When You Don’t Have Time To Scream
Clancy woke up at around 10am to the sound of a giant crash and thud. Usually, that kind of sound elicits a query as to whether everything is okay. In this case, though, it was loud enough that she darted up and out the door. There she looked down the stairs and saw a dog sitting over flotsam of a broken gate, her moaning husband’s contorted body, and a baby sitting up and crying.
I’m still not positive what happened, or in the order in which it did. I do remember two things. I remember hitting my left side on the gate that sits atop the stairs, and I remember tripping over the bar that goes across the bottom. And I remember being at the top of the stairs, looking down, and knowing that I am about to fall. Holding my little girl.
I think it’s in just about every father’s mind that in that instant of danger, their first priority will be to protect their little ones. Only once before have I been in the sort of thinkquick situation, when a bookshelf was wobbling and looked like it was about to fall (we took it down after this incident). This was a big different, in that books falling on me wouldn’t have caused much damage. Falling down the stairs? Different story.
I passed the fatherhood test. Though things moved in slow motion, I had time to think about one thing, and that was protecting my little girl. Initially holding her with one hand, I grabbed her with the other to protect her as best I could during the descent.
We have a Regalo Easy Step Walk Thru Gate sitting at the top, and the bottom, of the stairs. Initially it was because we feared the baby trying to go up or down the stairs and falling. She has demonstrated the ability to do it now, though we put the gates up in the new house because we still don’t want her to do it without our supervision.
Because she might fall.Immediately after the fall, I did an inventory of my arms and legs and fortunately was able to move everything without difficulty. The problem was not that I didn’t feel enough, but that I felt too much. All I could do was moan. Loudly. I have a skid mark on my hand where the skin was scraped away. The pain was originally on my back, but shortly after transferred to my neck and shoulders.
Lain has what appears to be a bump on her head. So, alas, my execution of Operation Protect Lain was not perfect. She was pretty traumatized by it and alternates between being Happy Little Lain and Fussy Lain. She doesn’t feel particularly comfortable (or safe, presumably) with her daddy right now and is favoring her mother.
All in all, we’re counting our lucky stars. My injuries will be a pain in the arse for a few days, but I will almost certainly reach a full recovery. The knot on her head aside, the baby was well protected.
I would give myself a pat on the back, but man would that hurt.