I may have mentioned once or twice that our house is mostly open air. The bedrooms are enclosed and air conditioned, but the living space and kitchen are open to the elements. The open air living space is elevated off the ground by up to about 4 feet in some places – down to about 1 in others.
I was really worried about this elevated deck type thing before we got here, but was assured that there had been lots of kids that had stayed at the house and no kids had fallen off the deck. This must have been a lie.
Aiman has generally been very cautious around the edge of the house, for the first 3 months we were here he only fell off once and that may have possibly been just a little bit my fault (I was sitting in a rocking chair and did not notice he had walked behind me, when I rocked back I – completely accidentally and I feel awful when I think about it and will probably need therapy for life – pushed him off the deck). He was fine, but since then he has been very wary of the edge of the living space.
Cue one week ago. My parents were here and Aiman was standing by the couch looking out at the trees, something he does pretty regularly, when all of the sudden I heard a thud and Aiman was on the ground. I have no idea what happened, but he hit the deck. Thankfully he was only about 2 feet off the ground and besides a little scraped thigh, he was fine within about 20 seconds.
Then, just 3 days later, Aiman was walking around backwards (a new, very weird, habit). He was getting pretty close to the edge so I told him to stop and be careful. He stopped, gave me a little smile and started walking with some forward momentum, so I thought all was well. I turned to finish the dishes and then bam, he hit the ground again; he had backed himself off the deck. He was at one of the low points of the deck, probably only a foot off the ground, so he was completely fine. He did get a time out for disobeying mommy, which he was more ticked about than the actual fall, but the kid has got to learn.
And then … last night! Seriously, this kid is going to be the death of me. He was standing in the living room, not particularly close to the edge and Riaz and I were tidying up after dinner. All of the sudden I heard a little squeal and Aiman was on the ground AGAIN! I ran over to where he was and he was all twisted up, his diaper was half off and he had landed on his side, hitting his cheek pretty hard and scraping his arm. I could not figure out how he had gotten himself in that position, but I was more worried at that point about his well-being. I scooped him up and made sure nothing was broken or seriously damaged then gave him a stern talking to … you have to be careful! Stay away from the edge! What is wrong with you!?!? Why are you trying to kill your mother!?!?
After we were all calmed down, I decided he should take a bath and get ready for bed. I got him undressed and at that point noticed two huge bug bites right on his side where his diaper hits his thigh. I’m not sure what bit him, but it looked like some pretty aggressive and nasty ants.
The whole scene became clear to me and I felt like such a jerk. Aiman was standing around, minding his own business when a couple of nasty bugs weaseled their way into his diaper and starting chowing down, he was trying to figure out what was hurting him by tearing at his diaper, lost track of where he was standing and fell off the deck with half his diaper in hand. Ugh … I am a bad parent.
I got him out of the bath and made up a baking soda/water paste and slathered it on the bites. He sat there with me watching Yo Gabba Gabba! as the paste did its work and sucked out whatever nasty ant juice was making the bites swell up to the size of the Himalayas!
This morning we woke up and the two nasty bites looked like tiny little pin pricks so everyone was basically fine. I am emotionally traumatized, but I need therapy for the rocking chair incident anyway, so maybe I can get some kind of discount.
We can’t possibly watch Aiman every second of every day, and he was SO good about the edge of the deck for MONTHS. I don’t know what has happened … but for now I think I need to keep the kid on a leash, for both our sakes.