Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Scarred for life

We've gone six years of raising children without a visit to the emergency room, so I guess we were long overdue. The incident actually happened about 2 weeks ago, the stitches are already out.

I was running errands with Bonuts and Babe. We had gone to the post office and stopped for some treats and were on our way home. Babe was doing his crazy monkey walk and running off in the opposite direction from where we were headed. Bonuts tried to steer her brother in the right direction by tackling him (her normal M.O.). They happened to fall against the bottom rim of a storefront window trimmed with sharpe metal and .... the blood began to flow.

Babe only cried for a minute - he couldn't see the gash or the blood - and couldn't figure out what the big hoopla was about. Bonuts, on the other hand, about lost it. She knew the accident was partly her part and was frightened of the blood and began a guilty chant of "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry....." - with her big blue eyes looking so very worried. She almost started to hyperventilate and wanted me to carry her and reassure her. Meanwhile, we were a ten minute walk from the house and I was trying to jog along holding Babe while stopping the blood flow. Ironically, having Bonuts near hysteria help to keep me calm because I didn't want to upset her any further. We walked home and arranged for a babysitter for Bonuts and to have Sunshine picked up off the school bus and then Babe and I headed for the hospital.

By this time the blood had congealed his right eye closed and mixed in with his tears and boogers so it looked a lot worse than it really was. All the nurses at the emergency room were amazed at how calm and collected he was. He was very intrigued with his image in the mirror. His "Pinky the Pig" got some blood on him (his winter coat was really gross) and Babe concerned himself with trying to wash and dry the blood off Pinky. He would tell Pinky that "It's OK," and give him lots of kisses and stroke his head just as I was trying to comfort Babe.

The emergency room doctor asked if I wouldn't mind waiting a few extra minutes while he cleared the emergency room of other toddlers and children who would probably get more frightened when hearing Babe's screams as they stitched him up. They brought in a bright blue gurney with thick velcro strapes to tie down toddlers' arms and legs while the doctor works. I tried to butter Babe up by explaining that that was a "Blue Bed for Big Boys with Boo-Boo's" but he wasn't buying it. "Scared! Scared!" he whispered with his arms clasped hard around my neck. I didn't even know he knew that word or how to describe his feelings that way. He was too small for the gurney so they made a makeshift straight-jacket out of a pillow case to tie his hands up under the velcro straps. Oh, he HATED that!

The doctor warned that most kids will treat the parent that accompanies them to the ER with distain because they associate them with the trauma. But Babe just crawled right up into my arms and held on for dear life. Between me and his thumb and Pinky he recovered fairly quickly.

The grand total was 7 stitches on the surface and two underneath. They were in for 5 days and came out last Wednesday. Looks a little like baby Frankenstein, especially on his perfect little head, but with sunscreen and vitamin E, I think he will turn out OK.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Return of the "Prodigal Cow"

All the children have a "special friend" - a favorite stuffed animal they have loved to death and cuddled till there are bald patches as if the creatures are in the midst of chemo treatments: Sunshine has "Duckie," Bonuts has "Cowie" and Babe has "Pinky" - the Pig. Not very original in the naming, I'm afraid.

Anyway, Cowie went MISSING over a month ago - disappeared into thin air. We searched everywhere, tore the house up and down, looked all over Bonut's usual haunts: church, the mini-van, the playroom, closets... But he was gone.

Bonuts bore it like a champ with a few tears and the self-preserving explanation the he had gone off with the Wonderpets, from the kids' TV show of the same name. They save other baby animals that are in danger while singing all their lines in childish operatic lisps. Bonuts loves the show. She said that Cowie was somewhere in the wild performing noble feats and when his job was done, he would be home to tell her of his adventures. It was a better explanation than I could come up with.

Yesterday, the snow finally melted. DH was cleaning up the backyard and came across Cowie frozen solid as an ice sculpture on the horsey swing. A noisy half hour banging around in the dryer to thaw and he was human again. Dh put Cowie under Bonut's covers to suprize her when she came home from school.

Oh, she was ecstatic!!! Dh told her that Cowie had been on adventures in Africa and was exhausted from his fighting and the journey home. But over the course of the next few days, when Cowie had rested, he would tell her of his exploits - one story a night till all was confessed.

Tonight Cowie told of his rescue of a baby snake by using the Mother snake as a rope. He had wanted to return home to the Mellenpatch, especialy for the holidays, but the Wonderpets begged him to complete a few more secret missions and he complied.

Dh is such a wonderful father. A storyteller. His children adore him.

Friday, January 4, 2008

New Year's Eve/ Sunshine's B-Day celebrations

January is always a very busy month for us. Sunshine's birthday is the 3rd, Dh's is later in the month and of course New Year's celebrations. We were intending to go visit Dh's sister and family in Kalamazoo, MI since I had two nights off the show, but with snowfall predicted, we cancelled those plans and just stayed in. At the last minute, we had our good friends and neighbors, the Arrigos, over for a quick dinner and play date and small 9pm New Years Eve celebration. The kids don't know the difference in time. I had hats and silly string and poppers and horns to blows - plus pots and pans to bang. What more could infants through 6 year olds need to party hard?! We had a little dance party and then a count down and all children were in bed by 10pm. Dh and I just watched the ball lower and piddled around working on our own things.

Dh has made me the most wonderful XMas present - a compilation of all our video footage and best snap shots going back 6 years to when the first child was born. It's a 2 DVD box set and Grandparents - Yes, you will be receiving your own private copies to enjoy. It's been wonderful to see all the old footage and watch the kids grow and thrive and entertain. It makes me realize that we are OK parents when I see all that joy and attempts to create fun memories.

Sunshine turned 6 this week. The day before her birthday she asked for an American Girl doll. To which I responded that they were way too expensive and would cost half of the Disneyland money she has saved up. I reminded her that IF she read all the books (meaning 5 books for each doll and I think there are 7 or 8 of them by now) - then she could choose her favorite and I'd get it for her then. I figure that gives me a good 2-3 year window of savings. Then, out of the blue, one of her babysitters, Melanie (age 13 and far to mature for American Girl dolls now), overheard her request and offered her old Kit doll with broken legs to Dh to fix and give to Sunshine for her birthday. Dh fixed the doll up just fine (if you don't mind a phallic plastic piece between her legs holding them on) and we snuck the doll into Sunshine's bed to surprize her. She LOVED it! "See Mom, you just have to have faith! You ask for something out loud and Heavenly Father makes it happen sooner or later." Of course, it helps when Mom and Dad overhear the request and put balls in motion, but Yes, another child's prayer was unexpectantly answered.

Another reason to celebrate - I was able to help at the birth of one of my Bradley couples Jan. 2nd and help them achieve their goal of a drug free birth. It's so empowering to me to see these amazing couples work so hard to bring life into the world and see them grow in self-confidence. The moment when a Mommy first gazes into her baby's eyes makes it all worth it. What a rush for everyone involved!