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October 18, 2001
a year ago
two years ago

Crawling Forward and 'Reflexes Save Mom'

8:30 pm: Today Jet really started crawling, big time. This morning, John had him on the sheepskin and they were playing for a while, and then John let Jet go and Jet went right over to the eating area, patting the wood floor gently before venturing onto it, and then Jet hightailed it behind the dining room table all the way to the laundry room. At the boundary with the linoleum, he, again, got a quizzical look on his face, patted the new texture with an exploratory hand and then proceeded, intrepidly, into the new domain.

That's when John noticed that it had gotten quiet, too quiet, and he came over to find Jet in the corner reserved for the step ladder, drying rack, and dust pan. Jet was playing with the dust bunnies. Oops.

Just now, Jet made it, easily, halfway across the floor, forwards, going after the monkey Genevieve had given him. That was pretty cool. His crawling is kind of interesting, in that he still hesitates a little before the picking up of each limb, especially the front ones, he hesitates a little, then picks it up and makes the catch of putting that limb down before he falls over, forward, on his face as his whole body moves foward a little bit more. So it's a little stutter crawl and he bounces a little for encouragement with each new reach. But he's pretty damned pleased with himself when he gets where he wants to go. That's cool.

It's been a packed day.

Joan took Jet for four hours, and I worked like hell during that whole time. John, on the other hand, got just hammered by his cold, and he slept the whole time. When it was time to get Jet, John was still really tired, so I sent him off to bed, and went to get Jet. Jet was all combative about eating, so we stopped pretty quickly, and I took him on a walk in his stroller. We went the long walk, and when we came back Jet settled to nurse pretty steadily.

When he was done with that, we went upstairs for me to try and work some more, but Jet would have none of it. So I wrote John a note to say that we were out getting my contacts and that I'd get dinner and we'd be home around five. I loaded everything into the Baby Buggy, and then ran back to get the cell phone only to fine an awake and up John, surprised and grateful to learn that he could have more nap time.

So Jet and I had a little adventure. First out to Boulder, where I parked in one of the Boulder structures, and ran in to pick up yet another prescription of contact lenses. The last pair was almost what Dr. Graham wanted me in, so they'd ordered the exact prescription and they'd actually arrived last Thursday. The problem was that they'd left the message on my voice mail at work last Thursday and I hadn't really thought about checking it until tonight.

I really have to change the greeting on my voice mail at work.

Anyway, I only had to pick up the lenses, and Dr. Graham wanted to check how well they worked for me sometime in the next week. Given that the adjustment that she'd given me has been working a lot better, I imagine this will be better as well. Turns out that the lens was sitting on my eye at an angle! So the astigmatism correction was off by that angle, and she was correcting for that, as well.

It was pretty cool out, but Jet did just fine, and I was walking pretty briskly with twenty pounds of baby, so I was getting a good workout. We got into the office, and all the women went into 'baby mode' cooing and giggling and smiling big at Jet, who responded cheerfully. Then a UPS man ran in, and had to wait for a package, and started drumming his fingers, which fascinated Jet no end. That made one of the ladies there laugh pretty hard, which startled Jet and got his instant attention, which elicited screeches of delight from said lady, which startled and riveted Jet's attention again, to her delight.

It was pretty interesting watching the interaction. We got a parking validation, and when back I changed Jet in the back, and he was perfectly still and well behaved. Given that he'd bee such a pill in the office, I was pretty happy that he'd been really great for the entire trip so far.

We then just headed up Broadway to China Gourmet. On the way to the restaurant from the parking lot, I went down a set of stairs and noticed that I was hitting the last two steps badly, almost tripping, but not quite. I instantly forgot about it, while trying to figure out what to order. I had been wanting the seafood hot and sour soup as soon as I'd come up with the plan to come here to get dinner. They also weren't all that busy, so I decided to get the scallion pancakes and ask for it to be pan fried instead of deep fried. They were fine with that. I finished off with my comfort food dish, lo mein, and just had them make it the house special, with seafood and all the meats. She told me it would be fifteen minutes, so Jet and I went to the organic foods grocery store next door and bought an Odwalla mango tango because I really needed the fruit, and we then went back to wait for our food in the sunlight. It was nice.

We got all the food in a big paper bag. I took it in one hand, Jet and the Odwalla in the other, and at a bench decided to adjust everything for stability, tucking the drink into the bag and then putting my left arm so that I could support Jet as well as just hold onto him. It was a good thing I did.

I went up the stairs, and on the third step up, my foot hit the side of the step instead of coming down on top of it, because, just like when I was coming down, the height of the step was different than the others. I hit it hard, and fell forward. I could see Jet's head going for the edge of the step and had only enough time to think 'I can't do a thing' when my left arm and reflexes I didn't know I had moved my arm that was holding him so that it definitely hit the edge and not him. Thoughts are too slow. That should be the motto of some wire girl, someday. The thought was way too slow, the body just knew what to do and did it. Jet didn't even get a scratch.

He was significantly startled and cried. Our dinner had hit the steps at the acceleration of gravity with the starting velocity of my motion and it was spilled across a few steps. Two people offered to help, and it took me a moment to figure out what anyone could help with. I sent the lady back to China Gourmet for a paper bag to hold the food. The man offered a plastic one, but I mentioned structural integrity and he oh'ed and nodded and I thanked him for his help as I settled on one of the steps and commenced shaking just as Jet cheered up and bounced happily on my knee. I checked his body closely, and he hadn't hit the concrete at all. I'd curled him in towards my body and hit wrist first, and my left wrist was a pretty bloody mess, but nothing was broken but the skin.

One of the cooks at the China Gourmet came out and carefully gathered up everything from the burst bag, and took it gently back to the shop with him. The lady came back looking helpless and asked me if I still wanted the paper bag. I said no, and thanked her for her help and for the offer she'd given me. Then Jet and I headed back into the China Gourmet, and waited quietly. This time the guy went with us to our car, and he tucked the bag away safely into the front passenger area.

I strapped Jet in and got in, sore and sad and feeling oddly vulnerable. Accidents happen. This was when I remembered what had happened going down those stairs and when the cook and I went back up those stairs it was obvious that the first two steps were shorter than the others. Ah well. We made it home. As I was driving I was realizing that accidents can happen at any time and to anyone and it isn't just a matter of what they can control or what they know. Jet slept the whole way back, with the relaxed sprawl of the secure and reassured.

When we got back, I just left everything in the car, and took Jet out and we went in. The maids' car was outside, and so we found John sprawled on the futon in the basement in front of the big screen TV. Jet played with him while I went into our first aid drawer to see what there was that could cover my raw patches. There wasn't much.

We had kitchen bandages that had a knuckle bandage that would have barely fit one of John's fingers, so the pad was big enough for the biggest of my raw areas. So I got that out and the antibiotic cream and the bottle of Bactine. I squirted away and got all the concrete dust out of everything and then bandaged things as best I could with the one knuckle Band-Aid and two smaller ones at odd angles to miss each other.

We had one piece of gauze in yellowed paper, but we didn't have any tape for putting it on, and I didn't want to be peeling old fashioned gauze off the raw skin. So there are definite deficiencies in our first aid drawer.

When the maids were done, we emerged from hiding like refugees from an oddly neat hurricane. They'd dusted, vacuumed, and neatened up everything, turned all the TP ends into neat points, and all the sinks and toilet gleamed with cleanness. It always feels good to have a clean house.

We then fell upon our dinner and ate much of it very happily. The scallion pancakes helped the last of the aches go away. That and the fact that Jet was a very happy, content little boy who hadn't been hurt at all. It's funny to know it at such a gut level, now, that I will automatically put my body at risk to protect Jet. Period. Without thinking, at a root level instinct, it's better to be hurt than for him to be hurt.

When dinner was done, John took Jet to a Safeway to get me bandages that would fit better, and to stock the first aid drawer with newer, non-stick gauze and tape . I went up and worked for another two hours, compiling more information from more people. There is still a ton to go, but having started so late because of other considerations, there really wasn't anything else I could do. So it is. I'll probably kill myself doing this for another two weeks and hopefully that will be that.

They came home. I came down and patched myself up. Jet ate and has gone to sleep. The Mariners lost their second game. Such sadness. I wanted hot milk with sugar and almond extract, but realized that real dairy is just going to exacerbate my mucus production. So, instead, I nuked soy milk and added the sugar and almond extract and with my stuffed nose it tasted just like the other. Ahh..

Tired. I guess I'll go to bed. Jet stayed asleep, last night, until 4, and I was awake at 3 wondering if he'd ever get up as I was pretty full of milk. We'll see if he sleep longer tonight, too.

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Copyright 2001 Liralen Li. All Rights Reserved.