Why I should never be left alone with anyone under the age of eighteen.

Sigh. So, okay. Here’s what happened.

Yesterday, shortly after dinner. Henry was in dreamy, reflective mode, standing up on the window seat in our living room, gazing at the cars and flotsam. This is a narrow seat that he’s never left alone on, as he could immediately slip and fall, causing grave injury to his person. (Note the foreshadowing! NOTE IT!)

Anyway, I was of course sitting right there, right next to him, my legs stretched out across the seat as he pressed his body against the window. He was absentmindedly kissing the window and he was being so cute and so unusually still that I grabbed the camera off the coffee table and started taking pictures. Of course, while clicking away, I let go of him. And then. Then. He looked at the camera, grinned, shouted “Boom!” which is his way of saying, “Watch me comically throw myself down!” and—boom—he threw himself down. Only his butt landed on nothing--remember how I said how narrow the seat was? Remember?—because his butt was headed straight for the floor, but before his butt could reach its destination, his poor little skull cracked against the brutal coffee table edge, and OH MY GOD WHO TOLD ME I COULD HAVE A KID?

For a millisecond he lay there, staring up at me like, why am I down here, wasn’t I up there? and in that millisecond I thought, he’s not making a sound, he’s a vegetable, his brain has been pureed and then he started wailing, and I scooped him up and tried to comfort him as only an idiot-mother can, and I tried to figure out what to do and I couldn’t remember a damn thing, including my husband’s cell phone number, and all I could do was babble idiot words of idiot comfort to my poor trusting child. Miraculously, after ten minutes of unadulterated weeping he wiped his eyes and asked to read a book, so of course we did, me quizzing him on the name of every animal on every page, as if he might have lost the giraffe-identifying lobe of his brain.

So, in the end, everything was fine, Henry’s fine, we’re fine, tra la la. There’s not even a bump on his head. Everything’s fine, except I’M NOT FINE, I’m a total wreck still. I’m having flashbacks of the feeling of his little legs landing on my legs and then slipping away from me, stupid me with my stupid camera; I’m still watching him slip off me and I’m not reaching forward and dropping the goddamn camera and I hate myself. And the worst part is, I have a picture of that big grin he had on his face, the joyful get-a-load-of-this grin he gave me, one second before he discovered that his mother sucks.

On an unrelated topic, while searching the web for a good brain chart to link to, I found the kitty paintings of a schizophrenic artist. First the kitties are weird and THEN THEY’RE SO MUCH WEIRDER. Go see. I don’t know, though—I think the psycho kitties are less frightening than the “normal period” kitties. What does that say about me?