On Monday, my wife and I went to an “Infant Safety and CPR” class, in preparation for impending parenthood. (It’s still Spring Break, so I can do this kind of thing on a Monday night. All the rest that I’ll be attending will be on Saturdays.)
The second half of the class we learned some basic CPR first-responder techniques that are good up through age 1. We practiced on baby-sized dolls. One thing that was surprising was the amount of physical force you have to use to help a choking baby expel something blocking his air passages. The teacher advised: “A broken rib we can fix, but if the baby’s gone we can’t bring him back!” Wow. Yeah, I can see it, but it doesn’t make it easy to accept. I’d rather have my baby alive, in the hospital with a broken rib or two, than suffocated and dead. But what a way to bring a parent-to-be’s day down!
The first half of the class was no better. It was all about rethinking your world and the environment around you as something that’s potentially deadly to your baby. Things we take for granted, things we don’t think about and would never consider dangerous, things like that can kill your baby. Things like the cords hanging down from the blinds on your windows. You think they’re a convenient way for you to open and shut your blinds. In actuality, they are a convenient way for baby to accidentally hang himself.
I act flippant, but really, that class scared me. I think acting flippant is a coping mechanism. Once we got home, I looked down at the AC vents on the floor. “I’m worried about those,” I told dear wife. “B.T. can be crawling along and get his fingers stuck in the slats. And there are sharp metal edges.” I bent down to inspect the vents on the floor. “Huh,” Dear wife said, “I’d never thought about the air vents before.”
Suffice to say, I see us (and by “us” I mean “me”, Dear wife being a bit pregnant at the moment) in the very near future crawling around on the floor getting up close and personal with a baby’s-eye-view of our house, checking every nook and cranny.
I look forward to the next 18 years of life.