Despite everyone in the household suffering from the common cold, it has been a pretty good day today. Reindeer and I have played games, been shopping, cuddled in the wrap when he felt clingy and generally enjoyed ourselves.
Bath time was lovely with Reindeer splashing, chattering and singing all the way through. When he’d had enough I lay him on the floor on his elephant towel and wrapped him up, as I do every night, then went to pick him up. Kneeling down, I’d lifted him to about the height of my knee, maybe three inches up, when he gave a sudden lurch away from me; I lost my grip and he bumped his head on the floor.
The sound, to my ears at least, was as if the loudest drum had been hit in the echo-iest cave by the strongest giant. It is still reverberating in my head now.
I had him back up in my arms in a nanosecond.
He looked at me wide-eyed with shock, took a deep breath and let out a cry. He cried for about 20 seconds as I carried him back to his room and cuddled him for all I was worth.
Just as quickly as they started, the cries stopped. I lay him down, dried him, put on his nappy and picked him up for another cuddle. He looked at me and smiled.
It was at this point when I started breathing again.
I examined Reindeer’s head and it seemed fine so I lay him on his cot and started getting him ready for bed. He kept smiling at me, then laughing when I made faces to the nursery rhymes on the CD we had playing – just the same as every night – and I finally accepted that he was OK.
He had a good feed and fell asleep at the end of it. When I lay him in bed he looked peaceful enough, but was merrily snoring away thanks to the stuffy nose his cold has given him.
Although I logically know he is fine, I will be checking on him regularly during the evening and probably through the night. Is this overprotective? Probably.
I never thought I’d be the wrap-them-in-cotton-wool type, but I’ve realised tonight that he is so very precious that it is exactly the type I will be. Not in any way that Reindeer will notice – it is imperative that he doesn’t consider every step dangerous or he will never progress, never take those risks we all need to in order to grow. But I will be there, just out of sight, prepared, I hope, for every eventuality, so that he’s never truly facing anything alone – even though he needs to believe that’s what he’s doing.