The other day, I was making cookies in the kitchen (because where else would I be making cookies? Kind of a dumb leading sentence…). If there is something I do well, it is make cookies…and my kids know it. So Annie, anxious to get a warm, gooey cookie, dragged a tall kitchen chair over to the island where the cookies were cooling off. She was dressed in her usual fare, a fluffy Minnie Mouse dress and matching high heels. Observing Annie’s wardrobe preferences has lead me to the conclusion that one’s tolerance for wearing heels is inversely proportional to one’s age. I wore flats today…because I’m elderly.
So there she is, scaling the chair in heels (like a badass or an idiot…verdict is still out). My parenting style with kid #3 has evolved from “straight-up helicopter mom” to “look the other way and brace for impact.” She made it up onto the chair long enough to survey the cookies and pick out the best one before losing her sparkly pink footing and taking a tumble. I was standing right next to her holding a full cup of coffee and was unable to catch her…because I needed that coffee. She fell quickly, head-first, just long enough for me to envision a high c-spine injury or a subdural bleed. In a last-second act of desperation, I stuck a foot out to try and break her fall. In the commotion, a majority of my coffee went flying, splattering all over the floor. As she landed, the wailing started. LOUD WAILING (which was very reassuring that her diaphragm was still being innervated). So there we were, me with half a cup of coffee and Annie sprawled on the ground in hysterics. Danny heard the commotion and asked me if I needed any help.
“WELL….ANNIE JUST FACE PLANTED OFF THE CHAIR AND I SPILLED MY COFFEE EVERYWHERE!” I yelled to him in a panic.
I bent down and scooped her up. “What hurts, baby? Is your head ouchy?”
“NO!” she screamed
“What hurts sweetie?”
“NOTHING HURTS! MY DRESS IS WET!”
I looked her over, palpated her head and concluded that she was not gravely injured. It took some time to convince her that her dress too would survive.
After the crying subsided and the floor was mopped, I trudged back into the living room and collapsed next to Danny on the couch.
“Everything okay?” He asked, looking up from his Kindle, heart rate probably somewhere in the low 70s.
“Um…why didn’t you come to help me?” I asked, exasperated. Heart rate in the 120s, probably irregular.
And in the most annoyingly matter-of-fact way, he said, “Well, I asked you if you needed help, and you didn’t say yes.”
He then went on to explain that he had total faith that I had the situation under control because I am a strong and capable woman and he didn’t want to patronize me by coming to my rescue. Damn…can’t argue with that.