Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall;
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
We’re not going to force a rewrite of that poem incorporating the events of last night mainly because I can’t think of a word that rhymes with “counter” or “granite” that means “slammed the back of one’s head hard enough to recreate the sound of a watermelon hitting concrete”. If that word exists, please let me know. I’ll update. I’ll also need a word that describes the sheer gut-wrenching terror of thinking I just killed my own daughter while trying to put shorts on her. So I think I’ll have to do some reading of H.P. Lovecraft’s extensive work to find that one.
Anyhow, it was bath time yet again. 7:00 PM comes quickly each day. And I stepped in near the end of bath time so Jess could grab a S’mores brownie that she made a little earlier. She needed to try that while it was still warm. It was that good. So Emerson and I play our typical bath games. You know, the one where I squirt her in the face with the rubber duck. Or the one where I squirt her in the face with the rubber blowfish. Or the one where I squirt here in the face with the rubber walrus. All those games she loves. (I’m kidding by the way; I don’t squirt her in the face.)
Once the bath water / kitchen sink was getting a little cold, I pulled her out and put her on the granite countertop on her purple shark towel. I put her hairbrush in her hand, which immediately went into her mouth, and started drying her off. We put Honest lotion on her so that she’s nice and slippery when we go to try and pick her back up. I leaned her up, sitting her upright and let her continue chewing on her brush. We call it “brushing her teeth”. I think it’s funny all of the gross things we, as mothers and fathers, try to rationalize as “cute”. Because the pools of drool on the floor and poo explosions our household refers to as “business” are flat out disgusting. Now that we’ve cleared the air of cuteness, let’s get back to it.
We wrangled her shirt down over her head and Jess was pulling the stopper of the sink. I grabbed her shorts and, as she remained sitting up, I figured I could get them started on her feet pretty easily. I grabbed her right leg and pulled a little. Like a great oak tree’s last moments, she started her fall slowly. I reached up for her as I noticed she was going down, but it was too late. The poor child dropped head first backwards to the hard surface. Her head, only cushioned by the shark towel, smashed against the surface and bounced as I snatched her knowing she would forever have some brain trauma from a simple leg lift. I took her into my arms, right up against my chest, whispering my apology and reassuring her (myself) that she was going to be okay. And then the scream started. Jess close behind me, we were speed walking into Emerson’s room just hoping that being away from the kitchen would help in some way. Instinctively removing her from the painful place would somehow make the agony disappear. The scream of your child, especially when it was something you caused, is heartbreaking. The only other time I’ve seen her cry so hard was her 2 month shots, and even that was tame compared to this wailing. I wanted to plow the back of my head into the wall in some attempt to take over the pain she felt. Anything to make her okay.
Jess’s mom instinct kicked in, not unlike Saturday when she thought I was dropping Emerson in the living room and, in her attempt to catch her, threw an entire glass of red wine onto the couch, carpet and throw pillows(Editor note: +two shirts). Emerson takes her nightcap bottle after her bath to get her to sleep. Jess plunged the Dr. Brown nipple into Emerson’s quivering, shrieking jaws and, like magic, she shut her eyes, drank her milk and fell asleep in a matter of ounces.
From this point, all the NFL concussion talks really kicked in. Don’t let someone who is concussed sleep. Well this kid was out like a light. I opened her eyes to no response. We said her name and there was no reaction. She was clearly entering into a coma and we knew it. Jess called her aunt, who is a fancy medical something or other that takes care of babies that are really in trouble, and discussed the situation. Monitor and wake her up every 30 minutes. Things were calming down now and, though I’ll admit I was on the verge of tears, we decided to relax and keep her with us. We chose to watch a movie starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. It made me want a concussion and baby coma of my own.
So in the end, Emerson was fine. She didn’t even have a welt on her head. As a friend said, ”It won’t be the last time you hear that noise.” It did make me realize that all those frustrating moments throughout the weekend when we couldn’t get her to settle or to take a nap or to drink her bottles or keep on her schedule… yeah, all of those frustrating moments… disappear when you experience such a frightful event. Then you love her again. And start all over.