Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Bruised Smile

I felt horrible; absolutely terrible.

On Sunday night, I put our 11 week-old daughter in the bouncy chair and picked her up to carry her into the family room. As I crossed the threshold between the kitchen and the family room, the fabric of the bouncy chair gave out and our baby girl fell face down on the hard wood floor. She screamed and cried, and was comforted once my wife picked her up and nursed her.

While she did not seem to have any noticeable injuries, my wife pressed on our daughter's nose to see if it was sensitive. Thank G-d, aside from a little swelling and bruise on the upper lip, she appeared to be completely fine. With her bruised lip she even smiled at us as she always does.

In hisbodedus Monday morning I said,

"Ribbono shel Olam, please send my precious little angel a refuah shleima. May You heal any injuries we can see and any ones we cannot see. I was wrong; 100% wrong and was not careful enough. I feel absolutely horrible and could not live with myself if I knew I hurt her in a way that was permanent. Ribbono shel Olam, please help her; PLEASE HELP HER!"

Later that morning, I called my father, who is a doctor, and told him what he happened. He reassured me and told me that the lip heals incredibly fast and the bruise would be gone in no time. He also told me that her smile was an indication that she was not injured.

Whew!

I have never experienced such a sickening feeling deep down in my stomach as I did after this happened; fear, worry, shame, and regret all bound together. I have certainly learned my lesson to be more careful in the future.

17 Comments:

At August 15, 2006 at 7:04:00 AM EDT, Anonymous mosh said...

ASJ: relax, it was totally not your fault. Tottal ones. B'H the baby is safe.
I would still suggest some cheshbon nefesh as to what Hashem could be telling you through this.

 
At August 15, 2006 at 7:20:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Mosh: Thanks for the reassurance. I wish I could figure out what the message was....

 
At August 15, 2006 at 9:16:00 AM EDT, Blogger PsychoToddler said...

Kids will get bruises; there's no preventing that.

I came home the other day and I thought the PT had chocolate on her lower lip and kept asking her to wash it off. My wife eventually told me that she had walked into the counter and it was a bruise.

Also, when Iguana was about 7 months old, I was carrying her down the stairs and I tripped and landed at the bottom of the stairs--on top of her. I rushed her to the ER and found that I had cracked her leg, but the bone was so soft that there was no separation, and she didn't need a cast. It healed just fine, but I've always felt terrible for that.

You try your best, do what you can, and in the end the rest is in the hands of the ribono shel olam.

 
At August 15, 2006 at 9:24:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

PT: I know that I am not the only parent this happens to, however, this was my first occasion when it happened on my watch. Thanks for letting me know that I am not alone on this.

 
At August 15, 2006 at 9:41:00 AM EDT, Blogger torontopearl said...

Definitely not alone!

We try our hardest to protect our children, so we suffer the worst when we unwittingly and unintentionally hurt them.

ASJ, when Noam, my youngest was 22 days old, I was dozing with him on my chest in the early morning.

Next thing I hear is a thump,extreme crying and woke to find him on the floor --- he'd either slid off by himself or I'd turned or something and he fell. My fear was that perhaps he'd hit his head on the night table on the way down, and/or just the fall to the carpet damaged him. I took the tiny thing to emergency (I had to "mechalel Shabbos" to do so, to give me peace of mind) and this relatively newborn infant lay there, with me supporting his head on the examining table, having head X-rays taken.
Thank G-d all was okay, but can you begin to imagine how I felt? And still do?

 
At August 15, 2006 at 9:51:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

"We try our hardest to protect our children, so we suffer the worst when we unwittingly and unintentionally hurt them."

Pearl, this sums up my posting in one sentence! Thanks for sharing your story.

 
At August 15, 2006 at 10:57:00 AM EDT, Anonymous chabakuk elisha said...

OY!

But I bet it hurts you far more than her...

About 8 years ago I lived in an apartment bldg. with a stone/marble floor and steps. I was in the hallway when my neighbor was taking her child (about a year old?)in the stroller down the couple steps, when the infant managed to get itself out of the buckle and slipped out head first onto the very hard steps and rolled down them.
The mother was in panic and the child was screaming - I was in panic myself - but B"H the girl was, and is, 100 % fine...

 
At August 15, 2006 at 11:15:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Oy is right…after reading your story I can see that once again I am not alone.

 
At August 15, 2006 at 2:10:00 PM EDT, Anonymous shoshana (bershad) said...

ASJ, you are DEFINITELY not alone! I think every parent has been in a situation where we failed to protect our child from some kind of pain or hazard, despite our safety precautions, loving concern, and best intentions. Most often, we have "near-misses" or only minor injuries, and we can learn from our mistakes. Of course, there is also the danger of becoming overprotective--not only is this a futile endeavor, but it aims to avoid one of the ways kids learn about life. This applies more to toddlers than to infants, but what I'm referring to is that children who experience the normal bumps and scrapes as they start to navigate their environment learn that pain hurts for a moment, but then it goes away. That knowledge breeds faith that injuries and illnesses will usually get better. Thus, they can explore their world with confidence, mixed with a little more caution.

Another thought: was your bouncy chair a hand-me-down, or newly purchased? There might be a warranty issue here.

 
At August 15, 2006 at 2:37:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

It bought it at a consignment store. I never had this problem with the old one I had which we keep upstairs.

 
At August 15, 2006 at 3:43:00 PM EDT, Blogger Neil Harris said...

Kids bounce back. Don't fret. Powerful Hisbodedus. Maybe the purpose of the fall was so you could share with us what you say to HKBH? Thanks, glad I'm not the only who practices hisbodedus (although not as much as I should).

 
At August 15, 2006 at 3:58:00 PM EDT, Anonymous mosh said...

I heard once that children have malachim appointed to guard them, that's why they fall so often but hardly get hurt.
May Hashem guard all His children (both young and old).

 
At August 15, 2006 at 8:48:00 PM EDT, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

ASJ, you strike me as a very conscientious and loving parent. There are no manuals. You learn as you go...May your prayers and hitbidedut serve as a protection for your children always.

 
At August 16, 2006 at 6:29:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Neil: Interesting that you also practice hisbodedus. Perhaps you would consider a posting about the positive benefits you have seen from it. What do you think. If you would like, you are welcome to guest post here.

Mosh: Very interesting. I have never heard this.

MCAryeh: AMEN!

 
At August 18, 2006 at 2:39:00 AM EDT, Blogger Fedora Black said...

Little over a year ago we lived in a two-story apartments with a long, straight flight of 13 wodden stairs. We usually had the baby gate blocking the stares but for some reason it was off, my daughter, just one at the time, was walking near the stairs while I was sitting near her, while we were doing last minute preps for shabbos. She walked over the edge of the stairs, I lunged to get her, but missed and screamed as she went rolling down from stair to stair. My wife heard me scream and ran to the stairs, catching my daughter right before she would have hit the floor. My wife and I were both crying, but our daughter was fine. She wasn't even crying, and only looked a bit confused and dizzy. She didn't even have any marks on her the next day.

Right after it happened, there was a knock on our door. It was a friend we had invited over for shabbos dinner. He was expecting kugle and kiddush, only to find two crying wrecks!

 
At August 18, 2006 at 7:41:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Oy gevalt, Fedora Black! I am glad she was ok.

 
At August 18, 2006 at 4:07:00 PM EDT, Blogger Fedora Black said...

When I told the story an older friend of mine, who has three teenage daughters, he simply shrugged and said, "eah, kids bounce..." and left it at that. I guess one takes such things a little lighter with age.

 

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