I’d like to say for the record that in real life I’ve never actually dropped a baby. (I almost pushed one out of a bucket swing when he was two, but in my defense I had no idea it was his first time in the swing and that not all kids loved being thrust as high as possible. Now I know.) But in my head? In the center of my imagination that dilated along with my cervix and then never retracted, many a little skull hath shattered at my feet.
The good news was that those fears melted away after TWO learned to walk. The bad news is that holding my nephew has brought them all back. And he’s the least likely candidate for droppage. He’s not yet interested in escaping the arms of one who loves him, and he’s so content to just relax and observe that he’s pretty much the easiest baby to be with. Yet holding him at the shoreline of the wave pool last week threw me into a fit of neurosis, a place so familiar it was like returning home after a prolonged absence. Or maybe it was the public pool water. Either way, it reminded me of one of the first pieces I wrote for ONE, on the day I left the hospital with her, years before I started blogging. And like the word hoarder I am, I still had it.
The Top 10 Places I Imagined Dropping You Today
10.) Between the mattress and aluminum railing of the hospital bed as I went from gently guiding to stuffing your limp arms into snowsuit sleeves clearly not designed to be worn.
9.) Over the side of the wheelchair as a chatty volunteer pushed us from the recovery ward to the hospital exit, rolling over every bloody piece of garbage on the floor because he was chatting to everyone he saw instead of paying attention to the baby he was sworn to protect for free.
8.) On the floor of the car as I struggled with the 5-point harness. (Why does Graco hate me?)
7.) Off the edge of the hospital roof I stared at as we pulled away from the building.
6.) Into the frosted grass as I attempted to pry the carrier off of the base. It didn’t matter that I couldn’t get you out of the secured harnasses, you were already a wiley one. You could slip out if you wanted.
5.) Across the kitchen linoleum when we first introduced you to the excited dog who had waited her entire life to play with you.
4.) In the porcelain bathtub and/or rusted sink we passed on the way to your bedroom.
3.) Off of the changing table (three times) even though you were asleep and didn’t know how to move yet.
2.) In Big George’s restaurant because even though I finally had my precious newborn babe swaddled and asleep in my arms, I’d put you down in a heartbeat if someone served me a Big George’s Greek salad with gyro and feta.
1.) Down the two flights of pea-green carpeted stairs I raced up (alone) when you finally stopped crying (because I was afraid that you might have suffocated in your crib).
It’s nice to know that good neuroses never die.
©2012 CEK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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