Monday, August 30, 2010

How many times a day can your child bleed before it starts to become a reflection on your parenting?

Is it less than 3? If it's less than 3, I'm in trouble.

Last Thursday was one of those days. I woke up feeling like crap and realizing that motherhood did not come with any sick days - damn. I figured I'd muscle through it and decided to take the baby for a walk. Muscle through it, my butt... I was barely hobbling home wondering how long it would take me to get the monkey out of the stroller and into the bathroom with me. I moved the baby gates to make the bathroom accessible - I had no time for this. By the 4th or so trip in, she had no time for this either. But I managed to control her ire via tv watching. We usually try to minimize this. Not so on Thursday. Look - we have a collection of vintage episodes of the Muppets right here! (Then in a fit of self pity, I even put on the movie I'd been watching the night before.)

Anyway, eventually I felt better, so on with the day and errands. As usual, the monkey was opposed to the nap concept, so I had to trick her into it with a car ride. But unusually I was actually able to transfer her from the car seat to her crib so I could lay down too - maybe my day was looking up! Of course, that transfer always means that the nap will not be long.

But, as she'd napped, I decided we could go to the pool. Despite the fact that she was really still overtired and a bit cranky. And the problem with a tired toddler is that they're sort of like little drunks. Flitting from one thing to another on unsteady feet - and they fall down. A lot.

So in my brilliance, I'd taken this small person ready to fall down to a concrete filled area. The possibilities are well, not really endless. In fact, they are pretty limited to the obvious bad thing that's about to happen (cue after school special music).

We were there about an hour before the big fall. I ran and checked her knees and hands glad there were no (more) scrapes. But I soon realized that that was because she'd managed to take quite a bit of the fall with her forehead. Oh jeez! Luckily it wasn't actually that bad (technically, she didn't actually bleed, which my friend insisted meant that it shouldn't count in my accident numbers for the day). I went to the lifeguards (always Eastern European youths, it seems. I have no idea why this is) to ask for ice. One checked the first aid kit and reported, no we don't have any. I went to get her a cold/wet cloth from the bathroom (only it wasn't that cold) and when we came back out, he told me - oh, we found some in the refridgerator (what a place to look for it!). Here, I wrapped it in cotton (meaning, stuck a half dozen cotton balls around it, which are thick enough to not conduct the cold at all) for you.

He then followed me back to our stuff as I tried to put the ice on her head (this is what the monkey considers adding insult to injury or are you effing kidding me?) and get her changed so we could go. The lifeguard then asked me - how did this happen?

Now I know that he might be 17 (in 3 years) and obviously does not have kids or much exposure to small children and he's male and all that, but it was the Mom in me that responded - she was walking. She's a toddler. She's not very good at it yet and she falls down sometimes. (I tried to hide the silent duh in that sentence. I know it's not fair. I mean, among other things - there ARE in fact other ways she could have hurt herself like getting in or out of the pool or... well, maybe that's it. And it's probably just a standard question they need to ask for reports. It was just that his tone seemed so perplexed - like, wow, how did this happen?!)

Anyway, the lifeguard was very nice and did try to play with her / distract her some. I just wasn't having such a good day...

So we went home.

And a couple hours later I decided to make dinner. And as I turned on the oven, the monkey started climbing into her high chair. I hate that she does this. I always want to hover and hold and "help." She's so little. The floor is so far away. But I can't actually seem to stop this from happening. So I just live with the heart palpitations. But I must have gotten too used to my fear - as rather than run to help her, I actually went to turn off the oven (if she was already climbing into her chair, she was hungry. I clearly didn't have time to bake chicken nuggets (oh yeah, I'm a regular Betty Crocker) and would have to nuke them.

And in that second, she fell.

And there was wailing and gnashing of teeth.

And blood.

Oh how I hate that sight.

She was fine in the end. As much as she would let me look in her mouth, it didn't appear that any teeth were chipped or knocked out (wouldn't it be nice if I could get the first set in before she's spitting them into her sippy cup?) - just blood. It looked like she'd bit / somehow split her lip (well, a little).

The Muppets were brought back out (why not rot her mind at this point too?) to soothe and she decided she liked the little ice pack things. And I think she particularly liked getting to eat chicken nuggets on the couch with the tv on (like the grown ups do! Well, not that she'd know that... I hope!).

And I prayed for bedtime to arrive fast and without further injury.

God help us.


  1. Ugh! The ER doctor told me that he thought I was really raising boys and not girls because he saw us so much. I felt like some agency was going to pay us a visit, especially after my daughter stuck a wooden dowel into the back of her throat. Makes it look like we don't even watch the kids!!! Hang in there!

  2. I sympathize. Like you wouldn't believe. The Cute climbs and runs and plays and ka-boom. And she cries and I cry and she gets over it and not.

    Let's wallow in guilt together.

    The other day she seemed like she would take a nap and I really wanted to take a shower without her pulling out the shower curtain and flooding the floor. I put her in her crib. I heard her jumping on the mattress in there. I thought about taking her out. I got in the shower. I heard her cry. I thought it was just a 'come get me now' kind of cry. Couldn't hear the full fury of it through the water running. Showered quickly. Got out. No crying. Heard her playing. Dried off and went to get her since she wasn't sleeping. Blood. Everywhere.

    She had hit her chin on the crib rail and bit her lip. Her sweet face was covered in blood and she was crying and I just kept showering.

    Diagnosis: Mommy guilt. There is no cure. But it is quite common.


I love comments! Come leave me some blog love!