Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I know I said in the last post that I didn't want to bitch.
So last week Robbie went on a last-minute business trip (the first of two this month I might add) and left me alone with both kids for the first time. The idea of being alone with both of them for an entire week has terrified me so much that I actually had my mom fly out from Utah for the last business trip. Yes, I am a wimp.
But to give you an idea of why I was so terrified, the last time I was alone with Emerson for a week and pregnant with Fionn, Emerson decided one night that he was not going to sleep. Ever. After several hours of begging, threatening, soothing and even walking away, he threw a tantrum the likes of which I had never seen. It ended with him purposely projectile vomiting his entire dinner all over his clothing, crib and floor.
This time, I made it through Monday without a major hitch because Robbie's aunt and uncle graciously agreed to watch the boys for four hours while I was in class - giving me enough time to recharge. Tuesday also went well and I was feeling pretty darn smug when Robbie called at 10pm and I could report that both boys were fed, bathed, books read, teeth brushed and fast asleep. But just as I fell asleep that night, I thought, "Don't get too confident this early - that's like thinking you can run a marathon because you made it to the end of your street without passing out."
The next morning, Emerson proved this to be wise advice. An unfortunate event involving his new-found ability to unbuckle his booster seat belt buckle and a pair of footie pajamas ended with him slipping out of his seat and hitting the floor - but not before smacking his giant noggin on our wood table. Looking back, I am still amazed at how quickly an egg-sized black lump appeared on his forehead.
Me, being the cool cucumber I am, scooped him up and preceded to run around the house gasping "oh my god, oh my god" while simultaneously scrolling through my cell phone trying to figure out who to call first, wondering if it would be callous to change out of my pajamas before taking him to the emergency room, and trying to soothe two crying children. I quickly decided to call the pediatrician and then as the nurse came onto the phone and I started to explain the story, I looked down and realized his nose was bleeding on my shirt. I discovered later that he bumped the end of his nose on the table too, but at the time I thought he had hit his head so hard that he was internally bleeding. I immediately felt ridiculous for not calling an ambulance and tried to get off of the phone with the nurse, but she managed to tell me over the crying and commotion that I didn't need to take him anywhere.
She calmly explained that the bruising was a good sign because it meant he wasn't swelling or bleeding internally. I had a hard time believing this, but I followed her instructions to give him some Tylenol and a cold pack and let him rest. I was also supposed to keep an eye out for any unusual behaviors in the next 24 hours. (When I recounted the story to Robbie later on, he burst out laughing at this part. "Unusual behavior - like standing in the corner or putting buckets on your head or doing strange dances? How would we know with Emerson?")
Sure enough, his nose stopped bleeding almost right away and he laid down and took his regular nap. The nurse assured me it was ok for him to sleep, but I left him on my lap and nursed Fionn to sleep so I could watch them both softly breathing. For the first time, I noticed the slim blue vein in Fionn's neck pulsing with every heartbeat as he slept. I sat there watching it for an hour, mesmerized and comforted by this reminder of their vitality.
When all was said and done, Emerson had a giant bruise that shone like a black and blue beacon on the center of his pale forehead. This meant that I got to relive the story over and over every time we went out in public and people pulled out their cellphones - ready to dial CPS.
The rest of the week didn't fare any better - including an incident where I accidentally threw away my license and debit card and didn't realize it until days later when I went to pay for an entire grocery cart full of food (sorry Randazzo's produce market), Robbie forgot to do anything for Mother's Day, and a strange woman decided to offer me unwarranted and unsolicited parenting advice, so of course we ran into her again at the park....just as Emerson and Fionn both erupted into major temper tantrums over the swings.
I recount these events for four reasons 1) to offer birth control for my friends who don't have children 2) to offer reassurance that kids are resilient for my friends who do have children 3) to express my undying respect for single parents everywhere, and 4) to give my children proof that I was a horrible mother when they go into therapy someday.
The bright spot in the past couple of weeks was a two-day trip to Chicago for our first-ever albinism conference! But that's another post for another day...hopefully a better day.