When people talk about their kids, it's often about the firsts. You know, the first steps, first words, first embarrassing words in front of the in-laws (“She didn't learn that word from ME! I'm not even sure what that is!”). The first time a colon-blow escapes the diaper.
Last week, I had a rather unpleasant first. You see, it's all about the climbing. She finds the new perspectives exciting, and there's so much to discover, right in the rooms that she's always known. For instance, we were keeping a cooler in the kitchen (we need a new fridge...), and she triumphantly climbed it to find what was on the kitchen island. What held her attention for a remarkable amout of time was a little ceramic jar that we keep garlic in (That's my girl!). She would pull out a clove, then another. Then put them back in. Then pull them out again, taste one, then put them back in the jar. This amused her for about fifteen minutes. No lie, we made a note for Christmas. OK, we're not really giving her garlic for Christmas, but the “fifteen minutes” part is true.
Then she lost her footing. She smacked her mouth on the corner of the kitchen island, and cut the gum over her top front teeth. Naturally I grabbed her up and cuddled her, thinking that she had startled herself, and maybe had a bruise. At this time, Andrea was upstairs getting her hair done for her Christmas party by our friend Michelle. At first, Andrea wanted to run when she heard the cry, but Michelle said “Don't worry, I'm sure Will has a handle on it.”
It was about this time that I found blood on my shirt. My baby's blood, on my white shirt. It spelled out the words “You are an awful father, and should be disemboweled for your crimes, and your name should never be spoken by civilized folks again.”
What my wife heard was “Oh shit! Andrea!” There was enough of an edge of panic in my voice that Andrea came rushing downstairs, bowling over our friend. Doctors say that Michelle should be walking unassisted again by spring.
As I initially suspected, she was fine in minutes, smiling and cooing at the parent she hadn't seen in an hour, with blood smeared on her cheek. We got her cleaned up and her mouth rinsed out, and found that it was a really small cut.
At the Christmas party, all of the other parents said that it would be the first of many. One mother asked “Who was on duty?” She had a story of when her husband was 'on duty' that involved a garage door. I felt a little better.