Bottom Stair: 1, Isabella: 0

There's nothing quite like a deafening thud, followed by the screams of your child, to make a parent's heart skip a beat.

We had just arrived home from church. I was carrying Isabella, and was in a hurry to set her down as nature was calling me-loudly. The hubs was setting up the baby gate between the kitchen and the living room/Isabella's play area. I set her down behind the hubs, right near the stairs, and bolted up the staircase to the bathroom. She was unpleased when I set her down.

I never heard the thud. The hubs did, though, as he was standing right next to her when it happened. The screams, though? Those I heard loud and clear.

As best we can ascertain, Isabella either purposefully sat down next to the bottom step and banged her head on it in anger (she's been known to bang her head this way when unhappy, although not with this degree of force, while sitting on the rug in her play area), or she somehow attempted to climb the steps after me and never made it beyond the first step. She doesn't really attempt to climb the stairs that often, and the hubs only heard the one thud, rather than the sound of a little body tumbling down one step, so our theory lies with the former.

But it's a theory only, because neither one of us saw it happen.

That this was not your run-of-the-mill head bump became immediately apparent. I raced down the stairs not 10 seconds after it happened to see a massive black-and-blue welt forming on her forehead. I was shocked as to how quickly it had materialized. I'm fantastic in a crisis, so I was basically running around in a glassy-eyed panic, half-crying myself and with Isabella in my arms, trying to figure out if we should rush her to the emergency room, call her pediatrician, or simply surrender ourselves to CPS now to save them the hassle of hauling us away later on.

Here's what we did do. We immediately turned on the Elmo segment of Sesame Street, which the hubs DVRs for her (and which, ordinarily, I grudgingly accept, but do not like given my half of our family's oppositional tv policy) to distract her and to determine if she was crying out of fear or out of pain the likes of which even that massively annoying red puppet couldn't relieve. She calmed down, but once we tried to apply a bag of frozen peas to her scalp, the yelping began again in earnest.

I called the pediatrician's office, and the doctor on call told me that as long as she was walking and talking as she normally does, not vomiting, and seemed otherwise fine (excepting of course for the massive head wound) that I should just keep an eye on it. He also said that while an ice pack on it would be nice, he's never know a baby to tolerate it, so not to worry if it wasn't possible.

And so, the little girl is sporting her first big injury. Her parents feel like shite and want to wrap her head-to-toe in bubble wrap until she's 10, but she's returned to her willful, spirited, and high-energy self.

You wanna go? Let's go! I didn't get this shiner playing quietly with my books. I'll flatten your arse in 10 flat.

16 Responses to “Bottom Stair: 1, Isabella: 0”

  1. # Blogger Lis Garrett

    What a photo!

    All my kids have taken tumbles down the stairs, and it is terrifying. Did I ever tell you about the time that Bridget attempted to climb over the baby gate, knocked it loose, and went gate surfing down the stairs?? Then there was the time when Jacob was Isabella's age and I slipped carrying him down the stairs and knocked his head against the wall. My hip and thigh took the brunt of it, but still. Stairs are awful, awful things. Even when kids can negotiate them well, they still have the occasional spill.  

  2. # Blogger My Wombinations

    I can't tell you how much this story has terrified me. We are in the process of building a custom gate because our stairs are somewhat unique. But if Sam ever falls down them, we are screwed. They are unusually dangerous. I am glad little Isabella is ok, though. That bruise is barely even noticeable! Her screen career is saved!  

  3. # Blogger Tracey

    Ah yes. Welcome to the club... Those immediate bumps and bruises are fun, aren't they? Hope she's ok.  

  4. # Blogger Damselfly

    Aw, poor girl. But what a trooper. I'm glad she's OK. Fly *does* climb steps and now gets on the coffee table and jumps off. We are quite familiar with the frozen bag of peas.  

  5. # Blogger Marie

    Awww.... yes, it makes you feel like crap. But it happens! (Just don't let Grandma see her for a few days!!) Chris wanted to get a helmet for K when we were in the early toddler days. We had one really bad fall -- from the landing to the first floor - 10 steps or so. Thud-thud-thud-thud.... Oh man. I cringe thinking about it!  

  6. # Blogger MsPrufrock

    If it makes you feel any better, P is a regular with the egg-on-head thing. In fact, the book to sign at Nursery to acknowledge a kid's injury is known there as "P's book". Rarely a week goes by that there is not an egg on her head.

    That said, it is terrifying, isn't it? I'm a panicker too, if that's even a word...  

  7. # Blogger kenju

    Love the photo and your caption is priceless!! Poor baby - I bet she did that on purpose!  

  8. # Blogger l

    My mom made my then teenaged sister rush me to the emergency room when I was about 9 because I clocked my head on a booth in our restaurant. It turned out to be nothing but a headache, but I remember my mom's panic and my sister shaking me awake in the car (it was late at night). Sounds like your pediatrician had good advice. I always like to get some kind of relativity statement like "it'd be nice, but I've never known a baby to tolerate it".  

  9. # Blogger Binulatti

    Now, now - you gave me a similar welt with a block when I was about her age, and I turned out fine. I wouldn't worry about a thing. Except, though, she might want to move to the other side of the country when she's old enough.  

  10. # Blogger OHN

    Hi--popping over from Beagle and sitting here recalling our first major boo-boo. It was our middle son (first son was calm, quiet, gentle...middle was a tornado) and we had walked out to say goodnight to the moon (his favorite book BTW) and he fell coming in, smacked his darling little face into the sliding glass door track and split open his forehead. I freaked, he was bleeding a lot and that didn't help. He ended up needing a few stitches and still has the scar. Lets just say, by the time son #3 came along, my freaking days were much less frequent and unless there is bone showing, it doesn't phase me too much. You will get used to it too, unfortunately :)  

  11. # Blogger Shannon

    Lore has gotten huge knots like that too... what has helped... a Hello Kitty ice pack from target and what we call a BooBoo Bunny... it is a little plush bunny that holds a square shape ice pack... she loves it... she will put both on her ouchies and in about an hour they seem to go away for the most part... lol... so sorry she had such a nasty knot like that!  

  12. # Blogger Kristi

    I'm so glad to read that head eggs are apparently a widespread phenomenon in the toddler set. This makes me feel a lot better!  

  13. # Blogger Beagle

    I SO hope you're still blogging about Isabella when she’s a teenager. She is one feisty little Chiquita!  

  14. # Anonymous Jenny

    Falling up the stairs.... I had NOTHING to do with it!  

  15. # Anonymous sher

    I too loved the photo. :) When I was growing up, we had a hard tile floor and my sister would constantly fall down and hit her head. She had so many bruised bumps on her forehead, my mom was embarassed to take her out in public, worried that people would think my sister was abused!  

  16. # Anonymous Laura McIntyre

    Poor baby, hope she is doing ok now  

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