I sensed it before I heard it.
Something wasn't right.
I checked on the children one minute earlier. They were playing happily together. Carter likes to follow Addison around the house like a little puppy, and they go peacefully from one play station to the next parallel playing together. (I especially encourage this the day after our therapies for the week are over. Independent play is just as important as therapy in my opinion)
A minute earlier when I peeked in at them, they were both standing at the kitchen in Addison's room mixing up some imagination flavored air. Now? I could still hear Carter babbling, but something was off...
The second it clicked in my mind I shot away from my housework and ran as fast as my little legs would carry me. His "Ba-ba ba-ba"s were echoing and that could only mean one thing.
He was in the bathroom.
And not just playing peacefully on the bathroom floor, he was standing at the top of these stairs leaning into the bathtub.
I ran the distance between us like my life depended on it and shouted "NO CARTER" but I was too late.
It all happened in slow motion in front of me.
One chubby body dove head first into the bathtub with the silence of unexpected victory from his red lips.
I got to him just as the cries started. I scooped him up carefully and laid his head with the growing forehead egg against my chest and wanted to bawl.
I froze in the horror of moment. Where was my phone?
Holding my wailing baby close, I searched for it, finally finding it and dialing our Pediatrician with shaking fingers.
Where was Addison? Happily playing alone in the living room? She must have opened the door to the bathroom because I remember shutting it...was she trying to distract her shadow with the allure of the stairs?
Just then Carter vomited all over the floor.
When a voice came on the other end, I asked if I could please speak to a nurse and it was an emergency.
They then made me hold for eight minutes. EIGHT MINUTES.
I know I was a little short with the nurse when she finally came on the other end, but seriously I was scared and now ticked off that they didn't care that I had an emergency.
While I was on the phone, I briefly set Carter down because I needed to get dressed. After another short minute later I realized that he had disappeared yet again. Where was he? Climbing BACK up the bathtub stairs for another free fall. Are you kidding me?
I then grabbed him up tight and put him in his crib to keep him from harm's way while I finished getting dressed and dressed Addison.
He wailed and wailed that I would end his fun in such an ungracious manner.
My head started to pound for him.
Long story short, we ran to the Pediatrician's office after they said we could come in, and we were seen right away.
Apparently Carter is just fine and the doctor was more impressed by his climbing prowess than anything.
Apparently my son has an inclination for danger and injury but has a tough little body to withstand his curious nature.
And for those of you who have read my novel, the irony of this situation is not lost on me...
And for those of you calling social services on me, I DO keep the bathroom door shut...but add in Addison's new skill of opening doors followed by her little puppy and you have a PROBLEM.
This is why I am now blocking off the hallway, bathroom and bedrooms during independent play time. (and I have been doing that all week, but opened it up today so they could play in Addison's kitchen. groan.)
I am shaking and feeling nauseous. Both children are now happily sleeping after our impromptu morning outing.
Today I feel like the worst mother in the world. And I'm not saying that to get assurances that you perceive differently.
It has just been a horrible morning in which my son decided to start empty bathtub "dumpster diving" while my back was turned for a second.
They say that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes but THIS DAY HAS JUST STARTED and my mistake margin is pretty awful.
Please excuse me while I marinate in shame.
This isn't my first "horrible mother" day, and I use them to think through every way I could do better for my kids. Today's mental conversation is not a pretty one. It's hard to do everything right all the time. It's hard to do everything right even 20% of the time, and sometimes things like this happen to cause some reevaluation. At least for me anyway.
I am so thankful that he is OK(frankly I'm amazed that he wasn't more hurt...that is a LONG fall). The safety of my children are MY responsibility and today I let that slip through the cracks.
Time for a new plan.
and more coffee.