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May 31st, 2009

We had our first Big Scare with Cooper this weekend.

Let me preface by saying that Casey and I are crazy careful about being baby-safe around the house: cords for all the blinds on hooks, doors double locked with bolts so high even I can barely reach them, permanent gates on the top and bottom of our stairs (they even match the railing) and nary an electric socket without a plastic cover.   One thing that I’m always super careful about is that, ever since Cooper  learned to pull  himself up,  we never put coffee on the coffee table.  

On Saturday morning we woke up and all wandered downstairs, hanging out in our pajamas, playing and talking and listening to music.   Casey was sitting on the couch reading a story to Kenny and I walked over to hand him a cup of coffee.   Not thinking, I set it for a second on the coffee table and turned around to get something else from the kitchen.   Cooper, who had been playing in the floor about ten feet away, crawled over and pulled it over on top of him.

The instant he shrieked I felt my knees give out – I knew exactly what had happened.   Casey and I reached him at the same time.   There was hot coffee all over his arm and down his shirt and into his diaper.   We raced him to the sink and put him under the cold running water.   I held him there while Casey filled a cold bathtub, and then I ran in with him and we sat in it together, still in our pjs, while Casey called 911.   Kenny jumped in the tub, too, instinctively playing with Cooper and trying to make him laugh.

After about five minutes, Cooper had stopped crying and sat in my lap, resting his head on my chest.   I took his clothes off and we wrapped a cold wet towel around his arm and torso, then a dry towel around the rest of him and Casey held him on the couch.   We could hear the sirens outside, and assumed they were on their way in.   I ran upstairs and threw on dry clothes and packed a diaper bag, in case we had to head to the hospital, then Kenny and I went up the sidewalk to the street to look for the paramedics.   They’d passed our house at least once, and we could hear the sirens just on the other side of our circle – it’s a crazy street and they were obviously not finding our house.  

We waited for what seemed like forever, then saw the firetruck and and ambulance turn the corner.   We flagged them down and two volunteer firemen and three EMTs  followed us down the walk, into the house.   A lot of action for our sleepy neighborhood at 7 AM on a Saturday.

They were super-kind, and the head guy checked Cooper carefully, and announced that he was not only fine, but more than fine – not a single burn or red mark remained on his chilly skin.   They affirmed that what we did was right, though advised that it’s best not to remove the clothing, just in case.    We made some relieved small talk as the second-responders arrived.   With ten strangers in our living room in the early sunshine, we made some cracks about inviting them to stay for pancakes.   They reassured us that we did the right thing to call and bid farewell, each of them patting Dudley on the head and high-fiving Kenny.

Strange that by 7:30, it felt like a whole day had passed.

Cooper is fine, and we learned a huge lesson.   It really is a miracle that he wasn’t seriously burned.     Not only had I just poured the coffee, but Casey and I always microwave ours to make it “extra hot.”   In a moment our whole lives could have been changed, and I keep marveling over the fact that Coop made it through without so much as a single mar on his perfect skin.

Amen, and amen again.

And no more coffee on the coffee table.

7 Comments »

  1. Jessi says

    Hi, I actually know your husband through Ad.com and BACC… I was going to write you via email and tell you how I found your blog… which I still will, but I just had to comment about this post.

    Oh my is all I can really say. I was terrified from the moment I started reading until the crack about pancakes. I can’t even imagine the terror that you guys dealt with! Having kids really brings out a new level of scared. I am so glad Cooper came through without a single scratch or mark!

    May 31st, 2009 | #

  2. Debbie says

    Amen for your family and your little boy. Scares like that are NOT fun. I can feel your fear, we have already taken 2 ER trips with our 18 month old…one for stitches and one for X-Rays of the feet. Hope you were able to relax and enjoy family time the rest of the day.

    June 1st, 2009 | #

  3. Erin says

    Omigod! I got tear-eyed just reading that. I’m glad he is ok. Thanks for the information- I had no idea you had to leave the clothes on in that kind of situation. My little Gracie has just started crawling and I can’t believe the trouble she is already finding. Thanks for sharing that- you have made me think twice.

    June 1st, 2009 | #

  4. Mel says

    Oh I’m so glad he’s ok! I am actually a 3rd degree burn survivor from almost exactly the same incident when I was a child. What a praise that he was unharmed!!

    You did THE right thing by removing his clothing quickly. If the not coffee gets trapped in clothing (like a sweater in my case) the damage is so much worse.

    Your quick thinking saved the day.

    June 1st, 2009 | #

  5. tanya says

    OMG and thank goodness your son is okay.
    I will not forget this story especially if an incident like this happens and I am around to deal with it – how did you know how to deal with it? I think I may have been too panicked to react in such a positive way. I know now. I have a two year old son and 10.5 month old daughter. Thanks for sharing.

    June 1st, 2009 | #

  6. Amanda says

    I’m so glad your little guy wasn’t hurt. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and I have 2 kids of my own. A 2 1/2 year old boy and a 9 week old girl. It’s crazy to think what could have happened. Thank you, Jesus!

    June 2nd, 2009 | #

  7. Sarah says

    THIS is exactly why we can’t have a coffee table for now. Like you, we try to be extra careful about not putting hot coffee within the reach of little fingers, but sometimes it just slips your mind. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I am so glad to hear that little Cooper is no worse for the wear. So scary!

    June 2nd, 2009 | #

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