Brain Matter


This past weekend between the changing of the grandparent shifts, Chris and I were sitting with the dogs and the Bean on our back deck enjoying a brief break from the rain.  I realized that I didn’t have a burp cloth with me (an enormous mistake that a first-time mom only makes once) and so I decided to go into the house to get one.  I was carrying Beanie and when I walked through our back glass door, I almost killed him.

The glass door swung open and I walked half way through before it came slamming shut, catching the Bean’s head in the process.  It smacked him right upside the head.

It took him about 3 seconds to realize that this sensation was pain and then he opened up his lungs and let the sunshine in.  He wailed and wailed.

And I did, too.

“Oh, my God!  I’ve dented his head!” I cried.  “I’ve given him brain damage!  He’ll never be the same!”

I walked inside and tried to calm him down, but he was crying pretty good.  And the harder he cried, the harder I cried.

And as if things couldn’t get worse, in walks Chris.

Chris started following me around the house as I tried to calm the baby.  And the whole time he was repeating things like, “Wow!  He’s really crying good!”  or “I’ve never seen him cry like this!” or “He must be really hurt!”  And with every statement out of Chris’ insensitive mouth, I cried a little harder.

If I hadn’t been watching for signs of a concussion in the Bean, I would have killed Chris.

I finally got the Bean all settled down and sleeping.  I pulled myself together.  I attacked Chris.  And then I took my own nap to recuperate.

When the Bean finally woke up a few hours later, I was relieved to see him smiling and cooing like he normally does.  He didn’t seem to be mentally incapacitated.  Maybe I hadn’t done significant damage after all.

And then, just as I’m standing there reassuring myself that everything is okay, Beanie sneezed.  Snot came shooting out of his nose.


Chris came running and thankfully was more sympathetic this time, insisting that it wasn’t in fact brain fluid, no matter what I’d see on Grey’s Anatomy.

Its been several days and there doesn’t seem to be any more brain fluid (or snot) leaking from the Bean’s brain so I’ve sort of let the incident go.  I’m sure I’ll probably wack this baby in the head a few more times in his life, so maybe all things considered it wasn’t so dramatic afterall.

But I’m still watching for brain fluid.  Just in case.

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21 Thoughts to “Brain Matter”

  1. Ah the poor thing! But it seems you got out of the incident with more harm than the bean. He’ll be fine 🙂

  2. Emily

    OMG!! You are just too funny. The Bean looks great…glad there is no brain damage! 🙂

  3. One time I was carrying my niece around a corner to open the front door for my husband and I miscalculated. I smacked her head against the wall and heard this unbelievably frightening, sickening THUD.

    Then two things happened simultaneously. My husband, who was peering through the window at the top of the door, opened his mouth and looked at me like I was a criminal. And my niece started wailing.

    It’s a miracle that man isn’t dead. I felt bad enough as it were without him acting like I’d done irreparable damage to my niece’s head.

    And you know what? It’s been two years since then and she’s none the worse for it. So I’m sure the Bean will be fine too =)

  4. You poor thing. That is SO traumatic! I remember the first time something like that happened to my oldest. He flipped out of his crib onto a tile floor, because I hadn’t realized he could pull himself up on the side, and had left him in the crib with it down. I screamed for my husband, and he came downstairs to find us both in hysterics. Not one of my finer moments as a mother, but the baby and I both survived with no permanent damage. 🙂

  5. i let my kid fall off a swing… then two days later she fell and hit the edge of a GLASS coffee table, that same night my husband hit her in the head with the door.. the next day she fell into the corner of the wall… and so far no major problems.. its gonna happen… just be prepared to love on them.. and unfortunately the calmer you are the faster they will calm down.. its hard though to see your little one in pain and there is nothing you can do about it… stay strong!

  6. THAT would have been scary! I don’t blame you at ALL for freaking out. I’m glad the brain matter has stayed in place, though. Phew!

  7. “he opened up his lungs and let the sunshine in”
    Haven’t ever heard this expression before, or maybe you made it up, but it is cracking me up!!

  8. Awww – I’m sorry that happened but I’m so glad he’s okay! One time my little brother reached for a glass fishbowl, pulled it off the shelf, and busted it on his head. That was really traumatic. I’m glad the bean’s okay – what’s his real name? I think I missed that. I remember any time we had any kind of head injury my mom always making sure we stayed awake and didn’t go to sleep in case it was like a concussion or something. scary! I’m glad he’s okay!!!!

    And I always hear things like that happen to first time (and second and third!) time moms, and somehow there’s a lot of people in the world so I’m pretty sure it ok!!! (-:


  9. Sarah H.

    Oh Kaite- I feel so bad for you! I think your reaction was pretty normal–poor thing! Glad everyone is alright.

  10. Nancy

    I think everyone has one of these stories! With my first one, he was about 5 months old and I started down the staircase with him and caught my heel on the stair and DROPPED him! He hit one step and then the bottom. Thank heaven I didn’t fall with him! I think I cried harder than he did . . . and we discovered that he had one pupil larger than the other and were SURE he had a concussion. Turned out he was born that way and it wasn’t until we had the first batch of zoom lens pictures developed that we realized it.

  11. Hilary

    I totally understand how you feel! I was putting on my make-up while my daughter was lying on the bed. Why should it be a problem? I was only a few feet from the bed and the baby had never even attempted to roll before. Well, as I’m applying my mascara, I watch in the mirror as she pushes herself up on her hands and knees and crab-crawls backwards towards the edge of the bed. I made it just in time to see her fall off the bed onto her back and start screaming bloody murder. I felt horrible and cried the entire day. Beanie will be okay, I promise!!

  12. Kris

    Once when my sister was little, she rolled off her changing table in the second and a half it took my mother to make a half-turn to grab a diaper. We’re pretty sure there was no brain damage, but she’s 16 now so it’s pretty difficult to tell…

  13. I am so sorry to be laughing the way I am… I’m glad the bean is not leaking brain fluid thru his nose. I hope you are better!

  14. I slammed my baby sisters head into a dorm frame when she was little. I too freaked out.

    It’s a good thing babies are so tough.

  15. Zoe

    It’s amazing how tough babies are! I feel for you, you poor thing, it would have been terrifying. Glad you’re both ok now 🙂

  16. Could he be any cuter?

    I can’t imagine what I’ll be like when I have kids. I shut my kitten’s paw in the dishwasher a few weeks ago and cried for hours, while she just ran around the house, perfectly fine. our babies are much more resilient than we are 🙂 Take care!

  17. Joanie

    When my oldest was a baby he fell out of his crib onto a hardwood floor. I felt like the world’s WORST mother because we had one of those cribs with the adjustable matress and I’d been meaning for DAYS to drop the matress level because of fear of this very thing happening. I finally calmed poor J-Boy down and he decided he wanted to walk around the living room (holding onto the furniture). I put him down, he took two steps and promptly smacked his head off wooden post at the end of the sofa. I think I cried more than he did that day.

  18. Kate

    This totally reminds me of that episode of friends where Monica and Rachel are looking after Ben and smack his head on the ceiling board thingy. Haha and then Ross made Monica think that Ben had been walking in circles.
    Luckily kids aren’t as breakable as we think! And I also think you probably have the cutest baby ever!

  19. Jilene aka NONA

    I to love the expression of the sunshine in the lungs good one! He will have many more. You will tuffen up too!

  20. Tracy

    I have two boys, who’se heads were both cracked into door facings. Probably more than once. I think ALL parents have done this at one point – – and if they say they haven’t, they are obviously big, fat, fibbers!

  21. I feel your pain! I scratched Levi’s little hand with my fingernail today and it bled! 🙁 I felt horrible! Okay okay, so that’s a little different than slamming his head in a door, but hey – I just wanted to make you feel better. 😉

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