These are the two things I wish I could add to my life, but cannot.
I would love to wrap Michael up with bubble wrap every morning to keep him safe throughout the day. It seems he’s inherited the accident prone gene from Aunt Bubbles.* In the past year, the poor child has already managed to fall down cement stairs, ripping up his face; and to get his finger caught in a door, breaking the finger and eventually losing the nail. He’s finally gotten to the point where the pink mark over his eye is gone, and the finger nail is just about grown in. So, there are no more visual reminders of the boo boos that I would gladly have suffered in his place.
The first thing that Michael said to me on Monday when he got home was, “my knee hurts.” I hadn’t even gotten him out of his car seat yet. Normally, he fights to get down as soon as I get him out of the car. You know, so that he can chase the neighbor’s cat, throw rocks at someone’s car, or otherwise terrorize the neighborhood. However, he didn’t try to run off when I put him down. Instead he stood there. Finally, he took a step. He limped, said “ouch”, and started to cry.
That’s when that feeling set in. That sinking feeling in my stomach that happens anytime I’m concerned about my little boy. That feeling I really wish I would never feel again.
My mom explained that she wasn’t sure what happened to his leg. He tripped over some of his train tracks, and cried, but it didn’t seem that bad until after his nap. There were no cuts or scraps. Nothing looked swollen or out of place. No bruises. It didn’t hurt to the touch. Whatever was wrong, it was internal.
So, my mind started spinning. Do we go to the doctor? Maybe we should just head straight to the ER, that’s where the doctor will send us anyway. What about dinner? Oh no, it’s rush hour. The best ER for kids is a long drive. Can we wait until traffic dies down? What are these people going to think? X-rays again? We were just in a few months ago.
Calm down. Take a deep breath. Think.
I ended up bringing Michael in and placed him on the sofa. I got him a hot bottle (I know, I know) and let him watch a little TV. When the milk was done, I manage to convince him that I really didn’t want him to eat these two yummy, pink candies that could not possibly really be Tylenol. He tried walking again, but cried, so I put him back on the sofa.
Little by little, he seemed to perk up. By dinner time, he was able to limp to his chair. When he was done eating, he really pushed to get down. We needed to run some errands, and all the neighborhood kids were out when we got home. Michael hopped down from the car, and ran right over to play. Whatever was wrong earlier seemed to have resolved itself. Michael was no worse for the wear.
Me, I’m still a little upset about it. That sinking feeling doesn’t just go away. In fact, I think they just keep building on one another, and you feel each one over again anytime something happens. It really does make me wish I could just wrap him in bubble wrap to keep him safe all the time. I know it wouldn’t work. I know we’ll go through this feeling again and again. But, I can dream.
What’s the plastic wrap for, you ask? My furniture. My carpet. My clothes. Pretty much anything that can’t be wiped off with a towel. While Michael manages to harm himself now and again, he’s really mastered the art of harming my stuff. Frequently. My poor sofa will never be the same.
*Aunt Bubbles is my sister, Christine. She did not get this nick name through her warm, bubbly outlook on life. She got it because she has the rare, and disgusting, ability to blow spit bubbles on her tongue and launch them in the air. You now, the kind of thing a two year old thinks is the coolest skill in the world.