The First Fall

One of Hannah’s most prized possessions is her Globber scooter. She has been smitten with it ever since the day it was sent for review last year.

We have put many, many kilometres on the scooter. Most of those were in the seated position. Hannah always wears her helmet (despite some desperate pleas from time to time), but we had so far managed to avoid any serious accidents… until now.


Learning to Scoot

Recently we made the transition from the seated to the standing position. While Hannah loved the seated position, she was beginning to show signs of wanting to be more actively involved in the scooting process. We decided it was time to teach her how to properly scoot.

Yesterday, we headed to Carss Bush Park. It has a wonderful bike track that is the perfect place to begin learning how to scoot in earnest. The main idea of the day was to teach Hannah how to push herself along with her foot. After a little while, we had great success. Hannah practiced the motion of pushing along with her foot, while I slowly pulled the scooter. She had a great day!

We decided to back up that success with a trip to the Botany Bay foreshore today. Once again, Hannah rode her scooter with increasing confidence and with the understanding that she is supposed to use her foot to push along. Again, I helped her by gently pulling the scooter along.

After a while, Hannah was looking pretty good! She seemed to be well in control, so it was time to loosen the reins and let her scoot along independently. All she needed was a little push every now and then to keep her going.


Scooter Fall
Hannah has begun using her foot to push her scooter


Independence and Danger Go Hand in Hand

Of course, increased independence means increased danger. With no parental hand in control, accidents will happen, sooner or later. For Hannah today, it was sooner.
Just minutes in to her newfound scooting independence, Hannah came unstuck in the most spectacular of ways – face-first over the handlebars. She had been leaning too far forward, and as she hit a crack in the pavement, the scooter stopped and over she went.

Emma and I rushed to pick Hannah up. She screamed, and rightfully so. She had used her chin to break the fall and the result was a large graze and a cut tongue. Blood wept from the wound, it was a disturbing sight for a parent who is not used to seeing his child in pain.

Emma scooped Hannah up and she balled even more. She seemed, almost immediately, to become even more distressed. Emma and I looked at each other. Perhaps Hannah was seriously hurt. Perhaps she had hurt her head in the fall as well as her chin, despite the protection offered by the helmet. The seconds ticked by and we didn’t know what to do. Hannah grew more and more inconsolable and she became very squirmy in Emma’s arms.


See that crack up ahead? Hannah got to know it… intimately.


Back on the Horse

Eventually we understood what was going on. Hannah wasn’t inconsolable because of the fall. She was upset because her scooting adventure had been cut short. Despite the blood gushing from her face, all she wanted was to climb back aboard and carry on her adventure. The physical pain from the fall had been intense, but it had also been momentary. Hannah had felt the impact, but then she had moved on.
Once back on her ride, all was good again in Hannah’s world (albeit with slightly less freedom than before). She was a happy little toddler as she rode most of the way back to the car.

I have no idea what people walking the other way must have thought. They would have seen a toddler in a blood-soaked t-shirt, with even more blood dripping from her chin, riding along on her scooter with a big grin on her face.

It was not a pretty sight, but it was the best way to deal with the situation. We couldn’t clean Hannah up properly until we reached the car, and for Hannah, getting back on the scooter straight after a fall was a pretty brave move. There was no way that I was going to stop her from doing that.

All is Well That Ends Well

We returned to the car and cleaned Hannah up. By that time she was asking for a banana, so we found a quiet place to sit and eat a snack. Hannah happily sat and munched her banana, then a rice cracker. She was in good spirits and totally unaware of how busted up her face looked.
I tried to get Hannah to show me the inside of her mouth. Through the cracker crumbs and bits of banana I could see that any bleeding inside her mouth had stopped, so that was a relief (also, sometimes being a parent is really, really gross).

Accidents are an inevitable part of childhood. They come with the natural inclination of kids to push limits and experience the world around them. Through such accidents, children learn lessons, and adults do too. Today Hannah learnt more about scooting, and she will be better at it because of it. Today I learnt more about the resilience of a remarkable little girl. I am a better father because of it.

8 thoughts on “The First Fall

  • at

    She is amazing!!! I was ridiculously clumsy and by the time I was 3 years old, I had scars on both knees from repeated falls. I had to wear knee pads to school for years before I could take them off…then I immediately fell and needed stitches on my knees – those pads came right back out! All of this long winded story I’ve been telling leads to my point – a kid who gets right back out there will always find a way to conquer life! What a proud papa moment that must have been to realize Hannah wanted to get back out there.

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      She really is! I don’t think I would have been jumping straight back on.

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  • at

    It’s awesome that she was so eager to get back on the scooter. My girls (almost 5 and 3) got roller skates for Christmas. They’re getting the hang of learning to balance on them, and obviously aren’t ready to skate without us holding their hands, so taking a big tumble hasn’t happened yet. I know it’s coming though — hopefully they’ll be as eager to jump back up and keep trying.

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      It’s all part of the learning process. Good luck!

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    Oh I remember those days and put what my dad taught me into practice at the ripe old age of mumble mumble last summer when I wiped out on my bike. You go girl!

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    oh bless her, she must’ve been quite shook up but well done to her for getting back on, tell her it’s not just little girls who have these accidents, sounds similar to one I had on a scooter at the age of 44, I didn’t get back on

  • at

    What a tough little cookie! Good for her. It’s a tricky time learning all of these new life skills.
    Hopefully many happy safe hours of scootering are ahead for her 😀

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