The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

This Hurts Me More Than You

The scene replays over and over in my head, and I get the same stomach churning feeling each time I think about it. The downside to learning how to walk - falling. I recently posted about the The Boy plopping down on his ass, and the ensuing mess it creates; this is way worse.

P was shopping so I was watching The Boy play in the backyard, or more specifically the hard, unforgiving concrete section of our backyard. Taking a few steps, crawling some, taking a few more steps. Suddenly he trips and does a face-plant onto the concrete.

C-R-A-C-K. The tears started immediately.

I never felt so guilty in all my life (and I've got lots to feel guilty about). I've always thought of myself as a pretty good dad, needless to say this has knocked me down a few pegs. P pretty much reacted the way I thought she would. "Why weren't you watching him?!?" "You have to be more careful!" She was pissed, and who can really blame her.

The thing is, I am careful, but short of keeping him away from obvious dangers, how can I predict when he is going trip and fall? Once P calmed down she did concede this could have happened on her watch too. Neither of us hover over The Boy at all times, although I have to admit I've been standing closer to him lately. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here, short of getting him one of those ridiculous-looking padded baby helmets. I think the emotional scars it would leave The Boy far outweight the occassional bump on the head.

In typical toddler fashion, The Boy has forgotten the fall ever happened. Me? It's been four days now and I still feel like a sack of shit.