It’s Family Day weekend in Canada. My daughter, Candice and my grandson, Oliver were planning to come here for the long weekend. Oliver got the stomach flu earlier in the week so we rearranged the plans so I could go to their house for a couple of days. I arrived Friday after work and we had dinner in. Saturday, we took a walk down the street in their quaint little village and had lunch in a favourite restaurant. Oliver wanted to continue the stroller walk after lunch so I got my Shih tsu, Boo at the house and continued walking in the beautiful Spring-like weather. Oliver fell asleep in his stroller and Boo got all muddy. When we got to Candice’s house, she carried Oliver to bed while I bathed Boo. Candice and I relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.
Candice went out with friends in the evening and I gave Oliver a bath and put him to bed. Candice had warned me and I noticed he was not as happy to go to bed as he has been the night before. When I put him in his crib he went right to sleep. Other than one cry that amounted to nothing, it was a pleasant evening. I enjoy babysitting my grandson. It’s a pleasure.
Today we had a busy morning lined up. We decided to partake in the village breakfast and then head to soccer. Once a month, one of the organizations in town puts on a lovely breakfast featuring live entertainment. I felt fortunate to be hitting the breakfast weekend. Afterwards, we were going to take Oliver to his weekly soccer. He is real natural kicking the ball. I was really looking forward to seeing him excel. He’s not even two years old but he can really handle a soccer ball.
His mom dressed him and out we headed. I noticed she had put his mitts on. Yesterday, I walked him down the front porch steps, holding his hand. Today, I was afraid his mitt would come off and he might fall. As we got to the edge of the porch I scooped him up in front of me and carried him down the three steps. As my foot hit the interlocking brick path, my ankle turned. The edging on the path had broken away. I had expected to hit flat pavement but I fell. Oliver went down in front of me. All I could see was his face hit the pavement. I had dropped my baby boy! I thought I might have broken his skull. You can imagine my devastation. I was hysterical. Luckily, Candice was there to pick him up. I was a puddle on the ground.
I heard her say, “He’s OK! He’s fine!”
My mind could not imagine it to be true. He smashed his face on hard pavement.
She said,” Please get up. He’s fine.”
I was hurt, myself. Not just emotionally, but physically from the fall. I had twisted my foot and had scraped my other knee. I hopped up and limped into the house where she had taken Oliver. She said she thought he’d need stitches. His sunglasses had gashed his forehead. We piled into the car to head to the hospital. I was crying and so was Oliver. It was a very scary ride. Candice is a good driver but I had seen her hands shaking and I knew she was very scared. I sat in the back with Oliver. I was trying to engage him with stories but he was crying. Poor baby had a big cut on his forehead. I tried to apply an ice pack. I was so sure he’d have a goose egg (or worse) on his head. Always the first aid responder, I kept checking his pupils for changes and his head for bruising or swelling. I kept thinking he might fall asleep and I knew I must keep him awake. The drive seemed endless. Candice is such a good mom. She kept engaging him. He would answer her. She suggested we read books. Then she suggested we sing “The Wheels On The Bus.” I think she might have wanted this more for me than him. I was crying and not fun at all. Once I began to sing, we both stopped crying.
Oliver got 3 stitches in his forehead. He is otherwise fine. Grandma is limping with a sore foot, emotionally drained and traumatized. I keep replaying his face hitting the pavement in my mind. I know that it could have been so much worse but I’m still devastated.
“The wheels on the bus go round and round” and so does my memory of my baby boy’s face hitting the pavement.