When I close my eyes, I can still see it happening. Sometimes it’s fast, so fast that I can’t even comprehend what is happening. Other times, it’s in slow motion and I watch in happen but I’m completely paralyzed incapable of really doing anything to prevent it. And even though it’s been a few days, I’m still having dreams and even nightmares about it.
We sat there on Monday afternoon, waiting to order our lunch. It was Day Two of our Disney vacation and today’s special treat was eating in the Rainforest Café at the opening of the Animal Kingdom. It was an interesting place, a place with mechanically operated animals and vines hanging from the ceiling. There were fish tanks with live fish, and trees and shrubs, and periodically the rumble of thunder followed by what sounded like rain that would arouse the jungle animals. Davey was loving it already.
We put Davey in his high chair and placed him at the corner of the table alongside me. My husband sat in the booth across from Davey and we had Henry in his car seat carrier onto of an overturned high chair, something made specifically for those parents (like myself) who prefer to keep their young children in a carseat. I didn’t have him buckled in, which I know is a big fat “no-no”, but I never thought something would happen.
Henry was reclined all the way back and instead of being turned to the side, he was facing the table. He’s quite the mover, my second spawn, and loves to kick. So, we sat there perusing the menu, talking to Davey, and periodically looking over at Henry to get one of his infectious smiles and laughs. And then it happened.
It’s almost like I knew it was going to happen before it even happened. I can’t really explain it, but it’s like I saw a quick glimpse of the future. Henry’s feet were touching the edge of the table and I’d already watched as the carseat and high chair swayed once. Why didn’t I say something then? Why didn’t I get up and move him? I don’t know.
His toes were curling on the table ever so slightly and then he flattened out his feet before finally giving a swift shove and that’s when the carseat carrier fell off the back of the upside down highchair. I watched as the carrier flipped over and landed upside down on the floor before rolling to its side.
“Oh my God!” I shouted as I jumped and pulled my screaming 4 month old from the carrier and took off running out of the restaurant.
At first, I couldn’t bring myself to look at him. I don’t know if I was afraid of what I might see or if I just wanted to keep hugging him and hoping that my hugs would cure anything that was wrong with him. My sister-in-law and mother-in-law joined me out in the lobby along with the manager, while my husband sat with Davey to make sure he was alright. That’s when I finally pulled Henry away from me and started to inspect him.
My knees were weak, even shaking, and I could feel the gut-wrenching pull in my stomach that was almost making me vomit. I felt like my heart had skipped a few beats and it continued to flutter as I found that there wasn’t a single scratch on him. No broken skin, no cuts or lacerations, and he was crying with real tears.
The manager called the EMT and Henry was checked out. There were no broken bones, no dents in his head (which is what really had me scared), his pupils were not dilated and by the time the EMTs arrived, he was already laughing again. I panicked briefly about if we would have to take him to the emergency room and what that meant for Davey. We were only at Disney World for a short amount of time and he’d been looking forward to it for so long. Would he resent his brother if we had to leave and go to the ER? How would we explain it to him? Thankfully, Henry was given the all clear and we were able to enjoy the rest of our day, but not without periodically waking him up to make sure that he didn’t have a concussion.
Looking back, I should have known and should have been prepared. Henry has slid, feet first, off of our couch before. I was sitting alongside him and he was wedged in with a boppy, but still he kicked himself lose and slid down onto the floor. It was a short slide and there were no injuries then either.
This will not be the last time I’m scared to death as a mother. I just wish if these boys of mine were going to do acrobatics, that they’d wait until they’re older and can at least tell me when something is wrong.