Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Which Much Sadness Occurs

We spent most of today indoors, doing a little play therapy, catching up on some housework, and just taking it easy.

Well, let me clarify. We spent the first half of the day catching up on some housework and doing some of Connor's therapeutic exercises. We spent the second half of the day taking it easy, due to Mommy Guilt over a traumatic experience involving Connor's big therapy ball.

Ah, Mommy Guilt. I know thee well.

We've got one of those huge balls that were so popular for exercise a couple of years ago. We use it for balance and postural activities with Connor at home; by bouncing, rolling, and moving him around on it in various positions we can get him to work different sets of muscles in his torso. Anyway, our ball was running a little low on air, but being lazy and not wanting to dig the pump out of the closet, I figured it would still work just fine for a few more days. I took the ball out into the living room and started maneuvering him around on it.

Now unbeknownst to me, when the ball isn't completely inflated it has a tendency to slide rather than roll around on the carpet. I had Connor face down on the ball doing some tummy time and rocking back and forth when the ball suddenly lurched out from under him. Since I had my hands on him on either side to prevent him from falling off but I wasn't supporting his weight, he slipped through my fingers and plummeted towards the ground.

There's a reflex kids are supposed to develop when they're around eight or nine months old. It's called the "parachute reflex," and basically it's a protective reflex that makes you put your arms out in front of you to catch yourself when you are falling. Here's a video of it if you want to see it. Connor doesn't have this reflex; he still does what babies do before they develop this reflex and brings his arms back towards his body. As a result, he landed flat as a pancake on the carpet, face first.

Luckily Connor has a squishy little nose and we were on carpet, so nothing was broken. He was horribly startled though, and cried like it hurt quite a bit. That was the end of our home therapy session for the day, and consumed by a bad case of Mommy Guilt, I did nothing more strenuous with him after that than watching multiple back-to-back episodes of Fraggle Rock.

This is why I worry about him learning to walk. Not that it wouldn't be wonderful and all, but think about how many times kids fall down while they are learning to walk. Now think about those kids falling down and doing face plants every time. Makes me wince just thinking about it.

Guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.



Kristin said...

I think one of the hardest things to learn as a parent is that the kiddos have to "fail" to learn. Josh goes to a gym class once a week to work on gross motor skill development and he falls on his face for some reason or another every single class, usually multiple times and going full force. The trick for me is getting him to not cry because he's surprised that he fell, but to only cry if it actually hurts. So, while the momma bear in me wants to rush over and cradle him like the baby I wish he still was, I have to stand back a little, ask him if he's okay and then tell him he's fine until he's convinced too. Its hard. Fortunately, no major injuries yet. :)

Hang in there! We all go through it to some degree and no one is going to fault you for helping Connor learn! Though, I'm sure he enjoyed the afternoon of Fraggle Rock. :)

Julia O'C said...

I can say it wasn't your fault [Because really, how were to know that would happen?] and that it could have happened to anyone [frantically waves arms] but I know you'll still feel bad.

Face plants: we know them well here. *sigh*

wherever HE leads we'll go said...

Oh my! That does sound a little traumatizing. It definitely was not your fault. I know the Mommy Guilt is STRONG and hard to resist. You will probably remember this incident long after he forgets all about it.

I think Kristin has some wisdom in her comment. Kids have to fail sometimes. It is hard for us moms to not rescue them every single time, but I think it is a part of growing up.

Please don't beat yourself up about this - it could happen to any one of us (and probably will, if it hasn't already).

Lin said...

There's guilt in everything we mom's do--welcome to the club. You didn't intentionally hurt him--it was an accident. You have to laugh it off with him (after you've made sure he is okay) and laugh together how Connor "crashed and burned". He'll learn to laugh about it with you and it will be okay.

How many times have you heard of people dropping their babies, not taking them to the hospital with a broken arm--not knowing it was broken (yeah, ME.), telling their kids to not cry when they really needed stitches. It happens. We are human, things happen. I would think the ball is guilty here, not you.

You are a GREAT mom! Don't beat yourself up over it. Connor will pick up those vibes and work it--if not now, then later. Gotta laugh about it now--he's okay. And he will be okay in the future too.

Ashley's Mom said...

I have a 19 year old daughter who has never had the parachute reflex. And since my daughter is hemiplegic (limited use of the left side of her body), she falls often. Her therapist has been working for years on trying to get her to fall on her side, or hip, rather than face plant. I *think* it's starting to work...

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