippy cup is now his primary hydration and soothing device. Once all of those things came together Lex settled down, while his goose egg kept growing. I know that it helped that I didn’t freak out. Past accidents became so much more terrifying for Lex when I freaked out. So I told myself, “no more freaking out!”
I took Lex to see “Mommy”, although I must say this was more informational then a part of the solution. Lex is a daddy’s boy now. I’m just lucky that he’s chosen me for that role. I do spend more time with him and we do share pretty much all of his adventures together; so it makes sense that he has chosen me as his ultimate comforter. I know of too many mothers who do as much or more than I do with their children and yet still their children become a daddy’s boy or a daddy’s girl. Its harsh for them.
Anyway, after a few other seemingly serious accidents (falling down stairs, for example) and subsequent trips to the ER or calls to the doctor, we have learned what to look out for int he case of a possible concussion. Throughout the day we looked to see if his eyes became dilated. We checked his balance as well and watched for signs of nausea. He never showed any of these and so we felt that there was no permanent damage, but we did check on his a couple times through the night to be sure. By the way, he woke quite a bit in the late night and early morning, more than usual, but his sleep cycle was nearly normal after that first night. We did give him some Children’s Tylenol and later Ibuprofen.
Just before Lex went to be, my wife criticized my caution and attention when I’m out with Lex. I regret my response, I was very upset. I felt that I had done everything I should do and that this was something that just happened. I said this, in a not-so-nice tone and I struck out saying or thinking (I don’t remember) that if she actually spent some time with Lex outdoors she would see the same things happen. I argued that if I were to try and prevent every single possible accident then Lex would never get to have any fun or experience anything freely.
I was very upset and it showed. She asked me to calm down, especially in front of Lex. I did, on the outside. After Lex was to bed, I tried to bring up the topic, but she refused to talk about it. Later, I felt like a jerk. If there was really nothing that I could do to prevent this accident, then we couldn’t I feel satisfied in my responsible fatherhood for the day. Looking back now, I suppose the accident shook me up some. I felt strongly that it was not my fault, but I did wonder if there was something more I could have done then I think I subconsciously still wonder if perhaps there are other moments, when I am not representing responsible fatherhood, and something bad could happen but doesn’t.