I was just walking in from the backyard when I heard JB saying “Oh no, oh god, oh shit” and I saw him running out the open front door and just beyond him I could see the stroller lying on its side and Dylan was screaming, screaming, screaming. I ran and I may have been screaming something myself and Dylan’s legs were kicking from where he was strapped in the stroller’s seat and one wheel was still turning but instead of being on the ground it was turning in the air and JB was pulling the stroller up and getting Dylan out and his little face was bleeding and Riley was still bent over the stroller trying to help and Riley was scared and I was sobbing and I knew for certain our baby had a shattered arm or worse.

I hugged him against my body and I stood inside the house crying all over his soft hair while he buried his face in my chest and I held him out for a second and his eyes were frightened and hurt and his cheek had a bright red droplet of blood and the right side of his face was scraped and turning red and a dark shadow of a bruise was already starting to appear.

We checked him over and he wound down to a sorrowful snuffle and nothing appeared to be broken. JB put some Neosporin on him and we fed him bananas and yogurt with a little blackberry jam and oatmeal and he devoured it all and grinned at us. I put him on the floor to play for a while then I rocked him and gave him a bottle and kissed him a lot and put him to bed as usual and his sleepy little banged-up face tore a hole in my heart.

It was my fault. We were getting ready to go for a walk and I left the stroller on the top step of our front porch, unlocked, while I went back in to feed the dog. Riley walked out the front and went to innocently (and probably clumsily) push the stroller towards the driveway and it toppled off the step and fell over and Dylan’s face connected directly with our exposed aggregate walkway.

I don’t know how he didn’t get hurt more than he did.

There is a word for how I feel about the whole accident, but I’m not sure what it is. Terrible doesn’t quite cover it. Guilty seems too mild. I suppose I learned a valuable lesson — always, always lock the fucking stroller — but oh, god. Who actually fails the “keep baby from falling headfirst onto hard surfaces” parenting directive? It’s right up there in the top no-shitter, easy-do responsibilities: FEED BABY, OCCASIONALLY REMOVE FILTH FROM BABY, DO NOT ALLOW BABY TO SMASH INTO CONCRETE.


160 Responses to “Battered”

  1. Monica on September 5th, 2008 6:23 pm

    It must be contagious. My daughter also did a face plant in the concrete yesterday also due to my neglect. I can’t believe how fast she recovered yet how bad she looks now!

  2. chraycee on September 5th, 2008 7:57 pm

    My little girl was only about a month old when we had our first trip to the ER. Hubby and I were going for a walk around the neighborhood – going to try out the new stroller. I carried JB out the door cradled in my arms – my eyes on the stroller. Hubby called something out to me and I sort of sidestepped to turn so I could hear him and I tripped over our planter. The planter that has been there for 7 friggin years. Both of my legs went out behind me and I tried so hard to hold onto her. I can still see the slow motion view of her floating up out of my arms, just beyond my fingers – and her little head smashing into the concrete floor of our porch. THUD.

    She was fine Thank.God. I will forever be the mom who actually dropped her brand freakin new baby on the concrete.

    I’m glad he’s fine. Just think, when he is a dad, and is worried about something small – you can always tell him about the time you left the stroller unlocked.

  3. H on September 5th, 2008 8:49 pm

    We were at an amusement park which had an old western theme, log gates, log everything. My brother was at an entryway for a ride with his 3 year old son, lifted him up on his shoulders and, in doing so, smashed his head into a pointy log overhang. Poor kid bled like crazy.

    My son was injured in a football game, the trainer said he was OK to return to play and he did for the rest of the season…and the basketball season…and started the track season. He was still limping and complaining and we kept telling him to “play through the pain” because, hey, the trainer said he was fine. Finally, in April, we took him to the doctor and found out he had a badly torn ACL. To this day, he reminds us of the “play through the pain” comments.

  4. Victoria on September 6th, 2008 3:47 pm

    I’m so sorry, this must have been terrifying for all of you. Hugs

  5. FishyGirl on September 6th, 2008 7:52 pm

    Oh, Linda. I just got back from vacation and am catching up. I can top all of this: I dropped my son on his head the second day home from the hospital. I was nursing him in bed, fell asleep and dropped him off the bed and he landed on his head. That thwack sound is the worst. He had his first cat scan when he was less than a week old. He was fine, I was devastated. Since he’s the youngest of four, I have to tell you that I’ve also let them fall off beds, couches, into the concrete, and I even shut my younger daughter’s arm in the van door. She’s only four but still sometimes says “Remember when you shut my arm in the car door? Do you pwomise not to huwt me again?” I die every time she says it. Don’t worry, they’re resilient, and he’s fine and cute as ever. And what a superhero big brother, trying to help. That rocks.

  6. Joanna on September 7th, 2008 7:15 pm

    When I was a kid, my mom left my 3 year old sister in the car with my infant brother in the car seat. I had to go to the bathroom so she took me back in the house.

    My sister climbed into the front seat and put the car into neutral. (Either my mom left it running or the keys were in that “in between” position where you could do something like that.) The car drifted into a neighbor’s yard and came to rest against a picnic table.

    I’m sure you can imagine my mom’s reaction when the car (and her kids!!!!) wasn’t where she left it. My sister is the best driver in the family and we joke now that it’s because she started so young.

  7. Kelly on September 7th, 2008 7:23 pm

    Oh honey, we’ve all had accidents. When my youngest son was 5 months old he was splashing happily in his baby bath when I stood up to get a towel from underneath the sink. When I stood up I looked in the mirror and noticed something in my teeth. I opened the drawer for the floss and looked over my shoulder to see my baby under the water. It all happened so fast – less than 30 seconds from the time I stood to get the towel. It still shakes me to the core.

  8. Susie on September 8th, 2008 7:40 pm

    Poor Dylan, poor you!

    At least he can’t rat you out…Once when my son was about 2, he wanted me to push him on the big kid swing instead of the bucket swing. So I put him up on the swing, pulled the swing back…and dumped him face first into the dirt. His lip was all bloody, etc. Cut to the next time we go to the park. He wants to go on the swing again, so I say “Sure!” thinking how great it is that he wasn’t traumatized by our last attempt. As I’m picking him up to put him on the swing, he says, loudly and quite earnestly, “Only this time, mom, try not to drop me on my face!”

  9. nikki on September 12th, 2008 10:39 am

    When my son was 2 he decided to step off the back porch and not use the step to help him down. He landed on his face on the concrete sidewalk. I was standing right next to him and could not grab him in time. He still has a scar from his battles. I still feel guilty even though I know falling and cuts and bruises are part of being a little kid.

    (oh and uh, hi! I lurk here often.)

  10. Baseball Regulation on February 4th, 2009 2:09 am

    You fell? You’d better be careful next time. =) My friend had an injured knee due to a fall while playing baseball. Now we lost a player :(

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