02 September 2008

Things That Go Bump In the Night

Charis is a dear, sweet girl, and I love her. Sometimes, though, she tries my last nerve. Nighttime is a battle where this nerve is most severely tested, because we have differing opinions about what should happen then: Abe and I think Charis should stay in bed and go to sleep, while she believes she should get out of bed and wander. Usually, she is armed with a book and seeking out any lamp that will enable her to read for just while longer. Occasionally, though, I think she just wants to see what kind of action is going on without her. More than once, we've found her asleep on the landing at the top of the stairs, where she fell asleep while listening to whatever we had on the TV. Whatever the case, we almost always hear her creep out of bed and leave her room, so we're likely to jump on the situation and hustle her back to bed.

Last night, we didn't hear her.

We were watching a movie in the living room when we heard a series of sickening thuds. I knew in a moment what it was: my beloved daughter had fallen asleep at the top of the stairs and was now rolling down them. Abe and I both jumped up at once, but in moments like that, it is as if you're in slow motion, stuck in wet cement. We both instinctively wanted to catch her to keep her from harm, but we just simply couldn't get there fast enough. Charis tumbled and tumbled, and I thought the stairs would never end. When she landed at the bottom, I screamed.

Abe snatched her up, and while he cradled her, I spent the next few minutes making sure everything was okay: testing her reflexes, palpating her spine, making sure her arms and legs worked, feeling for head lumps, looking for blood. Then I took over the cuddling, because nobody comforts like mom does. Where she had been whimpering in a state of semi-slumber while
Abe held her, she calmed down as soon as I took over. We kept her up for a while to make sure she didn't have a concussion, which she didn't, and then I went and lay down in bed with her, just trying to soothe her back to sleep. I figured she was okay when she asked me to please go back downstairs so she could sleep.

It was just the latest in a series of bumps and bruises. But strangely, it was the first time for Charis to be involved in the scenario; poor Judah has had more than his fair share of injuries. It all started one evening when we were playing before bed. I think I've told this story before, but I'll recap: we were knocking the children over in Charis' bed, which the kids love. The kids fall over, land, giggle, and ask for more. On this particular night, I made an error in spatial judgement and pushed charis over before Judah was quite up. The result was the collision of their heads. The back of Charis' head hit the front of Judah's, and while she was fine, he immediately developed a giant lump on his forehead. It took forever to calm him, but we did the same as with Charis, keeping him up for quite some time to check for injury or concussion. We plied the bump with ice packs and plied Judah with popsicles, all in the name of comfort.
Here's Judah once hehad calmed down from the trauma. Note the goose egg on his head, and the end of his second popsicle. I couldn't believe how quickly this bump sprang up, nor could I believe how long it took to go away: it took only second for the bump to form, but it was weeks until the swelling went down, weeks until the purple bruise started to turn greenish yellow. And when it did eventually start to fade, the bruising migrated down between his eyes, giving Judah his first shiners. Then his shiners turned green, too, so instead of calling him Brown Eyes, we took to calling him Green Eyes. Poor kid.

Here he is a few weeks later, when the bruise had started to fade. Notice the green in the corners of his eyes? That took forever to go away.

We thought the bump was behind us, but it seems Judah has a knack for injuring his head. One day, not too long after this photo was taken, Judah was pulling his wagon up the hill to the pole barn when he fell on the concrete, landing on his--guess what?--head. In the exact same spot. The lump was back.

Only days after that, Judah was retreiving a puzzle from under the couch when he stood up and whacked his--guess what?--head on the wooden arm of the couch. We wondered if it would ever end, if the bump would ever ever go away.

As of right now, the bump is nearly non-existent. It has faded and flattened, so the worst of it may be behind us.

But we're going outside to play later, and we may take the wagon with us, so stay tuned...

1 comment:

Donna Koehn said...

It seems Charis is a lot like her mother (like you didn't know); and that Judah has the "good fortune" to attract colorful ornamentation much as his maternal grandmother had from the time she could walk until, oh, now. It sounds like you have the routine under control. You don't need to worry too much until the third or fourth time the nurse writes "parent states" on the emergency room report. Good thing your kids have sensible parents!