Thursday, February 25, 2010

Toddler Injury, Illness, and Oh Yes, Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Bounce. Giggle. Bounce. Giggle. Bounce. Bounce. Huge laugh.

“Ami. Ami. Amiiiiiiiiiii.” That’s Urdu for mommy. “Come see me. I jumping high,” Kamran sang to me Monday morning.I was brushing my teeth five feet away. Huffing and puffing he made up his own version of the silly song. “So many monkeys jumping on the bed. Two fell off and bumped its head. Mommy called doctor and doctor said…” as he lost his footing and sailed into the bedpost and thwacked his browbone. I heard it.

I turned to see a bruise the size of a doorknob under his left eye and tears the size dinner plates coursing down his face. So I exaggerate a little. His sobs were loud. When your baby is injured everything slows down. You imagine reaching into the ether and with a few well-placed clicks turning the dial back, nudging the toddler to the left so he falls on the goose-down pillow, the pile of laundry, anything but the bloody bedpost.

Dear husband cusses me out for “letting him jump on the furniture.” I actually don’t mind that he jumps on the furniture, not even in the living room. He’ll only be two years old once and it’s only for a few more years that he’ll be sailing through the air in that wonderful delirium unaware of the laws of gravity and the brutality that high school physics holds for him. I love to watch him jump. I don’t love that I let him fall.

I am a Class A klutz. I wish there were Olympics of clumsiness because I would have Nike, Gatorade, AMEX, and whoever else the big kahunas are right now, beating a path to my door to sponsor me. My home would be littered with gold medals and citations from prime ministers and presidents and other heads of state.

When I was two years old, I fell off a boat and 20 feet down onto a dock and lay frothing at the mouth. My mother thought I was dead. At 10 I was swinging from a tree branch when the branch broke and I hurtled to the earth. I was taken to the ER unconscious.

At 12 I was riding my bike to school and was the victim of a hit-and-run. The police never found the car or the runaway driver.

In my 20s, I fell off a train in Switzerland (it wasn’t moving) and wrenched my neck and back. I’ve stepped on nails but never slipped on a banana peel, fallen walking UP the stairs, broken my ankle multiple times most recently two years ago while walking down ONE step at Toronto’s Harbourfront.

I've had tropical diseases (all completely cured now), fevers that refused to break, been thrown from horses, chased by cows, bitten by donkeys, chickens, ducks, birds, I’ve wrenched my neck, had a slipped disc…

This is a boring, scary list. I don’t want my Kamran to inherit any of this. How do I prevent it from happening? Can someone tell me? I’ve enrolled him in swimming, baby soccer and football and some other class to work on his fine and gross motor skills. I guess it’s a start to keep my precious monkey from falling off the bed in the future.

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