We all let our kids do things the experts say not to. Popcorn before age 4? Whole grapes when they're sitting still at the table? Toys labeled "Ages 3 and up" for your 2 year old? I know, especially since Jesse is so mature in so many ways, I have done all of these things and more.
The pictures on the grocery cart (and common sense) say not to let your kid ride in the basket part of the cart, but Jesse is very well behaved and sits still on his bottom when I ask him to. Simon is too small for most of the carts at Target with the seats in the bottom so we always let Jesse ride in the basket part of the cart when we shop if he doesn't feel like walking.
This past weekend, Dan worked and I had a conference to attend so Jesse stayed with my parents Friday and I took Simon with me to the conference (it was the La Leche League conference before anyone wonders what kind of person I am for taking a baby to a conference).
Anyway, I came out of the last session to 7 voicemails on my cell phone. My mom had Jesse at Home Depot and he told her I let him ride in the basket of the cart and she let him. He sat still on his bottom the entire time like she asked, but when she got to the car he stood up in anticipation of getting out and he lost his balance and went head first out of the cart onto the parking lot. It was about a 4 foot fall directly on his head. I was almost an hour away when I got the message. That was a horrifying drive.
We spent 6 hours in two different ERs on Saturday (my mom originally took him to UPMC Braddock because he fell asleep in her car on the way to the ER and she was worried so she went to the nearest ER and then later we transferred him to Children's) and went through the hell that it is to strap a 3 year old to a table for a 2 image CT scan.
That alone was a heartbreaking experience. Absolutely awful. I have never been unable to calm him. Not once in his life. My presence and reassurance has always been all he's needed. I felt so helpless. I actually stood back for a while and cried while the CT Tech tried calming him. Eventually, I had to lay on him and go into the machine with him after he screamed for 45 minutes straight and would not calm down enough to get the test. He has petechial hemmorrhaging all over his face, neck and chest from screaming for so long.
He must have asked to nurse two dozen times while we were in the ER. I just held him close and rocked him, my heart breaking because I couldn't let him have the comfort he desperately needed. If he would have had a bleed he would have needed immediate surgery so he was not allowed to eat or drink anything until he was cleared. Nursing Simon in front of him made me feel like I was betraying him.
Fortunately, he did not have a slow brain bleed like the ped originally suspected and he is going to be just fine. My mother feels absolutely awful even though I told her a thousand times it could have happened to anyone. I've never had a problem with Jesse riding in the basket and if she had called to ask me I would have told her it was ok to do so.
I will not let him do it again after this though. Please, even if your child is an absolute angel in the basket, know that this is something that can happen. I don't ever want to be scared again like I was on Saturday.
God had His hand on Jesse. He could have had a brain bleed, he could have broken his neck, he could have broken his shoulder or arm or landed on something that could have impaled him. He didn't come out completely unscathed, but a nasty goose egg on his head and some awful memories... I'll take it.