a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Friday, July 3, 2009

Who ya gonna call?

Justin turned to me the other day and said, "If I'd have known the pain of this moment, I don't think I would have ever become a father." And we're just getting started, folks. I have a feeling the pain we've felt ain't nothin' yet.

The pain of which I speak was a result of seeing Evie in pain after she face-planted into the floor the other night. It didn't actually look like a bad spill. There have been tumbles that have looked catastophic only to have her giggle and carry on as if nothing happened. Other times, a seemingly small bump will turn the world upside down. It was right before bed the other night when she decided to taste the floor with her nose and from her screaming I knew it was one that needed comforting rather than the old, "Ah, you're okay, come on let's go!" When I picked her up and brushed her post-bath hair out of her face though, her little mouth was covered in blood and her upper lip had already begun to swell.

At moments like this I've discovered there's nothing more in the world that you want as a parent than to make it right. Stop the pain. Fix the hurt. Travel back in time and prevent it from ever happening. I would have given anything to have my lip busted in her place, and from the look of fear on Justin's face, I knew he was thinking the same thing.

Here's where it gets tricky as a first time parent. You don't know how bad is bad. Was this a bad enough bump that she needed medical attention? She was exhausted and ready for bed and the only real option available for medical care was to stick her in the car, bleeding and screaming and drive 30 minutes to the hospital emergency room. I tried calling the hospital, just to talk to someone who could reassure me that she was okay--that there wouldn't be anything they could do about this kind of injury anyway, but the number listed in our phone index was wrong (of course). Still needing reassurance and phone in hand, I dialed the next number almost automatically--home. My dad answered the phone, thrilled to have a surprise call, and then settled down into comfort mode when he heard our plight. He assured me of everything I was already thinking--that it didn't sound that bad, that the fact that she was acting normally once more, giggling and smiling was indication that she was fine. He recalled times my brother and sister and I were injured, from scrapes to stitches and sympathized at our feelings of helplessness as new parents experiencing it for the first time from the other side.

So we didn't take her to the emergency room, and she's just fine. She's not even fussy at meal times, as I feared she might be from pain in her mouth. I'm amazed at her resiliance and terrified by her brazen recklessness. She's more on the move than ever. She has no sense of "the edge" and Justin mused aloud the other day about whether she'd crawl right off the Grand Canyon without hesitation. She's standing for a few seconds on her own now, so I know walking must be not too far behind. She's also decided that sitting in the bathtub is for suckers. This has greatly complicated my life. By the end of bathtime, I'm nearly as wet as her from baby-wrestling.


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