All the good mothers were taken.
October 28, 2009

When my daughter was four or five weeks old, she figured out how to roll from her belly to her back.  I would love to brag about this and say that she inherited her obvious brilliance from me, but the truth is that she just hated tummy time enough that she would rock herself back and forth and back and forth until she flipped over.

Since she was still so small and her neck was still so floppy, the sudden movement when she finally gathered enough momentum to roll over would cause her head to go FLOP! on the blanket.  And since the blanket was on the floor, the FLOP! was accompanied by a THUD! and she followed up the THUD! with something that can only be described as WAH!

To be honest, it sort of pissed me off that I’d spent ten months baking this perfect, wonderful little head and a few rebellious genes were in there screwing things up and making her THUD! that perfect, wonderful little head on the floor.  Ten months is a long time to spend doing anything and even if none of it was a conscious effort on my part, I still wasn’t keen on watching her incur brain damage.


See that?  That is a perfect, wonderful little head.

Understandably, tummy time quickly joined the ranks of things I hate to do, right up there with scrubbing toilets and wrestling dead gophers from my dog’s mouth.  So after about two weeks of torture tummy time, we abandoned the practice altogether.

A few weeks passed before I decided that enough time had elapsed for us to give tummy time another whirl.  Only this time, I had this GENIUS! plan to hold tummy time on our bed, a nice cushy surface, so that her rolling would be hindered.  For the most part, it all went pretty well.  She suddenly loved being on her belly and she spent all of her time propping herself up and none of her time stubbornly flipping herself over.  Victory was mine!

That is, victory was mine until yesterday.  Yesterday, the telephone rang during tummy time and in the two seconds it took me to turn around and answer the phone, my daughter went and rocked herself back and forth and back and forth until she flipped over.  And then she flipped over again.  And again.  And again.

Until she flipped right off the bed.  Which, JUST FOR THE RECORD, was accompanied by not only a THUD!, but also a mind-numbing, brain-eating, heart-shattering, sanity-sucking WAH!  So much for avoiding brain damage.


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  1. By *emilie* on October 28, 2009

    omg. did you completely loose it ? i am SO scared to push Alice off the bed when she sleeps with us.
    i was wondering on what kind of surface the tummy time was taking place, because even when my baby’s head “thuds” against my collar bone is feel like a shitty mom…

  2. By Megan R. on October 28, 2009

    Thank God that I am not the only “horrible mommy” out there!  Not that I really believed that I was, but having some verifiable company in that department certainly eases the feelings of horrificness and guilt that I have recently felt!

    Just two days ago I had my little one on the couch on her changing pad.  She loves that spot for some reason.  She fell asleep there sucking on her pacifier.  Just like she has done a million times before.  So, I took advantage of the quiet time in order to prep some stuff for dinner.  And, all was well…until I heard a THUD from the other room…followed up by wails and baby crying.  I have never run so fast in my life!  I picked my baby up off the floor where she was laying on her face, and I don’t think I put her down again for an hour.  That entire hour was spent consoling Peanut and telling her over and over again that I was the worst mommy in the whole wide world…and that THAT would NEVER happen again.

    Who knew at just shy of three months old she could wriggle so much as to move herself right off the edge of the couch?  Well, I am sure lots of people knew that…but she was SLEEPING!  Or, so I thought she was!

    I have since spent the past two days telling my story to other moms…who have also shared their stories with me.  One mom told me that her baby rolled off the bed onto the hardwood floor during her infancy…and a call to the pediatrician made that mom feel better.  The ped had told her that there was a good reason for babies to have soft spots…shock absorption for all the “incidents” of babyhood.  I will buy that.  IF for no other reason than to feel better about me letting my baby fall on the floor.

    Oh, mommyhood is heartbreakingly hard sometimes!

  3. By Ali on October 28, 2009

    I’ll never forget the first time my son rolled off the couch and onto the hardwood. I thought surely he’d need a trip to the ER, but it was as if angels caught his fall. He was perfectly fine.

    They are resilient little creatures, aren’t they?

  4. By on October 28, 2009

    oh boy! it happens to ALL of us! no matter how hard you try, and that WAH?! it will kill you a little more inside EVERY time.

  5. By C @ Kid Things on October 28, 2009

    Eh, it happens. I think each of my kids fell of something when they were that small.

  6. By kbreints on October 28, 2009

    Oh yeah… You can be sure that every one has gone through some version of this… The feeling that you got in the pit of your stomach.. the one when your heart dropped into it? It does not go away…

  7. By sarahgrace on October 28, 2009

    I have 3 kids, and am about to have my fourth.  Though I’ve learned to be a little more vigilant with each one- Each one has STILL fallen off the bed or couch at some point.  (Though I do have to admit, that I felt better when it was my hubby’s fault rather than mine!)

  8. By gretchen from lifenut on October 28, 2009

    Poor baby!

    I’ve never had a baby fall off a bed or couch, but I did have one fall out of a swing when he was 4 months. I was eating dinner a few feet away. I still feel guilty about that—-and it was over 10 years ago.

  9. By Stephanie on October 28, 2009

    Oh no! I can’t imagine how crappy that must feel. The good news is.. EVERYONE does it. I think babies feel the need to balance us out and make us feel like crap every once in a while.. so they make these things happen. I’m sure it didn’t even hurt her, I’m sure it just scared her.

    I was watching a friends 10m old and 3 year old and I set the 10 month old on the couch while I ran to prevent the 3 year old from crawling out of the highchair to fall and break her neck. I turned around to find the 10m old on the ground next to the couch. THANKFULLY the couch was short and the floor was carpeted. She didn’t even cry but it killed me just the same. I felt so bad. Turns out her mom said she did it all the time, lol. I still felt bad. I am happy to report that she is a healthy growing toddler girl at this point and no damage was incurred!!

    Charlie will be fine.

  10. By Hillary on October 28, 2009

    my god, i’m glad i visited your blog today - what the what is tummy time?  oh my gosh, i am 7 months pregnant and have no idea what i’m supposed to do with my babies in a couple months.  one more thing to keep me up at night….

  11. By Kate on October 28, 2009

    oh noooooooooo! i don’t have a little one to wrack me with guilt just yet, but when i do, i will certainly take solace in knowing that this happens to EVERYONE.

    i’m sure she’s already forgotten it. no harm done. how awful for you!

  12. By beyond on October 28, 2009

    ouch. but you know, i think most babies were either dropped or rolled off the bed/ sofa at least once in their lives, and most of us turned out all right.

  13. By jessika on October 28, 2009

    My husband was once sitting with a 6 month old on a couch, reading to him. Both were eating it up, with the kidlet listening intently to him. When they finished the book, my husband said “ok, wait a sec” and stood up to get another. Kidlet followed him… kerTHUNK off the couch.

    Scarred my husband for quite a long time. Yay other kids being my husband’s baby birth control.

    The parents? They knew it wasn’t bad; they were in the other room and saw the whole thing slowly unfold. My husband felt horrrible, then they told him the same thing happened to them the week before, and they panicked and went to the hospital. Where they were laughed at.

    This is why babies do not become mobile until they’re at least a few months old and a little durable.  No, I’m not an advocate of any of this, but stuff happens. You’re a good mom!

  14. By Beth in SF on October 28, 2009

    My husband didn’t know how the Boppy worked (I KNOW, WTF but I digress…) and he put kiddo in it sideways on the couch and left the room and then kiddo rolled off.  I think he was about 4 months at that time.  I never let my husband live that one down.  And, if it makes you feel better, kiddo is now 17 months and he likes jumping on the couch.  This morning I was busy typing an email so I gave up yelling at him for it for like 5 minutes and he fell off.  So the whole trusting your kid to not do exactly the wrong thing never really goes away…

  15. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on October 28, 2009

    Jessika - Oh my goodness, a few years ago my husband and I were watching our niece.  He got there after I did, and I was holding her (about 9 mo) on my hip when he rang the doorbell.  I came around the corner too sharp for her to balance and whacked her head on the doorjamb.

    I felt awful enough and the baby was crying and had a small lump on her head, but the worst part was that I looked up at the door and I could see my husband.  He’s tall enough that he can see through those windows that are at the top of some doors, and he watched the whole thing happened and looked completely appalled.

    I just about lost it then, but luckily her parents said they did the same thing all the time.  WHEW.

  16. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on October 28, 2009

    Hillary - I don’t think you have to worry about it, you’ll be fine =)  Your instincts will kick in and you’ll know what your babies are ready for and when.  The idea behind tummy time is that you put the baby on their belly and they have to use their neck muscles and develop their lungs, etc.  To be honest, I’m not sure it’s such a big deal, people around the world develop nice, hardy lungs and have the ability to hold their heads up even without tummy time.

  17. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on October 28, 2009

    you poor thing!  I’m more worried about you then her - kids are resilient and I’m sure she’s fine but you, talk about panick-inducing!  I would have been crying right there beside her!

    Hope you are both doing better today.  :)

  18. By Heidi on October 28, 2009

    I am SO SORRY. That totally sucks.

  19. By Jasmine on October 28, 2009

    Thanks for the comment!  I love seeing pictures of Charlotte and reading your accounts of motherhood.  That’s a few year down the road for me, so I get my fix via blogs with cute babies.

  20. By chocolate and whine on October 28, 2009

    I’m fairly certain all those THUD!s build character.

  21. By MyHormonesMadeMeDoIt on October 28, 2009

    This is the stuff that is totally going to freak me out, but at least now I know it happens to all the mothers…right?

  22. By Heidi on October 28, 2009

    No worries. Joe had three concussions as a kid and he kicks ass in Jeopardy every night.

  23. By Jennifer W. on October 28, 2009

    What’s a few dings to the old noggin?  At least your husband isn’t running into WALLS and CORNERS with your infant child’s head every few days.  Not that I know a husband who did that.

  24. By Adventures In Babywearing on October 28, 2009

    They ALL hate tummy time (and so do moms) and I’ve had a couple fall off the bed, too. :(

    steph

  25. By erin on October 28, 2009

    We have those jammies! :)

    We keep our little swing in the bathtub in our bathroom (we have a separate tub and shower) so Hannah can swing and stay happy while I shower.  There are toys across the top, so you have to lean way over to pick her up from the back, or carefully pull her out from underneath the front.  (It’s not a perfect system, but it works.)  Brian thought he was going to be so clever and pull her out by her feet, which is all great and wonderfula dn she thinks it’s great fun, until Daddy whacked her head on the lip of the tub.

    On a different note, now that Hannah has figured out that she can roll from her back to her belly?  LIFE TOTALLY SUCKS.  She gets on her belly, rocks her hips a couple times, gets on her knees, flops back down onto her stomach, and decides that this whole belly thing?  SUCKS.  So she just lays there and cries.  She can (and often has) roll from her belly to her back, but generally refuses to.  She just cries until I flip her over, and then she flips right back onto her belly and cries some more.  OMG kill me now.

  26. By tracey on October 29, 2009

    And now you’ve OFFICIALLY entered the ranks of motherhood by having your first injury due to the phone…

    :) I’m assuming she’s ok? She’s getting cuter and cuter every time you post pictures! Which doesn’t seem possible, because she is freaking CUTE.

  27. By Mrs. Sitcom on October 30, 2009

    That’s awesome. So funny.  She’s so freaking adorable.

  28. By Olivia on October 30, 2009

    I am so sorry… I hope that she’s ok.  She is such a cute baby. I’m not a mommy yet but I will be in 6 more months.  I can’t wait and look forward to reading more.

  29. By on October 31, 2009

    I find that the only time my son likes tummytime is if he is feeling a little gassy/cruddy in the tummy. Otherwise he screams bloody murder. His mommy is torturing him…TRYINGTOKILLHIM!!! Does anyone not NOTICE??? ;)

    However, he is only 9 days old. I can’t blame him. He still hasn’t even mastered moving his head without spazzing out.

    Charlotte is so beautiful. And know what? She is REALLY starting to look like you now. That smile…

  30. By Robin on November 01, 2009

    You are not alone!  My oldest daughter rolled off the changing table at the age of 5 months….now that is a huge feat, as she had to gain enough momentum to get up and over the curved side of the changing pad…I think I cried more than she did though…6 years later, she is perfectly fine…except those minor twitches once in a while ; )LOL


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