Monday, 18 March 2013

... My experience with Mom Guilt: My sons first injury....

My son, the little tornado that he is, has just acquired the skill of being able to pull himself up on everything.  Absolutely everything.  Did I mention he is only 8 months?  I swear to you I blinked and the child went from a beached seal doing yoga tricks to the holy terror of fearlessness.  *blink* Oh shit, he's pulling himself up on the dishwasher where there are sparkling clean knifes. *blink* Dammit, how'd he get to the stove so fast.  Don't pull yourself up on the warming drawer! *blink* How the hell did you get to the bathroom, and don't you dare pull yourself up on that... toilet. *blink*  

The child is able to teleport himself ALL over the house to dangerous areas.  (On his 11th birthday, I fully expect to have an owl come to my house inviting him to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.)  He pulls himself up to stand on absolutely anything (the more hazardous the better) and proudly eyeballs me while bouncing up and down on the spot-- essentially laughing in my face, taunting my blood pressure to dangerous levels.  So as you can imagine I'm totally on edge, laying on the floor eye-spying the entire house for any I-can-climb-up-here-and-lose-a-limb-while-eating-poision kind of area.  Smugly, I think I baby-proofed this house like a boss so, of course, the universe had to teach my over-confident self a lesson.

And here's when the event-that-shall-not-be-named begins.  I had to get dressed, and toted my baby wizard upstairs with me, along with some of his toys, to our room.  I can outsmart an eight month old right?  Closed the door, dropped to the floor on my belly --double checked the room.  Whoops!  Grabbed the iPod charger out of the wall.  Ok, I think I got everything.  Down to the floor you go little man, play on playa.  

I turn my head for 2 seconds.  Two.  Seconds.  Just long enough to grab my 'good-wear' yoga pants out of the drawer when I hear the most blood curdling scream.  My worst nightmare has come to life, my heart is in my throat and I'm about to throw up.  In the TWO seconds it took me to turn away, my son pulled himself up on our super tall book shelf.  He somehow, with his super ninja magic skills, levitated to grab the second shelf.  (Wingardium leviosa!)  But when he needed to steady himself -- he grabbed a hard cover book called "How to Deal With Having the Worst Mother in the World" and of course he fell backwards and the book fell directly on his left temple, barely missing his eye. 

Now I'm having a panic attack.  Things are swelling, there's for sure a scrape.  I don't know if he's concussed.  Shit.  Shit.  Shit.  I am bear hugging my child for dear life as he bellows like a banshee, tears streaming down my face because I have just nearly killed my child.  I start singing his bedtime lullaby, he starts to settle.  I must have kissed the top of his head and apologized a thousand times with so much guilt.  He calms down, the bruise is forming and it's almost nap time.  My head is spinning, I don't know what I should do.  I know it's not life threatening, there's no gushing blood.  But my precious perfect baby has a scrape, and now some bruising and it's so close to his eye.  What if it's a concussion.  What if I am not over reacting and I put him to sleep and he doesn't wake up.  Ever.  Must.  Calm.  Down.  Maybe I should take him to the hospital.  Oh shit, what are they going to think?  They're going to question me like I'm some kind of child abuser.  Oh dear God.  

Out of shear panic of my child being taken away from me by protective services, I call my husband at work to confess of my terrible parenting.  He calms me down, but suggests to call teleheath (a toll-free number in Ontario where you can talk to a nurse who will access your concerns and make suggestions on home care or whether or not you should go to the hospital).  Ok, good idea.   

Ever call there?  It's a consistent gong show.  I don't know why they're my first choice every time I have something the matter with me.  But it never fails -- I call them, just to get the reassurance I need.  At this point I'm pretty certain everything is ok.  My son has completely settled down -- he seems totally fine but I just need to ease my mind.  As I carry my precious baby boy tighter than ever, my guilt rises in my throat each time I catch a glimpse of his war wound.  I dial the number and I get the nurse on the phone.  Now prepare yourself for the most idiotic conversation, EVER.  

Nurse:     Hi Ma'am, how old is your son?

Me:    8 months old.

Nurse:     How much does he weigh?

Me:    22 pounds.

Nurse:     And what is the reason for your call?

Me:     My spiderman child climbed up a bookshelf and pulled a hardcover book on his head.  Specifically on his temple.  

Nurse:    Is he bleeding?

Me:     Nope. (probably would have just taken him to the emergency if that was the case...)

Nurse:     Is he convulsing?

Me:     Uhh, (confused...) nope.  (definitely would have called 911 if that was the case...)

Nurse:     Is he responsive?

Me:     Ummmm, (completely bewildered...) yesss.  

What the hell???  Do you think I would stay on the line this long if my child was passed out in a pool of his blood having a seizure?  Really.  REALLY?! Breathe Stephanie.  Moving on...  

Nurse:     Is he having trouble walking?

Me:     Uh, absolutely.  He's an eight month old baby.

Nurse:     But is he wobbling when he walks?

Me:     Umm, he doesn't walk.  He's a baby.

Nurse:     Oh, ok.  Alright.  *pause*  Is he talking confused?

Me:     Yah see, he doesn't talk because he's an EIGHT month old baby.

Nurse:     Yes, I know that but when he talks -- is it confused babbling that doesn't make any sense?

Me:     (You've got to be kidding me...) ...uh, yeah... when he babbles -- it makes no sense, because... He's.  A.  Baby.  

Nurse:     But does he sound confused?

Me:     Well, he seems about as level headed as he usually is. (...seriously, I give up..)

Nurse:     Ok, can he see?

Me:     From what I can tell.

Nurse:     Is his vision blurry?

Me:     *silence*  He is an 8 month old baby, I really don't know how you expect me to answer these questions.

Moral of the story.  Call telehealth of you're in need of something to distract you from almost killing your child.  By the end of this conversation, I seriously was so dumbfounded by the questions that I actually started scribbling them down for this blog because they were so off-the-wall.  I almost forgot that I felt like the worst mother in the world.  

In the end, he was fine.  No concussion.  Perfectly a-okay except he's marred with a scrape on his face that is a constant reminder of how quickly things can happen.  I seriously have pictured the whole scenario over and over again in my head with the bookshelf falling and seriously injuring him as the alternate ending.  And now I have nightmares of him eating toilet bowl cleaner and other horrible poisons and having to rush him to the hospital, with that helpless 'I'm hurt Mommy' look on his face.  A manifestation of my mom-guilt I'm sure.  

Being a parent is so hard for so many reasons but one seems to take the cake.  A piece of your heart is forever outside of your body, free to roam this big bad dangerous world.  I know he'll never remember the first time he got hurt, and later he'll only remember that Mama hugs and kisses make everything better -- but I'll never forget that scream nor will I be able to rid myself of the enormous rock of guilt smack dab at the bottom of my stomach.  I now completely understand my parents stalking phone calls, needing to know where I've been and what time I've gotten there even when I'm a 31 year old adult mother of her own child.  This boy is my world, the love I feel for him is indescribable, I wish I could protect him from everything.  Now where's the magic spell for that Dumbledore?  Protetum Mybabyboyus!

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