August 23, 2006

Training Wheels

I sense a new routine, one with some inherent danger.

When I got home from work yesterday evening, Mia grabbed my hand, led me towards the front door, leaned against the glass storm door, and turned to face me with gigantic, longing eyes. It was clear she wanted to go for a walk. Beth and I put her shoes on and we headed outside.

We were doing pretty well for a while, walking through the neighborhood at a good clip, holding hands. Until she tripped. There was nothing I could do, for fear of making the whole thing worse. Her hand slipped free of mine and she landed face-first on the sidewalk. I picked her up and she started screaming immediately. Blood streamed from her lower lip, a victim of her new teeth. I held her as close as I could, reassuring her all the way home while she screamed. Beth ran ahead to get a cold washcloth while I whispered in her ear, promising I'd hold her forever if it would make her feel better. She kept crying and bleeding and I kept feeling terrible, like I should have been able to do something.

We got home and surveyed the damage - just a split lip. Otherwise, she was fine. The right shoulder of my favorite t-shirt was soaked through with blood and drool and tears and my nerves were as frayed as the t-shirt's collar. Her lip obviously hurt. She made the same move she makes when she doesn't like the taste of something - she gestured as if she were taking the hurt out of her mouth, handing it to us. I wanted to take it. Of course, seconds later, she was stumbling around the house laughing.

I understand this was the first of many falls, the first bloody lip, the first sprint back home to care for wounds. Hopefully all are just as minor. I know I'll enjoy none of them. The t-shirt will remain my favorite, bloodstained though it is. It'll remind me of the way my daughter held on to me, as I ran her home on a sunny summer evening after a fall. And helped make everything alright.

Despite the fall, Mia was able to finish a project she's been working on. She's been eyeing my cameras for some time so we figured we might as well let her play with one. Her style is a bit more abstract than mine but she's clearly got an eye.

Posted by Chris at August 23, 2006 06:48 AM

Ever since Elizabeth was about 2, we'd buy some of the disposable cameras for her whenever we'd go out somewhere to take pictures. She's steadily getting less abstract, and there have been some great snapshots in the bunches that she's taken.

Posted by: amber at August 23, 2006 07:00 AM

:( I don't know what I'd do if that happened to us... I'd be torn all to pieces... glad to know she's okay though, and it looks as though you have a budding photographer on your hands!

Posted by: Corinne at August 23, 2006 07:03 AM

The business campus that I work at is loaded with "modern art" that is owned by the owner of the company. We have tours come through and everything. It's sort of museum-y and I believe that Mia's art would fit in perfectly! In fact, it's quite a bit better than most of the art that we currently have on display.

Keep up the good work, little one. :-)

Posted by: buzz at August 23, 2006 07:04 AM

Such talent, obviously inherited. Very cool.

As for the tumble, sorry to hear that but as you saw she is resilient. I know that will not take away the heartache you and Beth felt. However, if the love that comes through this post is even 1/8 of what Mia is receivng first hand, I am pretty sure she is one of the luckiest girls in the world.

Posted by: Wicked H at August 23, 2006 07:15 AM

I think I mentioned to Beth, but perhaps not to you, that when I was little, I was jumping on the bed (even thougH I wasn't supposed to) and fell off, hitting my lip on the nightstand. This caused enormous amounts of freaking out and blood. My mother stuck an ice cube directly on the skin. Not smart. It REALLY stuck, so rather than letting it melt...she pulled it off. It left a scar. So while we all know that accidents can't be avoided - just remember: do not put ice directly on the wound. It's bad news.

In more exciting news, it looks as though you've got a budding artist in the house!

Posted by: Emily at August 23, 2006 07:37 AM

Ah yes. The trips and falls. Wait for the first skinned knee. It tears you up.

For split lips I found that giving him a red popsicle to suck on masked the blood and made him feel better too. (He's four now and we've been through this a lot. It does get just the tiniest bit easier.)

Beautiful story though.

Posted by: Sharri at August 23, 2006 07:43 AM

It's tough watching your child get hurt and not being able to do much about it. We've been through a lot of falls, too many broken bones, and last night we had the wipeout on the bike with flip flops. Lots of blood, shredded toes, and high pitched screaming. Not fun.

As for the shirt, keep the blood if you like, but cold water and regular soap should get it out.

Posted by: Carolyn at August 23, 2006 07:57 AM

Now you will have to introduce her to ice. And she will fall in love with ice.

Posted by: Bill at August 23, 2006 08:03 AM

I was going to suggest a red popsicle, too. It made all the difference when they boys were smaller. Now, of course, if they see blood they think it's cool. As in "Mom, look what I did! And it doesn't even hurt that bad!"

Love Mia's pics--esp. the all black one. Drew is a budding photographer himself--I think he's getting a camera for Christmas.

Posted by: Alissa at August 23, 2006 08:06 AM

My husband saved the little Osh-Kosh overalls and shirt that the ER cut off of our middle son (when he was about 20 months old) after he of run over by my mother-in-law's car. I'm still not over it and that sad little shirt makes me cry every time I see it.

Posted by: wordgirl at August 23, 2006 08:34 AM

I teared up reading this story. It could have something to do with the fact that I am 6 months pregnant with my first.

This is a great story, thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Jen, South Florida at August 23, 2006 08:45 AM

:-) great post. kids are so resiliant. amazing how their hurts dissipate to the parents. thanks for sharing, chris. love the photos, too.

Posted by: Dolly at August 23, 2006 08:55 AM

This might be the sweetest post ever.

Posted by: jen at August 23, 2006 08:58 AM

Yay for Mia's talent. And she'll be ok, promise, Dad.

(And sorry about your t-shirt.)

Posted by: alektra at August 23, 2006 09:08 AM

What a beautiful, heart warming story! I will forever be a daddy's girl and am fortunate enough to have him near me everyday. In fact, my VW is in the shop, and I hitched a ride to work with my Daddy. He even stopped at Starbucks just for me!

Posted by: Steff at August 23, 2006 09:13 AM

We very much got into a "hop up and brush yourself off" mode when she turned 1, and it has made all the difference. She still gets hugs and kisses after a fall, but she doesn't cry about them unless they are real injuries. The falls that dont scrape or bump, but just surprise, are non-events.

I'm glad Mia is ok. And I love her ceiling. We did the same, except I painted white clouds on her blue ceiling.

Posted by: Brad at August 23, 2006 09:39 AM

The trip and boo boo made me tear up but the mia's pix made me smile.

Happy Hump Day!

Posted by: Jenn at August 23, 2006 09:46 AM

those pictures are faboo. I especially love the one of the nightstand - the books are all perfectly in focus. What a talented photographer-in-the-making little mia is.

Posted by: suze at August 23, 2006 09:53 AM

I still feel guilty every time Raisin hurts herself, even if I wasn't present when it happened (I SHOULD HAVE BEEN there, obviously).

I'm glad Mia's OK, and I love that she inherited her daddy's photography bug!

Posted by: Julie at August 23, 2006 10:30 AM

As a parent, I never find that the injuries get any easier... Breaks your heart every time.

Posted by: Jodi at August 23, 2006 10:36 AM

Awww, poor Mia. They bounce back so quickly-- far more quickly than the parents recover from it.

I love the photo set!

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at August 23, 2006 10:57 AM

That first fall must have been so scary. Rochelle slammed headlong into an open door a few years ago and cut her forehead open (probably split her lip at the same time). She handled it far better than I although I didn't fall apart until we returned from the e.r. (The scar still shows in her photos but makeup will fix it when she's older).

You're right; it will be the first of many.

On the bright side, I love her first attempts at photography.

Posted by: ann adams at August 23, 2006 11:05 AM

Aw, poor pumpkin. Kids are quite resilient as I'm sure you already know. Just like I know having that knowledge still doesn't make it any easier when they get hurt.

Mia is quite the budding photographer. She'll be up to my skills in no time! :)

Posted by: Kate at August 23, 2006 11:20 AM

it's amazing how something as small as a split lip seems to bleed FOREVER. i'm glad you all the survived :)

should i worry that Mia already takes better pictures than i do?

Posted by: ali at August 23, 2006 11:33 AM

The first fall is always the worst! I remember when our daughter had her first bike wreck, my husband didn't want to over react and scare her so he started clapping his hands and saying "yeah your first bike wreck". Needless to say my daughter wasn't impressed, and she was quite shocked by her Dad's behavior...LOL

Mia has some mad photography skillz, a definite chip off the ol block.

By the way if you pour hydrogen peroxide on that blood stain it will take it out.

Posted by: MrsJoseGoldbloom at August 23, 2006 11:45 AM

ouch! that made my heart hurt. my oldest split his lip when he was two and oh the tears! (but that was just me.) seriously, the grossy yucky way a split lip looks!?!?! GAH.

about the pictures...I looooove the view of the world through her eyes. so artistic! :)

Posted by: krystyn at August 23, 2006 11:54 AM

ah the first lip injury. poor dear. glad to hear it wasnt serious.

my toddler loves the camera as well. but have a feeling about his artistic desires. he spent one day taking pictures of nothing but my boobs. :lol:

yea. playboy photographer. guess it could be worse.


Posted by: melanie at August 23, 2006 12:00 PM

Lord, I STILL remember the first time my firstborn got her first owie, 8 years later. Subsequent kids, not so much.

I like the pics, though I fear she may have been drunk when she took them.

Posted by: Sheryl at August 23, 2006 12:02 PM

All great artists draw from their pain - looks like Mia is no exception!

(So sorry you had to go through that, Chris.)

Posted by: Vaguely Urban at August 23, 2006 12:17 PM

Yep, it's all about the kids never cared what
Love Mia's perspective!

Posted by: Jaycie at August 23, 2006 12:18 PM

It's amazing how mommies and daddies are both comforting and make everything okay but in entirely different ways.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at August 23, 2006 12:19 PM

Poor dears.... and Mia too! My Dad was on the volunteer rescue squad - could NOT handle injuries to either me or my sister.

I remember my sister always asking for the cold "cwashcwath" when she had a boo boo. That didn't help much when she sat on a pair of scissors that had slipped between the sofa cushions. Yes - she had stiches in her butt cheek. But (sorry) imagine trying to explain to a 3 year old, why they can't show off the mercurochrome smiley face the nice dr. painted there?

Posted by: Sue at August 23, 2006 12:52 PM

Sadie just cracked her head open on the fireplace. I can relate, baby. I can relate.

Posted by: s@bd at August 23, 2006 01:56 PM

That's great how resilient kids are. She's got quite an eye, that kid of yours. I love that the perspective is (of course) Mia-height.

Posted by: Fraulein N at August 23, 2006 02:07 PM

Whenever my sister would get hurt I used to just scold whatever inanimate object had caused the pain. I started that when she was about 2-ish and at first she felt vindicated and it would get her to focus on something other than the tears and pain to watch me "yell" at a rock or table etc. Then, as she got older, she just thought I was silly and she'd giggle her head off. About four-ish she grew out of it. Good thing too because, man, it sure got me strange looks from people! :D But it was all for a good cause.

Posted by: pea at August 23, 2006 02:24 PM

Sorry to hear about the fall Mia, however you do have a nice abstract collage to be proud of. Get this kiddo her very own digicam, asap!

Posted by: E at August 23, 2006 03:03 PM

its hard when they hurt themselves. i have a trooper on my hands...he will trip over something outside and go sprawling on the cement. And he will just lay there holding his hands up and his feet & head up in a superman position until i say "it's ok bud, just shake it off.." and he'll usually just get up and keep on trucking. He can be bleeding and all, but to him , being outside is way more important. Occasionally he really hurts himself, but this is rare. The other day, he skinned the same knee 3 times in less than 15 minutes. And his elbow. Bleeding all over the place, but never cried for more than a second and that was when i made him come up the driveway to clean it off (he thought i was making him come in)

oh- and Mia is quite the photographer. Logan usually takes pictures of his face b/c he holds the camera backwards.

Posted by: kristied at August 23, 2006 03:05 PM

yup, she's got a gift. ;)

Posted by: Liz at August 23, 2006 03:10 PM

I really like the pictures.. From a child's perspective. Sorry about the lip! The first time really sucks..

Posted by: molly at August 23, 2006 05:01 PM

the first is always scary though. just wait until she falls and BITES COMPLETELY THROUGH HER LIP with those new teeth. fun times.

Posted by: b. at August 23, 2006 05:07 PM

The first shirt Lily ever bloodied lived with me until a horrid ripping accident a month ago. Now we keep it in the rag drawer and awwww over it from time to time. Baby blood is the worst though... I wish I could say it'll never happen again, but, well, you know.

Posted by: Elaine at August 23, 2006 05:12 PM

you have TOTALLY got to get her into the Camera Toss movement. there's a blog for it, you know. she's a natural.

Posted by: Sarcomical at August 23, 2006 05:14 PM

I absolutely love Mia's perspective. I guess it really IS a different view for those who are vertically challenged (even if for a relatively short while). ;-)

Posted by: ironic1 at August 23, 2006 05:48 PM

I remember when my kids fell for the first time. Wait until she gets on a bike. BTW...she is a better photographer than her dad.

Posted by: Dennis at August 23, 2006 06:19 PM

I still get all freaky when my 5 year old falls and it's quite often. Somedays he's like Taz on speed... if only I had that energy. Glad it was nothing serious!

Posted by: Chrissie at August 23, 2006 06:44 PM

We bought one for Maya not to long ago. Mia must be advanced, because their shots look kinda simular.

The first time they get hurt is hard, you did good.

Posted by: Melissa at August 23, 2006 07:35 PM

I think it is great that you let Mia play with a parents did the same thing for me when I was about 3 or 4 and they have the pictures...mostly abstract much like mia...but it might be why I love to take pictures to this day :D

Posted by: Amy at August 23, 2006 07:46 PM

We took Henry to a park this evening and while he was toddling around on the sidewalk, I kept flashing back to this post. Poor Mia! Poor Chris!

Posted by: Jenn at August 23, 2006 08:34 PM

What great photos! My friend's little girl takes great ones of my dogs - pretty much eye level - whole new perspective.

Posted by: Heather at August 23, 2006 08:48 PM


Now, I try to not dole out the advice too much unless directly asked in triplicate, but I DO write a mommy blog, so sometimes you're just going to have to bear with it.

Take this one. Use it every day for the next 3 years. It works. Every single time that child falls down, no matter how hard or onto what, clap your hands LOUD and shout Hooray! Even while she is gushing blood and you are crying your eyes out. It 10 falls, she will stand up and look at you and say Hooray, too. And life gets a little easier.

I am on kid 3, and it still works. Every time. (it works for thunder, too.)

Posted by: mr lady at August 23, 2006 08:49 PM

I loved someone else's bike story--the first time my son wiped out (right after we took of the training wheels) he came screeching inside--bloody knees and elbows, nose scraped from forehead to tip. I replied, while I was cleaning him off, "Man you must be tough. Look at all the rocks you took out!"--HAD to be that way because his sister decided in first grade that she wanted to play soccer. FIRST day of practice she falls down, breaks her arm, and has never done anything physical again (can't ride a bike, doesn't rollerblade, or skateboard or ANYTHING!). First of many--many that you'll get through and many that you'll remember!

Posted by: kristen at August 23, 2006 09:29 PM

Awww...I HATE it when Button gets hurt. We really have to watch her when she gets tired because she gets drunk-clumsy, and starts running face first into walls. She has the most pitiful pouty hurt face in the world, complete with puffed out bottom lip and "Why did you let that happen to me?" expression. Makes me feel awful.

Posted by: SMIT at August 23, 2006 09:41 PM

Aw, poor baby. And poor Mia too! ;)

You should see if you can sell those pictures!

Posted by: Beth in StL at August 23, 2006 10:38 PM

Call me crazy but you made me cry just thinking about it. I ache when I hear a baby cry without a visible reason, add blood to it and I'd start crying too. Hugs to you, Beth and Mia for being so brave.

Posted by: Dee at August 23, 2006 11:23 PM

It really doesn't get any easier to see your child get hurt. Even when they are 30.
Hey, I'm home, all went incredibly well and I can SEE!!! Yay!!! Check out my sie for pictures of my black eye! LOL! It's worth a little bruising to get my vision back!

Posted by: Maribeth at August 24, 2006 08:46 AM

Nice to get that particular milestone out of the way. I like that last picture: kind of has a cubist look to it.

Posted by: gavin at August 24, 2006 11:43 AM

Ohhhh, poor baby! And, poor you. That must have been so hard. And, I know that feeling--when they get hurt you just can't hold them tight enough. Joey got hit in the head by a ceiling fan when someone lifted her up on his shoulders....It was awful. She was totally fine, but I held her so close as she cried. I cried, too.

LOVE the pictures!!!!

Posted by: haley-o at August 24, 2006 01:49 PM

Wow!! she is an artist at 1 already!! I'm not surprised with such a great example.
I love the chubby leg picture!!

Posted by: Ava at August 24, 2006 05:23 PM

Awwwww, poor Mia, and you! I can SO imagine how you must have felt. Seeing your baby in pain. Glad she's doing OK now!

Her pictures look great! She's got her dad's talent!

Posted by: Nadine at August 25, 2006 04:26 AM

I'm sorry to hear about Mia's accident, but I liked how you wrote it -- very heartfelt. And the part about a young photographer-in-the-making doesn't surprise me a bit. :)

Posted by: Zandria at August 25, 2006 09:02 AM

She's a better photographer than some of my high school students!

Posted by: janet at August 25, 2006 05:33 PM

This is the sweetest thing. She clearly is a natural .

Posted by: chantel at August 25, 2006 08:25 PM

Wait until her first broken heart by a boy. You will be the one she'll run to for that big hug of reassurance, frayed collared t-shirt and all.

You're a good Daddy. I love that you whispered comforting, reassuring, safe words to her. She will forever remember that.

My best to Beth and Mia Bean.

Anni :-)

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