It is a truth, universally acknowledged, that a mother in possession of young children must be in want of a nap. Or a do over day. She may sometimes even want whole days blotted out. And so, these mothers blog as a way of cleansing, to rid the craziness onto paper (or a computer screen) where it can leave the body and stay electronically locked away until she is ready to laugh about the chaos years (or days) down the road.
I was just such a mother today.
And today was such a day.
It all began at breakfast. I was making some yerba mate and it boiled all over my stove. I realized we were out of milk, so I needed to boil some eggs for the boys before they went to school/work. There was only one burner that was not covered in sticky mate which I used for the eggs. I finished cooking the eggs and began to peel them for the kids. As I was doing that, Keith put a bag of bread on the hot burner thus melting the bag and making the burner unusable. And then Beth fell.
She was standing, using a stool for balance and she fell backwards hitting her head. Just like she does fifty times a day. Like a normal baby who is trying to figure out the whole bipedal part of life. She cried, I picked her up. She got sick all over me. And that is when my hypochondriac brain kicked into high gear. Because when it comes to my kids, I am even more of a hypochondriac and worrier than I am for myself.
I knew that throwing up after getting a bump on the head is a sign of a concussion. As is dilated eyes. Like a stalker I obsessively checked her eyes every few minutes, dreading a dilated pupil.
When I was holding her, she was fine. If I set her down, she cried again. Her balance was lousy, and she kept trying to go to sleep, which both are very uncharacteristic of her. So I called the doctor's office. They told me to go to the emergency room and get a ct scan done immediately.
I hung up the phone, sat on my bed and hugged my baby close. My eyes stung with tears of worry and the stench of the sick all over my shirt. Beth squirmed, but didn't want me to put her down, and I sat on my bed, worrying. We don't have insurance and the emergency is ridiculous for those with no insurance. I didn't want to pay so much just to have a doctor say to watch her, and that she would be fine, because Beth didn't really hit her head any harder than she does every day all day long. And the worry and self doubt grew and grew inside of me. I called everyone I could think of for advice. My mother, my mother in law, my brother the doctor, my cousin (who is a pediatric nurse practitioner). No one was home. I called Jeffrey at work and we discussed things, and I worried and second guessed myself and I watched Beth like a starving cat watches a lethargic mouse. I finally decided to take her in.
As I was driving Faye to my friend's house to watch her while I spent a good part of the morning at the hospital with the baby, I got a hold of a friend who I had remembered had had a baby with a concussion the year before. She was home! Through conversing with her, I was able to learn what to actually look for and make a better informed decision. By the time I ended my conversation with her, I was heavily leaning to not going. When I got to my other friend's house to drop Faye off, I learned that she, too, had dealt with a concussed child. We discussed other ways to tell if I should be worried about my baby, and after discussing with her for 5 minutes or so, I was tipped off the fence into the not taking her yard. It was a relief, but the whole morning had been so emotionally exhausting!
She is fine now, just for the record. Thank heavens!
But wait, that is not all!
Remember how Faye had scissors yesterday? She claims she lost them and couldn't give them to me. Today I discovered Rapunzel had also received a haircut, Keith's ball had been popped by Faye, and she cut some big holes into her sheets. As I was trying to figure out what to do for dinner tonight, she played quietly in her room...
... with an orange sharpie.
Everyone with small children knows that silence is dangerous. When I caught on to what she was doing, she had colored her closet door, because she doesn't like that it is white. Same for her green polka-dot pillow case. It now has pictures on it. As well as her fingernails and toenails (she actually did an impressive job on those two), and her dolls. Both Rapunzel and Maddie are covered in orange sharpie. Maddie did get the worst of it, though.
After I took the marker away from her, she was trying to climb up her window to the ceiling and fell, slicing her hand open, bleeding profusely. When that was under wraps, I went back to the kitchen where I remembered I couldn't cook on the stove as it was still covered in plastic from the bread bag, and I was still out of milk.
At that point, I was coming to the conclusion it really was a terrible horrible no good, very bad day.
I took the kids with me to the store to get groceries and Faye decided it would be funny to hide from me. 4 times. She was nearly left at the store because hiding from Mommy is a great game, she thought.
When we got home, I put myself in time out.
And then I made dinner, Jeffrey put the kids to bed, and I gazed around at my messy kitchen and in exhaustion, happily smiled. Because kitchens keep, and I can sleep, and there is no one here to judge me for it. I can always clean and have a perfect day tomorrow.
A perfect day with time for a nap.
Because tomorrow will be fresh and I just may get that piano I found!