Before Ethan was born, I found a crib online that had a door at the end. It was designed to make changing the sheets easier, as you could slide the mattress out. I was overjoyed, as it seemed to be the solution to the crib question, and my in-laws were generous enough to order it for us as a shower gift. Ethan was due in August and the crib was backordered until December, but I didn’t see that as a problem, because I planned on keeping him in a Moses basket in our room at first anyway. The basket worked great, but in November, the makers of the crib sent us an email that a storm had hit their warehouse, and they had no idea when they would have my crib, so they canceled our order.
Back to square one, my mother-in-law and I started looking around for a crib with a front that could be modified by a carpenter. I fell in love with one, we bought it and sent it down to southern Missouri to be modified. I wasn’t as involved in the design as I was hoping to be, and when we received the tailored crib, we found that despite its fabulous craftsmanship, it was not the right design for me. Since Ethan wasn’t rolling over yet, I just put up a toddler rail that ran about half the length of the crib’s mattress to replace the missing front temporarily. Soon, however, he did start rolling, so I got a bigger, sturdier rail that covered the entire length of the crib. It worked very well, and was easy for me to just drop down for easy access to Ethan.
He is nine months old now, and is becoming quite mobile. He’s not crawling, per se, but he does an army crawl that is quite effective. A few days ago, Adam and I were downstairs watching TV while Ethan was playing in his crib upstairs, putting off his nap.
We looked at each other in confusion for a second, and then we heard Ethan’s “I’m serious,” cry. We ran up to his room to realize that he had managed to push the rail out from the crib’s edge and wiggled through the crack, dumping himself onto the floor. As Adam held our screaming baby, I just sat in the glider and sobbed.
This is all my fault. That rail was there because I am handicapped. I am incapable of keeping him safe.
Between Ethan and myself, we probably cried a gallon of tears in a two minute period. When he started to calm down, Adam handed him to me. I held him close and continued with my sobbing. I looked at his sweet little face and he gave me a huge smile, followed by a giggle. He thought my crying was funny.
He was perfectly fine, and we even had an EMT friend stop by and look him over just to be sure, but he was his normal, happy self within 10 minutes of his off-road excursion.
This situation was a waking nightmare for me, because I greatly fear his being injured because of my disability. What if I see him starting to fall and I can’t catch him? What if some modification put in place to make things easier for me makes things harder for him?
The thought scares me.
But, at the end of the day, all I can do is my best and pray that God cares for Ethan in the ways that I can’t. I am happy to share custody with Him. :)