Bonk!

Well, on the heels of celebrating Chloe fitting in so nicely with the girls, I must report on her next birthday invitation which we had to cancel out on.

Chloe has very poor balance.  She has always had poor balance.  But Chloe goes through seasons of having really, really bad balance.  During the times of really, really bad balance, she falls a lot.  And, unfortunately, she doesn’t have the reflexes required to catch herself when she falls, which means she literally falls right smack on her forehead usually.

Well, the last few months, she’s done really well and has not taken any bad falls.  I was starting to feel comfortable and more relaxed with her walking, and have even been letting her wander farther than arm’s length from me.  What freedom for her!  And what a vacation for me!

But, alas, last week she fell and smacked her head on the wall.  It didn’t break the skin, but it came close, and made quite a mark and bump on her little face.

Well, yesterday at lunch I made a decision which shows how comfortable and confident I had gotten with her:  I let her sit at the kids table at the restaurant for the first time ever.  Granted it was a small table right beside where Paul and I were sitting, but the kids’ table it was!  She was sitting with Zippy and one of his friends.

I must say that it will likely be another 8 years before I allow her to sit at the kids’ table again.  I had already gotten up several times to straighten her back up into her chair, scoot her bottom back to the middle, and scoot the chair back up to the table.  Then about half-way through lunch, she did a nose dive (a forehead dive, actually) right out of her chair.  She didn’t even try to catch herself — just bam! right on her forehead, right on the bonk that she already had.

She cried, which is a good thing that she has only learned to do in the last 18 months or so.  She let me cuddle her and rock her and tell her how sorry I was.  I was surprised that it only broke the skin a tiny bit, but it hurt her badly.  She immediately tried to go to sleep because of the head trauma (that makes it sound like a terrible wound, but it is an appropriate term for knocking your head on a concrete floor!).  Poor baby!!

I cried, too.  It just broke my heart.  I, of course, feel sorry for her for getting hurt and for getting hurt so often.  But it was more than that.  I was so sad because of the cruel reminder that Chloe is not “just one of the kids.”  She does still need to sit with Mom so I can catch her when she falls.  I’ll have to find other ways to give my 8-year-old freedom, but sacrificing her safety, of course, is not an option.  It made me sad that I had to call and tell her little friend that Chloe couldn’t come to her birthday party because Chloe didn’t need to be crawling around in the McDonald’s playscape with her balance so poor.  It made me feel badly that I never ordered Chloe a new soft helmet that would have protected her head from injury.  It made me sad that Chloe will have to start wearing a helmet again; it’s an eyesore and it drives her bonkers.  My crying was a sort of pity party.  But it wasn’t a pity party of my own, it was a pity party for Chloe.

Chloe’s head is fine.  It will heal just like it always does.  (Although I wonder if she will have permanent bonk marks across her forehead.)  And Chloe is fine.  She has just entered into another season of lots of falls and bonks.  We’ve been here LOTS of times.  But I am ordering her soft helmet today so she will be somewhat protected.  And I’m fine, too.  I just have to cry a couple of tears now and then.  They dry, and I get over it and continue on with what I need to do.

And today, it doesn’t look all that bad.  Can you see the knot on the other side of her forehead?  She did that one this morning.  She was sitting down playing toys and fell forward and bonked her head on the fireplace.  Yeah, we’ve got some balance issues.

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