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So last night, late, I was watching Avery on the bed while Chris went to get her overnight diaper. She wasn’t obviously sleepy. In fact, she was scampering all over the bed like an excited squirrel, and I was having a fair amount of trouble containing her. She kept scurrying under the blanket to “hide,” one of her favorite games. “Hiding!” she announces with a squeal as she dives under the covers. This time, though, it wasn’t technically a blanket she was underneath. During the day, we keep a giant blue plastic tarp on our bed to prevent our cat from getting cranky and using it as a litterbox. Oh, it’s a truly spectacular design aesthetic. I expect it to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens any day now. Ugh. We obviously remove it when we sleep, but I had been blogging, not sleeping, so I’d shoved it to the side to save time.

The first time Avery dove under the tarp I caught her by the ankle and dragged her back. Sadly, this just encouraged her. She is very, very fast. Back under the tarp she went, and since she had no sense of spatial perspective under there, BOOM! Off the edge she went. We have a tall bed. Not  as tall as it used to be, thankfully. We replaced our boxspring with a board with this concern in mind. Still, it’s tall, far too tall to make going off the edge headfirst a good idea. My heart stopped when I heard her fall, and only started again when I heard her start wailing, although with a less regular beat. She had an instant goose egg, blue and gray and scary, with a fine scratch running across it, Frankenstein-style. Is there any worse feeling than failing to stop your child from hurting herself? To know it’s happening but to be unable to prevent it? Poor Avery. If only I had continued to hang onto her ankle when she did her kamikaze dive the first time. Worst. Feeling. Ever. Parental failure. It had been my job to watch her, to keep her safe, and I screwed up, spectacularly.

Ouch.

Avery will be fine. We put an ice pack on her head, over and over, until Avery announced she was “all better” to get us to stop. We coated it in Traumeel, and this morning it looks much better. I’m pretty sure my heart is still bruised, though, blue and gray, with a fine scratch running across it.

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