Friday, July 10, 2015

Falls, Concussions & Ice Cream: Summer's Here

On a recent trip to the park Mrs. Blackwell and I watched helplessly as the boy had a doozy of a fall.

Bananas pool side? Don't mind if I do. 
He was moving down a slide as I was climbing to the top. At the same time, Mrs. Blackwell was talking to another mom who was there with her kids.

We both turned in time to see the exact same thing: the boy flipping through the air from about three feet up before coming down on his head.

We later figured that he must have attempted to brake with his foot but, instead of stopping, his momentum somersaulted him right off the slide.

It was, without question the worst fall I've seen him take. Mrs. Blackwell too. It was heart stopping. It was terrifying and ultimately, it was alright.

He landed on his head but thankfully, he rolled through it and his head didn't take the entirety of the impact. (Equally lucky is that he inherited his father's freakishly thick cranium.)

Because milliseconds crawl by in these moments, my big fear was that he'd land and do nothing, that there would be silence. Thankfully, there was not.

He ended up flat on his back and began crying right away. It was clear his tears were more about having had the hell scared out of him than the little bump on his noggin.
The Liquidator. "Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?"

That said, Mrs. Blackwell immediately went into mom overdrive, assuming that the boy had suffered a Grade II concussion.

Despite my attempts to allay her fears ("He didn't get knocked out. His eyes are focusing just fine.") She was reluctant to not seek some sort of medical attention.

Thankfully the boy bailed us out when he requested ice cream. There was no way we were saying "No" to ice cream after that and the boy knew it.

So, 15 minutes after our scare we were on our deck happily enjoying Fudgsicles.

Yes, it's summer!!!

And while some have been enjoying it for months now, here in the north we've just begun to get our first taste of warmer temps.

We've had exactly one day top 90 degrees so far this year. That's 30 degrees Celsius for my Canadian readers and my one reader in Europe. (Stay strong Belarus!!!)

The pressure is occasionally questionable but, overall,
it's fine tool for soaking one's unsuspecting wife. 
As the mercury rises, the Blackwell clan has been venturing outdoors with greater and greater frequency. This means lots of visits to our neighborhood parks and pools and loads more potential for bumps, bruises and, yes, cartwheeling falls from play structures.

But, in the interest of candor, it's not always the outside world that's endangering the boy. Specifically, more time spent with dad has meant a few more bumps than he otherwise might have had.

For example: on a recent walk to a nearby park I pushed the boy on his tricycle — he'll learn to peddle it one day I'm sure but, when you've got mom and dad to do the manual labor, why bother?

Anywho, as we approached the park I made a sharp turn to take a short cut. The boy was not holding handle bars tightly so, the trike went one way and he went the other — down.

Again, he was more angry than hurt and, once we got home, he got ice cream. Häagen Dazs, chocolate peanut butter to be specific.

Behind the bush, middle of the frame. That's where the boy runs
after he's Liquidated his mother or I. Not pictured: me after I
I shoot Mrs. Blackwell.
Considering it now, I'd better work harder to avoid accidents with the boy through these next few months, lest he develop a weight problem.

But, it's not all been falls, scrapes, bruises and ice cream this summer.

The boy has been able to rekindle his love of the water and, as he's grown he's become much more buoyant — meaning I can throw him much higher in the pool. What was I saying about being more careful?

Tipping the scales in favor of safety, some neighborhood kids tipped us off on a water gun called the "Liquidator." Mrs. Blackwell wisely purchased a couple for us. To his credit the apple doesn't fall far from the tree and the boy wastes no time using the liquidator to soak his mother or I.

So with the weekend upon us, we'll be out and about, taking advantage of the narrow window of warmth that Wisconsin provides. There will be running, playing, Liquidating and — god willing — fewer trips to the freezer.

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