Today’s dispatch comes to you from my couch after a long day at the ER with Maggie. I’ll ruin the suspense and tell you up front that the three of us (me, Maggie, and 2.0) are okay but in varying degrees of discomfort. Baby 2 fared best with absolutely no discernible injury and has been merrily thocking me in the ribs all day long. So here’s what happened and here’s why you should never show motivation, EVER.
In the spirit of preparedness, Maggie and I have been “playing school” for the last few weeks. This is an attempt to work in educational activities so when we start using formal homeschooling curricula when Maggie is older, we already have an established rhythm to our day that allows me to slip it in without her noticing. As far as she’s concerned, it’s ALL fun and fingerpaints and playing with special blocks and puzzles. It’s a good time and we both enjoy it quite a bit. And in establishing this rhythm for our days, I’ve been working on our weekly rhythms which include Field Trip Wednesdays.
This is all by way of telling you why I was wearing socks.
I hate socks. Hate shoes. But you need both for scrambling over boulders at Brimham Rocks and so was I thus clad in nice thick hiking socks for our outing today. And while carrying Maggie down our hall stairs, because sometimes it is just easier to pick up a toddler and move them to where you want them to be, those thick hiking socks met the slippery fibers of our high-traffic-area semi-industrial carpeting and whoosh! Out from under me came my feet.
It’s terrifying when you slip holding your child. Terrifying. Doubly so when you are on an incline like stairs. Add in pregnancy on top of all that? Most agonizing few seconds of your entire life. I fell backwards and Maggie fell forwards with her head ending up by my knees and I LANDED on her left leg and against the stairs. Then we slid as I tried desperately to get her out from under me and into my lap. If I broke an ankle or whatever at the bottom of the stairs, so be it, but the only two thoughts in my head were “Get Maggie UP” and “Oh God. The baby. The baby.”
And we kept sliding.
Fortunately a preliminary check showed that Maggie seemed unbroken–no swelling, no bruising–and as we fell I got ahold of her arms which kept her upper body, head and neck from crashing against the stairs. I brought her into the living room to comfort her and then I realized–she couldn’t stand up. Couldn’t bear any weight on her left leg at all. Shit. So off to the ER we went.
Now, here’s some highlights from bringing a child with extreme stranger phobia and control issues to the emergency room:
- Doctors kicked in the face: 1
- Nurses informed “Do not come back in the room”: 1
- Sets of X-rays required because of baby-panic: 2
- Number of technicians required to restrain child for X-rays: 3
- Number of mothers who, due to pregnancy, had to hide in the lead-paneled X-ray control room and couldn’t help: 1
- Number of scratch marks left on technician’s face: 2
Number of mothers who were mortified because really, the kid is not THAT HURT if she’s just chilling on the gurney playing with Duplos and perusing Thomas the Tank Engine in between examinations: 1. Unless you saw her try to stand up you’d never know she was hurt.
I did discover something interesting about Maggie: she might be on the table being examined for fractures and other injuries to her leg, but if her personal safety feels threatened she will kick you with that self-same leg and the pain it may cause her be damned. Anyway, she’s not fractured in any way but she did twist up her ankle, knee, and hip–they seem to be equally affected–and she’s going to have to stay off it for a few days with a re-exam on Friday. My back is a sheet of fire but 2.0 is thumping away with no bleeding, spotting, or suspicious amniotic leaks to report so overall? We were LUCKY. SO LUCKY.
But I still have to figure out how to keep a toddler immobilized for the next 48 hours without trying to walk on her bad leg. After a few hours of that this afternoon Maggie decided not walking was bullshit and got really, really frustrated. I feel terrible for her because she’s two! Of COURSE she wants to get up and move. She doesn’t want me to deliver puzzles and books to her comfy chair; she wants to Do It Herself. It’s a trait I totally admire but in this specific instance I wish she was slightly more co-dependent and lazy so we can get through the next 48 hours.
Wish us luck while Maggie heals up. It’s going to be a long few days of trying to entertain her unless she figures out how to use a Tiny Tim crutch.
And let this be a lesson to you: slow down. Don’t overstuff your day. And don’t wear socks.