Balcony of death…
Ah, these precious bundles of energy and fire that are bestowed upon us to care for and keep from harm. They start off as these tiny beings that all we have to do is keep from rolling off of things, keep them fed, keep them warm. Then they reach the tender age of toddlerhood. Then it’s a constant battle to keep them from -literally- killing themselves day after day.
My son is crazy.
He has no sense of impending danger whatsoever. There is no fear in his tiny and beautiful heart. Because fear is a learned emotion. It comes from years of falling down, breaking bones, and getting hurt. Toddlers haven’t experienced enough to know that the world can be a dangerous place if one is not careful. They are not aware that their bodies are fragile yet; that impact can cause great damage.
It also doesn’t help that my son has the natural balance of a drunk on a 3 day bender.
Running through the house at top speed…BOOM! Jumping on the sofa…BOOM! Running down the sidewalk…there he goes, down into the pavement. It’s insanity. I have never seen a child with worse balance. It’s as though his spindly little legs can just not carry the weight of the Rottweiler head that I am hoping that he will grow into. Is he cute? As a button. Does he look most days like he just lost 10 rounds with Mike Tyson? Absolutely. Try as I might to pretend that I don’t, I can see the looks of the other moms when I dare put him shorts (since I cannot find not one pair of pants…oh, curse you, laundry procrastination!) for a jaunt to the store.
But the first rule of toddler fight club is that you do not talk about toddler fight club.
This one is embarrassing to admit, but it did happen, and I like to think that I pride myself on being an honest blogger so I am sharing. One afternoon a few weeks ago I walked out of the back door to call the dogs. This took me approximately 20 seconds from the time I walked out of the door to the time I was back in the living room. When I strode back in I looked up and found my adventurous toddler hanging off of the balcony. Wait, take a moment, and absorb that fact. My toddler was hanging -cliffhanger style- from the balcony. What the #$%?! I didn’t know whether to catch him from the bottom or risk that he could fall as I ran up the stairs to pull him back over. I took a risk and bolted up the stairs with the speed equivalent of the strength the woman that moved a car to save her child trapped underneath (all the while praying that every piece of good in my karma bank could be used for this momentous occasion) and yanked him back over. As we lay in a heap on the floor, me panting and unable to even speak from my the strain of not breathing while running, he looked up at me with this sense of accomplishment. His face said, “I did it! Did you see me? I have been dreaming about that one for months!”. Needless to say, we had a very long and gesture filled talk about that incident. So far I haven’t seen anything quite that bad again…but he is only two and half. There are so many years left to go. I am not sure if I am strong enough -or fast enough- to get him through if this keeps up.
Distance between the back door and the balcony…
Though even on solid ground he is hurting himself almost constantly. Every time I take his pants off I find a new bruise. Did I forget to mention that I make him wear pants all of the time, even indoors and in the summer, to keep the bruises from becoming scrapes and cuts? Every time I have the nerve to take him out of the house in shorts we come home in a bandage. Skinned knees, skinned elbows…you name it. It is constant and mostly unsuccessful battle that I fight daily to keep him from looking as though he was abused. What can I say? “Ummm…he’s super clumsy.”? Isn’t that what all abusers say? “He ran into a doorknob.”? If I heard that from a parent 3 years ago, my first thought would be, “Call CPS! That child is being hurt!”. But now…my son actually did that! He ran full speed and smacked into a doorknob subsequently flying backwards into another door behind him. I watched in slow motion, utterly horrified, as I saw that one happen. Who does that?! The door is closed, buddy, what was the plan here?
No sense of danger. His favorite games are running away from me everywhere, chasing the puppies without looking where he is going, jumping on things, and climbing everything. Ev-er-y-thing. I find him on the piano, in the pantry, on counter tops. I am ten feet away! I attempt to move furniture so he can’t climb from one thing to another but nothing works. It’s as though he has some magical ability…and I still can’t figure out how he got up on the kitchen counter. Jp can either levitate or has telekinesis, there is simply no other explanation.
I love my boy but I think I may be gray before I’m forty. 😉
I'm just living minute to minute, hour to hour, day to day.