Then I lost him at the mall.
Now I’ve taught him bad words. Oh, and you can add "dropping his little brother on the concrete sidewalk" to the list of reasons why I win Best All-Around Mom.
Picture it. Easter Weekend. 2014.
(Real quick and then I’ll get to the point -- did you ever watch Golden Girls? Do you remember when Sophia used to say “Picture it. Sicily. 1923” or some other year before telling stories about when she was young? No? Right. Just me then? Okay…that’s what I figured anyway).
We visited Ryan's sister in Cincinnati for the weekend. We were walking through Newport on the Levee and I was carrying Dexter because he was still tired after napping in the car. We were on a mission. We were hungry. We were ready and excited to eat lunch at Tom+Chee (have you been? LOVE).
This lady (me) trips and goes flying through the air (not really, I kind of vaguely remember my feet going into auto-pilot, shuffling on the ground as I attempted to save myself and my baby son). My thought process was something like “I’m falling I’m falling wait maybe I’m catching myself no I’m for sure falling…” before there was a big SPLAT.
Next thing I know, I am lying on top of Dexter on the sidewalk and our group, who was walking ahead of me, turns around and starts saying things – I’m guessing along the lines of “are you okay?” but I really don't recall specifics. I sat up and picked up Dexter, who was screaming, sure that he had a broken bone or massive bleed but there were no signs of injury. I was in shock and pain and stood up, quickly looking at my camera to see if it was destroyed. It also appeared fine. What wasn’t fine, however, was the fiery sensation coming from my left hand and both knees. My knees were bloodied but we couldn’t just stop moving so we found a bench that was coincidentally in front of Tom+Chee (which was closed for remodeling for THREE days – why? Why, why, why on Easter weekend? Why on any weekend? Why on the only weekend I was in town and wanted to go there?). I sat down and fell again - only this time it was into a deep well of self-pity. I wanted to cry, it hurt so bad. Ryan came back with some wet paper towels to blot the dirt and blood.
Theo. Sweet, innocent, little bitty baby Theo (okay, okay. I know he’s 4 – shut up. He’s still little). He was concerned about his injured mama. He came over to me and squatted down in front of me, wincing. Looking over my boo boos with great care not to get to close or touch them. Then he said it. Sooo softly, he said it.
Hmm? I said “WHAT?!”
He shook his head no and said “nothing! I didn’t say anything.”
I looked at Ryan and he shook his head as well. “He didn’t hear that from me!”
I looked at Theo again. Gently, I asked, “where did you hear that? It’s okay. I’m not mad. I was just wondering where you heard that.”
He looked at me and ever so quietly again said, “from you, mommy.” ~insert shock and horror on my face here~ He continued, “when you fell,” pointing to my knees.
Well shit. I mean, "jumping jellyfish" or something else more appropriate. Apparently I say bad words when I go flying through the air, drop my baby, and then land on top of him, while injuring myself in the process.
Whatever. I didn’t mean to. SO that whole lunch episode was pretty much a bust (literally, snort snort). End of story. And that's the tale of how I taught my 4 year old the F-bomb.
With that out of the way, it’s time for some reflection to ponder the remarkable, innate, motherly instinct within. It is mind-boggling to me that Dexter did not have a single scratch on him. I don’t think I’m some sort of super-mom or anything, but in the midst of that chaos, clearly my natural instinct was to protect him. I don’t remember thinking anything along the lines of protecting him (apparently it was just “oh f*ck I’m falling and holding Dexter and these things are happening simultaneously) but I did. How did I not slam his head on the concrete when I fell and landed on top of him? I DON’T KNOW, other than adrenaline and natural instinct kicked in. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around that. I wish I could replay the whole 3 second debacle over and over to see what my body did in that situation while my mind was in panic mode. Oddly enough, it makes me more confident in my mothering abilities. It makes me feel like more of a mama bear than I already did. I freakin’ excel under pressure.
Well – aside from that whole language thing that I should probably work on.