A d v e n t u r e s i n P a r e n t i n g P a r t 1
B y J e a n
Evelyn slowly sat up, scooting away from Rick as she walked over to the other side of the room where a small bassinet was standing at the far wall. She peeked into the miniature crib, and looked down at her new son. Alexander James O'Connell had been born just two days before, and Evelyn was wary of being three feet away from the infant.
"Evie?" Rick called lightly to his wife as he sat up in the four poster bed, propping himself on his elbow. "Evie, will you stay in bed more than three hours at a time? Don't worry, give him about a week, and he'll wake you up without you poking him." He stood and pulled her back into bed, slipping underneath the covers with her.
She sighed as he began nibbling on her ear. "I just hate being away from him. He's been with me constantly for nine months, and then I'm not as close to him as I was." She rolled into him, snuggling her face under his chin.
"Well, think of it this way. He's here forever, and nothing will be able to take him away from us." He kissed her cheek lightly, and the couple fell into a silent sleep.
"Alex!" Evelyn scolded the toddler as he bolted from the room. He'd started walking about three days ago, and began to run three days ago as well. He never walked everywhere, he always ran. He'd waddle down the hall and occasionally stumble but thankfully one of his parents was always right behind him. His laughter filtered over to his father who was sitting in his reading chair, the newspaper in hand. Evelyn sighed and began picking up the dishes she'd just washed off the floor, and looked in to see him hiding under the table. For being eighteen months old, he'd gotten his orneryness a bit early. "He gets it from you, you know." She grumbled as she began to wash them off again.
Rick just laughed from behind his paper, and reached one arm over the side of the chair. He pinched one of Alex's feet, making him jump and smack his head on the edge of the coffee table. He began to scream as his hands went up to cover the painful bump, as mother and father bolted to the rescue. Rick being the closer one made it to his son before Evelyn, lifting him gently off the floor. "I'm sorry pallie, I'm so sorry." He held the crying baby as he rocked back and forth. Alex leaned back and smacked him on the nose, reaching for his mum.
"What did you do?" Evelyn questioned, never once seeing Alex reject his father's attention.
Rick tried to move his son's hands from the top of his head, but to no avail. "I tickled his foot when he was under the table, and I guess I scared him. He jumped and bumped his head on the edge of the table."
Evelyn rocked Alex lightly as Rick explained, and the child began to calm down. After everything was checked out, and declared to be a bump on the head, Evelyn took Alex into the kitchen for some much-needed ice cream. As they were laughing at their son ditch the spoon and begin to use his fingers,
Alex stopped. He began to blink his eyes frequently, and started shaking his head.
"Alex?" Evelyn asked as the baby's eyes rolled back, and he went limp in the high chair.
"Rick, get the doctor!" She screamed, and hauled him from the chair and laid him flat on the floor. "Alex? Come on baby, wake up." She begged, lightly shaking his body as he lay limply on the floor. His face began to turn blue and she panicked. "Rick! He's not breathing!" She jumped up, pulling her husband over as he finished telling Dr. Brown what happened. Hearing Evie's words, he dropped the phone and ran to his son. He knelt down and picked him up, flipping him over and hitting him hard on the back three
times. The child's tongue dislodged itself from the back of his throat, as he too his first gasping breath.
"Alex, Alex son wake up." Rick grabbed a glass of water and poured some into his hand. He splashed it on his face and patted his flushed cheeks lightly, hoping to get some reaction from the infant. He repeated the process and finally the baby began to scream. His hands went to his eyes, and he shook his head back and forth.
A hurried knock at the door brought the shaken families attention to the arrival of the doctor, and Evelyn led him into the kitchen where Rick was holding the screaming toddler. They took him into his room and the doctor ushered the parents out, having them wait in the hallway to establish the sickness of the baby.
The doctor opened the door and let the O'Connell's into the room, as he finished wiping his hands dry. "Well, he has a bump on the head, which led to a slight concussion. To be perfectly honest with you, I haven't a clue as to why he would have a sudden spell like that. All things lead to a seizure, but there was no convulsing involved."
Rick took it all in as Evie bent over Alex stroke his cheek with her hand. "Will he be okay?" the ominous question loomed over the couple like a cloud.
"I'll call tomorrow to check on him, but I think he'll be just fine. He's awefully young to have a slight concussion, but he bumped right on his soft spot, and that's a pretty tender spot when you're his age. Good day." He too his leave, as Rick walked him to the door and back to the babies room where Evie was rocking Alex.
"I feel awful." He sighed and knelt down in front of her and his son. "If I hadn't startled him, I suppose that he wouldn't have hit his head." He laid his own head on Evie's lap kissing Alex's foot lightly, as it was right in front of him.
"Rick, it wasn't your fault. You didn't have anything to do with this honey, you're a wonderful father. He would have bumped his head any other way, and nothing was going to stop that. We just can't be there for him every single time he gets a bump, and don't ever think it's your fault." She reassured, standing lightly to carry him into their room. "Is it okay with you to have him sleep in our room tonight?"
"Fine with me." He stood and followed them into the master bedroom closing, but not latching, the door behind them.
After Evie laid him into bed, they changed into their own night clothes and snuggled together on the comfy mattress.
"When he stopped breathing I panicked." She broke the silence, and looked up at him, resting her chin on his chest, her fingernails lightly scraping.
"When you told me he had stopped breathing I panicked." He admitted, and pulled her close to him. "But hey. I suppose it's all part of growing up, and I don't just mean for him. We're going to grow too." He smiled, and leaned over kissing her.
"I guess so."
A few days had passed, and Alex was back to his old self. Running and playing, and breaking and getting yelled at. All things were well with the O'Connell's, another step in the adventure.