Scary stories from a lovely place
Our house is currently wracked with suspense. Not due to crime or the sound of the helicopter constantly landing 30 metres away, but because of Silas’ aptitude for rugby union. It would seem he is preparing himself early for this year’s World Cup and for a lifetime of cauliflower ears, a neck that is subsumed into shoulders and swollen eyes. To the world he will be known as Silas Patrick Reid, hooker for Ireland, but to us he will always be our little Blocker.
When Silas was just learning to crawl we placed a plank of wood at the entrance to the kitchen so he couldn’t smash glass or eat matches. But the timber was no match for the might of the Blocker. As he sought to understand the plank and therefore he conquer it, he would constantly butt his head against it or try and suck it. Then he started to climb over it. And then he managed to stand up while holding on to it. But it would always end in tears. Thus the Blocker name was born.
Now that he is able to stand up whilst holding on to any stationary or not so stationary object, he continues to be unperturbed by his constant stream of injuries. One day he got up on his knees and ran his hands up and down our fire guard. He didn’t seem to be hurt but later I found he was trailing little spots of blood. He had shredded the soft pads of some of his fingertips. He doesn’t seem to realise that he can’t yet walk. He stands up and then tries to move away and goes down. He falls over and bangs his head a lot. It makes such a horrible noise. He screams for a while but after a short respite he is right back into the game. He doesn’t learn from the pain.
For about a week we borrowed a friend’s wooden cot. But it was a bad experiment. Silas constantly butted his head against it, even while he slept. Or he would stand up clutching the sides, but then fall backwards, clashing his head against the beams. We had those soft, side bumper things, but Silas just ripped them out of the way. So we converted to a soft edged camp cot. He sleeps more comfortably now.
Last week I noticed Silas had streaks of blood on his face. After inspection I realised his tiny fingers were cut again. We have a second-hand glass cabinet with two small sliding doors and he wedges his fingers in between where the two doors overlap. There are some chips in the glass and these obviously drew the blood. But he didn’t seem to mind. That same day I was doing something in Silas’ room so he joined me on all fours and was quite fascinated by the wardrobe door. He opened and closed it repeatedly but it kept knocking against his forehead. I tried to stop him but he just kept going back to it. He ended up with four raised lines on his forehead, one with broken skin and blood. Oops.
I only hope all this blocking isn’t doing damage to his intellect. I’m not under any misapprehensions that he will be a genius or anything like that, but I think with each headbutt we are sending him further and further down the class roll. But he’ll kill in the rugby scrum.