So momma rolled over and got out of bed,
"The baby's too sick, I can't go out," she said.
And in that one little minute, the baby kept with the song,
Just the one in the bed and the little one said, "Roll over, roll over."
Which is just what he did - rolling out of the bed -
A thud sounded through the house as he landed on his head.
Crying face down with a busted lip
Momma scooped him up and put the baby on her hip.
And she's never felt worse.
Okay, so that's not exactly how the children's song goes, but it's pretty close to what happened last Thursday night while visiting my family on vacation at the Poconos in Pennsylvania. Knox was up all night Wednesday with cold-like symptoms, but seemed to be in a better mood throughout the day Thursday. I was hoping it was just the pollen that had gotten to him, but then that night, he was once again warm and had developed a cough, thus momma-dependent and disinterested in his pack n play, opting rather to sleep with me in my bed.
As usual, I prepared what my husband and I call "Fort Knox" - lining the edges of the bed with pillows - because the last thing I ever wanted to happen to my baby was for him to fall out of bed. He was so sick and cranky (therefore whiny and clingy), so I was lying in bed on my side next to him singing, playing with his hair, and allowing him to breastfeed when he wanted to help soothe him. My sister was patiently waiting for me to make a McDonald's run with her (we were craving milkshakes); but Knox had been fighting falling to sleep for over an hour and I realized that our dairy dream was not to be. As he finally drifted off, I slipped out of bed to tell her that I was going to have to stay.
I grabbed my toothbrush off the dresser and checked the bed. Knox was all the way over to one edge, but the pillows next to him would protect him. I thought about lining the other side too, where I had been lying, but he would have to really roll to get over there which seemed unlikely seeing as A) he was dead asleep (finally), and B) I would be right back.
Having reenacted the night multiple times out of shame and self-loathing, I can now tell you that I took exactly four steps to the balcony in the hallway outside my room to tell my sister in the den below, "I can't go to McDonald's, Bobbie Jo. He's too sick." To which she replied, "Okay." There. The whole conversation. Succinct. Quick. Non-negligent.
I then took another four steps, peeked in the bedroom where all was well, and took six steps to the bathroom for a quick brushing of the teeth, (which yeah, in hindsight, was pushing it). I got about three back n forths of the brush across one side of my teeth when I heard the sickest, loudest, most shuddersome THUD of my entire life. I knew. I just knew.
I ran to the bedroom with my toothbrush hanging out of my mouth, the gel paste not even dissolved into that nice foamy lather you really look for when aspiring for fresh breath and a plaque free teeth. There on the thin carpet next to my bed was my nine month old baby, face down, hoarse from bout two of the croup, crying. He had rolled over twice, avoiding the fort like barrier of pillows on 3/4 of the surface area of the bed, and working his way over to where he must've assumed his mother to still be. Alas, she was not.
I scooped him up, my heart racing. He was still half asleep, eyes puffy and nose running, crying softly in a half sick / half "what just happened" way. He seemed more startled than anything. He clung to me, hugging fiercely, his little hands wrapping around those super tender baby hairs at the back of my neck that always escape my ponytails. I shushed him, rocked him, rubbed his back. I ran downstairs with him to my own mother, explaining what happened, and allowing myself to be soothed by her.
"It's okay," she kept saying. "You're not a bad mother. This happens to everybody." She was saying all the right things, but the bruise on his lip was heart-wrenching. "I'll never forget the first time you fell off the bed."
And that got my attention. My sister and I looked at each other, eyebrows cocked.
My mom continued, "Yeah, all of you all fell off the bed."
And I'm pretty sure that's when I was able to start laughing about it. Cause you know, if it's not one thing, it's ten. And I was so tired and so exhausted and so shaken, that if I didn't laugh, I would surely cry.
Because, let's be honest. At Christmas, when Knox was really just learning to roll over, my dad said to me, "Just wait til the first time he rolls off the bed." And I said to him, "The first time?" amazed not only that he thought there would ever be a time, not to mention that if there were, I would allow it to happen again.
And it's just funny. I mean, because unbeknownst to me, the early 80's were apparently filled to the brim with several instances of baby-Whitaker nose dives off the couch and bed. It's not enough that it happened to me (more than once), but my brother and sister suffered similar launches. At Christmas when my dad told me that, I remember thinking, "Should I really let them babysit? I mean, what were my parents doing? Why'd they keep putting us up on the bed once we'd rolled off? Just seeing how well we were made?"
And now, I have become my parents. As my BFF Whitney said, "cut from the same cloth." But truly, I have awesome parents!
So it's a rite of passage. Knox has superhuman healing powers because his busted lip is already a memory, and something he didn't seem to notice while it was there. And although I think I should, I just don't have the energy to beat myself up for it. So I've decided to adopt his daddy's attitude, that falling off the bed will "make him tough."
Okay, bloggies, what's the good word? Any little monkey in the bed stories of your own? Comment here! Make me feel better. :)