Thursday, April 7, 2011

THE DAY WE DECIDED TO BUY A WALKER




When a baby starts to attempt to stand or take some baby steps, then it’s high time to get a walker so the little one can practice walking.

It was a little different with my daughter, Sadako. My wife, Honeybun, and I kind of ignored the need for a walker, even when our little one already knew how to stand up on her own (even without leaning on a wall or grabbing our clothes for support) and even started to take some steps.

It was only when she jumped out of her playpen that we bought a walker—as in that same day.

I actually got some sort of premonition that morning. I didn’t feel like going to work, and it wasn’t just the usual laziness. There were even some little things that kind of tried to make me stay at home, such as feeling like I couldn’t find anything decent to wear to work, or forgetting my transportation fare.

But, of course, I ended up leaving for the office.

A little after lunch, my phone rang and it was Honeybun. Her voice was trembling and she was clearly crying. I knew there was something wrong the moment she said my name; I knew it was about Sadako.

Leaving Sadako in her playpen, Honeybun went to turn the laptop on when she heard a thump. She quickly turned to Sadako, who looked like she was doing a headstand—on the floor! In between sobs, Honeybun tried to update me. There was a little blood in Sadako’s mouth. It wasn’t a lot, but it was still blood, and they couldn’t trace where it came from. She had a bump on her forehead but my dad was already applying an ice pack on it. She had also stopped crying and was happily eating some bread. Everything seemed to be fine already, but I was restless. I told them to bring her to the hospital for a check-up, and that I’d just meet them there.

Nervous, worried, and impatient, I left the office and couldn’t wait to get to my daughter and hug her and assure her that everything would be fine. I was walking—no, running—like I was in a race, and I kept on praying to God to please make sure everything was fine with my baby.

After an hour or so, I was already with Sadako and Honeybun, in front of the pediatrician. She explained that it was very important to check Sadako’s behavior the next 24 hours. Vomiting, change in sleeping pattern, and drastic change in her disposition were symptoms that we should be on the lookout for; we needed to go back if any of those would take place. After examining Sadako, she assured us that our daughter was all right. The blood shouldn’t bother us since it was probably just from her gums or lip, and that we should just put cold compress on her bump.

Thankfully, Sadako didn’t vomit or show a drastic change in sleeping pattern or disposition the next 24 hours, or even the next 24 hours after that.

It’s been a month or so since Sadako’s fall happened and Honeybun has noticed that our little one has changed a little. She’s a bit more mellow now and is more well-behaved, but not in a drastic, alarming way.

My aunt mentioned that such change in behavior is typical. She said that after a traumatic incident, some children behave better, afraid they’d get into another accident. This is why some elders say that it’s good for children to trip or bruise their knee or bump their head; they learn from it.

While I also did notice that little change in my daughter’s behavior, I think she’s gone back to her usual restless, playful, and hyperactive self. Good thing we already bought her a walker. Taller and more energetic now, Sadako’s a little too much for her playpen, so we folded it and stored it in the extra room.


Sadako is enjoying her walker very much. We consider it heavensent, too, since she is safer there than in her playpen. We just have to make sure that the whole room is baby-proof, and so we took out furniture with sharp corners, removed or repositioned cables and wires, locked cabinets so she’ll get to keep all her fingers, and placed the electric fans out of her reach.

Sometimes, she gets too near the television set so to avoid this, we tied her walker to the doorknob so she has limited reach.

Recently, we noticed that Sadako’s getting a little too big for her walker. It won’t be long before she learns how to walk and not need her walker anymore. While we are all excited about that milestone, we’re also nervous about it. After all, tripping, and getting a bruise or a wound are usual incidents that come along with it. Worst of all, our little one walking would mean endless chasing, too!