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Compartment 14B

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The big crash.

2007-04-03 - 7:20 a.m.

You may be wondering why Iíve been tapering off on writing in this journal. Aside from the fact that I cannot access it at work and am loathe to spend my non-work time in front of a computer, Iíve got a couple of reasons.

One is that IT finally happened and I didnít want to think about it, much less own up to it. You know what IT is: that thing all parents know is coming and inevitable, and dread. IT is the first time you do something which you will always remember and feel bad about where your kid is concerned. Grommet has never been dropped or, despite co-sleeping and lack of baby gates, fallen off the bed or down any stairs. We have been very vigilant parents. BUT, the Saturday before last I pulled the bone-headed move that will always be branded on my brain.

Grommet was brushing her teeth, standing on the bathroom counter and I, good Mom that I am, was right there with her with my hand on her back to make sure she didnít fall off. I decided to brush my teeth too because Grommet seems to enjoy it when we brush together. I looked over at the toothpaste: it was a stretch but well within reach. I thought to myself, ĎWill she be okay if I move a little farther away and reach out for that toothpaste? Of course she will, itíll only be a second and itís not like Iím letting go of her.í My hand never left her back, yet when I stretched for that couple of seconds she took a header forward into the sink. It was just too fast for me to catch her and Iím sure you can all imagine that sinking sensation where you wish you could rewind just a tiny fraction of time and take something back but itís too late. She knocked the inside corners off both of her tiny, formerly-perfect, top front teeth.

Oh man.

She only cried for a couple of minutes but I? I cried for a couple of hours. It wasnít that sheíd been so gravely injured: it was that she could have been. What if sheíd hit her nose? Or her eye? Gah! My mind kept replaying that moment of watching her head bounce off the faucet. I felt ĎIím the one who should protect her from harm, not cause it!í I felt SOOOO BAD!

Every time she smiles now I see those chipped teeth and feel guilty. I look in the bathroom and where I used to see just a counter and sink, I now see a precipice with a giant gaping chasm with a pointy piece of metal sticking up from the edge of it. Grommet gets her revenge though: you know how chipped teeth have those sharp points and edges? Picture those in the mouth of a breastfeeding babyÖ

Adding injury to injury (though at least this time it was in no way my fault), this past weekend, a mere 8 days after the teeth-chipping incident, her uncle Bobby went to scoop her up one-handed and she toppled right over the top of his arm and smashed face-first into the tile, cutting her upper lip with her teeth. Bobby felt bad and I couldnít berate him too badly after my debacle the weekend before but man, it still wrenched my heart. At 14 months I couldnít explain to her that holding something cold to it would make it feel better eventually, even if it stung at first. All I could do was hold and cuddle and soothe her. I hope thatís the last of her injuries for awhile, though I suspect it wonít be since sheís clearly on the verge of walking soon and mastering that particular skill seems just fraught with danger.

On the plus side, I did make a really good catch on Saturday and saved her from what would have definitely been a very painful experience. She was holding onto a tray-table thatís not very sturdy and Bobbyís gasp alerted me in time to react lightning-fast (a huge deal if you know how clumsy I am normally) and catch her as she was tim..berr-ing plank-like backwards towards the floor, the tray-table on top of her. I not only broke her fall with one hand, I fended off the tray-table with the other so it clattered harmlessly to the side. I may not have caught her last weekend, but by God my mommy-sharpened reflexes saved the day this weekend.

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Okay, so hereís the other reason Iíve not been writing a lot lately: I donít want to be a whiner, but Iím getting discouraged about this journal. Iíve met some cool people from it, but have not heard from anyone new in a very, very long time. I always thought that ďif you write it, they will comeĒ but, well, Iíve had fewer readers per day in the last 6 months than I did a couple of years ago. Several years and over four hundred and fifty entries after Iíve started, Iíve still got a single-digit daily readership. Not even my husband reads this anymore. Yes, I write for me, but I also write for the same reason I read other peopleís journals: to connect with people. I read someone elseís writing and I think about what we have in common and thank goodness that Iím not the only one, or maybe I think that thatís a fresh take on something that hadnít occurred to me. I write hoping other people will read and think the same thing. I am entertained and hope Iím entertaining. The lack of people reading makes me think that maybe Iím not that entertaining. Maybe my writing isnít that good. Maybe my experiences canít be related to easily, or at least, not the way I present them. Should I keep this journal going? If so, do I need to make some changes? Iím considering a format change to freshen things up. Iím also thinking about adding a comments section. In the meantime though, until I decide whether or not to re-commit to this space, youíre not likely to see a ton of updating.

Are you one of my few loyal-but-faceless readers and have an opinion on whether I should throw in the towel? Hit the link and drop me a line. Or let your silence speak volumesÖ

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