Cian, as I mentioned, took a tumble down our (wide, wooden, steep) staircase a couple of weeks ago. No, we did not have a baby gate up, because a) he wasn’t CLIMBING stairs when we moved houses, and b) we needed to get a gate specifically for this staircase, and well, we hadn’t yet. Please see letter a) as to why. Rookie move, I know. And yet.
Now that my hysterical weeping, existential self-analysis as a mother, and vows to move into a nice little rancher are behind me, the only part I haven’t blocked out as a method of avoiding PTSD is what strangers said when they saw the massive black eye on Cian’s beautiful, little, 15-month-old face (Easter Sunday mass with that bruise was fun. At least we gave people something to focus on when the sermon went a little long, right?). And I can tell you this: the reaction a boy gets when half his face looks like a rotting eggplant is much different than when a girl gets a bruise. Saoirse, or Quinn, if they had gotten hurt? Well:
“Oh, you poor wittle baby!”
“Oooohhh, sweetie, that must not have felt very good, did it?”
“You poor thing! Your dress is so pretty, though!”
And then there’s what people said when they saw the boy-child:
“Oh, hey! You should see the other guy, right?”
“Got quite a bruiser there, huh, big guy?!”
“Oh, my [chuckle]. That’s quite a shiner.”
“Ha! You should see the other guy!”
“Oof. Decide to mess with the stairs, did ya, big guy?”
“Oh, wow! How is the other guy?”
“Wow! You’ve got a good one, there!”
“You should buy him a t-shirt to wear: ‘You should see the other guy’!”
The best feedback, though? The one that made me want to shrink back in shame at the very same time I’d happily spit new curse words? I’d say it’s the reaction from the ever-practical, oh-so-suspicious doctor at the urgent care clinic who commented on that shiner two weeks after the fact, when I took Cian in to see him for an ear infection:
“Did you not have a baby gate at the bottom of your stairs?…You do now, right?”
Yeah, yeah. Way to state the obvious, doc.
But you should totally see the beating our boy gave those stairs.