Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Gate Crasher

My tough little girl got her first bloody lip the other night. I don’t know if this happens to all children, but both of my kids had their first bleeding boo-boo by injuring that tendon that runs from the top lip to the gums. I think that she is destined to get hurt just as much as or more often than her brother regardless of the fact that she is a girl.

I had placed the baby in the kids’ bedroom to play while I got my son and myself ready for bed. He was impatient to have access to his room and instead of waiting for me to lift him over the baby gate to deposit him safely on the other side he decided to stand in the hallway and give the gate a couple of good thumps.

The thing must not have been snug into the doorframe tightly enough because the next thing I knew the gate gave way and trapped my screaming infant beneath it. I suppose I have to take some responsibility for the mishap considering that I put the gate up. It is also possible that the gate is simply not meant to take the brute force of a twenty-nine pound toddler throwing himself at it like a battering ram. (That may be a bit of an exaggeration since I didn’t actually see him do it, but that’s sure what it sounded like.)

Two complications inevitably arise from this sort of situation. The first is the challenge of making a two-point-five year old understand the concept of cause and effect- you pushed on the gate and it fell causing the baby to fall over backward, hit her head and bleed from the mouth; the second difficulty is whether to clean the blood out of the baby’s mouth with a tissue or tip her head forward so she can stop gurgling and spit the moisture out of her mouth onto the carpet.

I opted for swabbing the blood out of her mouth, and her brother seemed to understand that he had hurt her because he was pretty anxious to give her kisses and say sorry. My little girl recovered rather quickly from her accident and was back to climbing over obstacles and throwing herself in harm’s way in no time at all. I’m starting to think that I should just bundle her in bubble wrap and be done with it. It would definitely reduce the number of gasp-and-run moments.

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