Tag Archives: booboo

BC / AD (Before Children / After Darlings)


Before our kids were born, my husband and I would spend hours talking about what we wanted for our children, how we would raise them, how we would discipline them, what wnderful parents we would be, who would be bad cop, and so on.. Of course once they were born, none of those conversations mattered, our conversations were more along the lines of: who made the last bottle, who changed the last diaper, who had the least amount of sleep last night and who could have the next night off. While laying in bed last night, thankful that the house was dark and quiet, I started thinking about the way life used to be, BC (before children).

The husband and I were movie buffs. We would  go sometimes twice a week; we were the Barry Ronge’s of our day. We could hold intelligent conversations for hours, dissecting the movie we had just watched, while sipping on post movie cappuccinos in a QUIET spot where non parents could gaze into each other’s eyes, without getting a blob of ketchup thrown in your face.  If we stayed up late, burning holes in the carpet, it was because we were having an adult party and dancing the carpet away, not pacing up and down with a baby who couldn’t settle. We used to watch the news after dinner, and Sunday mornings were for church, followed by fresh hot bread rolls and reading the newspapers.. Now the only news I get to follow is via my social networking contacts, and the only papers I read are clinic cards, report cards and bills. If we didn’t feel like cooking, we’d order in; if we felt like going to bed as soon as we walked in from work, we’d do it. If we felt like a night of pigging out while watching hired movies, and leaving the dirty dishes to soak, we’d do it! AD (after darlings), we have to ensure that there is at least one wholesome meal a day, we have to wait for the kids to go to bed before we break out the junk food – and even then, we have to open wrappers verrrry quietly, chew slowly and hide all the evidence. We don’t leave dishes in the sink, because there’s nothing worse than getting up at dawn to wash baby bottles, and the sink is covered with leftover dishes – that’s got to be one of my pet peeves! I remember sleeping in until the heat emanating from our room would eventually wake us up – midday sun is HOT! Now if the sun is up before me, it’s probably because I’ve been up all night and only got to bed at 5am – no not partying, nursing a sick child!

But the one thing that has really evolved AD, is the relationship I share with my husband. Our conversations are limited to baby talk – quite literally. He’ll say “I’m going pee-pee” when he leaves the room to take a toilet break. Or I’ll quite seriously say “give mama some love” when I need a hug? The only time we have alone time is when both kids are asleep, and by that time, all we want to do is sleep too. We get excited about Pampers being on special or half price kiddies meals at a restaurant, when did this happen?!! We argue over missing baby socks, and Hannah’s bad hair day and Liam’s increasing vocabulary of rude words; COME ON! We used to argue over who’s soccer team was better and how my t-shirt showed too much cleavage!

Sometimes I ask myself if this is the life I signed up for? Is this the man I married? Are these the sweet angels I used to dream about when I was pregnant? The truth is – NO! My rose coloured glasses were knocked clean off my nose, that very first night in the hospital when that darling nurse nudged my shoulder at 3am to feed my screaming baby. Of course this is a blog my kids will read someday, so I do need to end it on a positive note! But the blatant truth is, that even amidst the hardship of raising babies, and mommies and daddies having to sneak into the bathroom to have a cuddle, and crying louder than my two kids because I just don’t know what they want sometimes, and wearing the same pair of butternut stained jeans two days in a row because they are the only pair that fit, and wanting to bust a cap in Liam’s teacher’s XXX because he likes her more than he likes me sometimes, and wanting to SCREAM at my husband when he promises the kids something that I have said no to already… even with ALL these things, the blatant truth is that if a genie had to appear and ask me if I wanted to rewind.. I wouldn’t even consider it. When you know the feeling of tiny soft fingers wrapped tightly around your hand, when you’ve giggled with your toddler until the tears flow, over something utterly silly like watching a dog pee, when you come home to little arms outstretched for a “love”, when you’ve kissed a bleeding booboo, when you’ve fallen asleep with a stiff neck because a little face is nuzzled deep into your neck, when you feel that joy of a baby who has learned to clap handies or blow kiss or say ta-ta, when you see little eyes light up at unwrapping a gift – there’s just no going back and there’s just no giving them back, not for all the chocolate in the world! And even though my husband and I are no longer the people we were when we got married, quintessentially we are better. You see, babies force parents to connect and reach out to each other and rely on each other in a way that you never thought was possible. Babies strip you bare, they force emotions out of you that you didn’t know you could muster up, they make the highs really high, and the lows dreadfully low; and for my husband to still be here, to still love me like he does, to still be the almost-perfect father to our kids, after witnessing firsthand the highs and lows of parenting two bambinos, 15 months apart; I love him now, more than I have ever loved him in my life.

I know this season will pass, and there will come a time when Liam and Hannah leave the nest empty and the husband and I can go back to our movies and junk food and sleeping in. I know too, that as I sometimes miss our BC past, I will one day miss THIS time when my kids were babies who still looked up to me like a demi-goddess. Because the old adage is true: live in the present because it is a gift from God.

The Trauma of Trauma


I always thought that Liam’s first scar would be the result of something amazingly awesome he had tried to accomplish – like a failed attempt at diving off a piece of furniture, or a tricycle accident or falling out of a tree while trying to save a kitty stuck up there. Something noteworthy that would make for good conversation at kiddies parties or his 21st birthday celebration. So I was somewhat disappointed that our first trip to Casualty was because Liam ran into a wall – what a letdown.

It started as a normal Saturday morning, we had just returned home from  our monthly grocery shopping expedition, an abominable exercise – so already tensions were running high. Liam was helping his Dad unpack the groceries and I can’t say for sure what happened, but I knew by the loud thump and the wail that escaped his mouth, that it was serious. Moms are pretty good at deciphering the different cries that their children make and before I even got to him, my heart had all but jumped out of my chest and I knew that this was not the kind of booboo that I could kiss better. My fears were confirmed when I found him laying face up, blood pouring down the side of his face and looking like he was holding a golf ball in his mouth; his cheek was blue and swollen. The husband and I tried to assess the situation, while I poofed around his open wound with a dirty dish cloth – the first thing I could fine! I was reminded again that my husband and I do not handle emergency situations well – we first argued over various things like whose fault it was, whether it was serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital, who would stay with Hannah who was asleep and who would go, why was I using a dirty dish cloth to wipe his face, what does it matter, etc, etc… you get the picture! Liam’s every increasing shrieks shook us back to reality and it was swiftly decided that I would take him to the hospital and the husband would remain with Hannah. And just like in the movies and just like good ‘ol Murphy predicts –  every traffic light was red, I was stuck behind two pensioners taking their cars for a walk, the short cut actually turned out to be the long cut, and when we eventually arrived at the hospital, more than a little frazzled, I couldn’t find a parking bay. With the effect, I had to park 5000 kilometres from the entrance and lug my big boy with his bloody dish cloth all that way, while trying to balance my purse and phone and car keys in my hand  – I forgot to grab my hand bag in all the mayhem and the husband just threw the necessaries at me.

 

We were third in the queue; could they not see my child was having a medical emergency, how could they let that infant coughing up blood and that old lady who was going blue in the face from lack of oxygen, go before me? I was livid. I was giving the husband a blow by blow account of everything that was happening, while Liam relayed the whole incident to the blue faced old lady, shame she was very sympathetic, but not enough to give us her place in the queue. Eventually we were called in to take his vitals, his blood pressure and heart rate were good which indicated no trauma to the head, hallelujah! All this time he was quite calm, more intrigued with all the machines, gadgets and the bed on wheels. But when the doctor appeared in his white coat, pandemonium broke out. Ever since Liam was old enough to understand that his childhood immunisations were administered by a man or woman in a white coat, he goes slightly barmy at the sight of well..a white coat. He wouldn’t let the doctor near him, he was clawing at me like a cat high on cocaine, the doctor had to yell instructions to the nurse who verified that the wound needed to be stitched up. I felt like I was going to break down from the stress of it all, but I had to hold it together – not for Liam’s sake, he was too far gone to worry about me, but I didn’t want the doctor and nurse to see me blubbering like a big baby. While they prepared the trolley with all the items needed for the mini operation, I had to administer pain medication orally and I had to drown the wound in some anaesthetic liquid in order to numb the area – all this while Liam was yelling like a banshee. I felt like I was in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, I wondered if they were going to make me stitch him up as well because they were too scared to come near him. I heard the doctor yell something and out of the corner of my eye I saw four big scary looking ladies coming towards us. They weren’t really scary looking, but I knew this wasn’t going to be good. They proceeded to wrap my son tightly, too tightly if you ask me, in a sheet in an effort to keep him still, I was horrified, as was he. He was screaming and looking at me as if to say save me and I could feel the tears welling up behind my eyeballs. They asked if I wanted to leave the room and as much as I wanted to run as far away from the situation as possible, because I couldn’t bear to see the pain my child was going to further endure, I couldn’t leave him on his own, in a room full of strangers in his most frightening moment. So while the five of us tussled with him, the doctor painstakingly stitched his face up. I thought I was going to pass out, as I watched that needle pierce his skin and the doctor sow it all back together again with the precision of a master tailor.  When he said “all done” I wanted to rip that sheet off Liam and pick him up and RUN. But I calmly gathered my stuff, even though my knees felt like they were going to give way at any second, the nurses ooh’d and aah’d over him and he even managed to bat his eyelids and give the ladies a smile. I felt emotionally and physically drained as I walked out of that hospital with my bloody dish cloth.

Back home, Liam bounced back quickly, he was proud of his wound, he even let Hannah touch it. By the evening, he had picked out one stitch – I mean really, after ALL that??? We need to take him back on Wednesday to have the remaining stitches removed. I already know what a palaver that’s going to be, but I will be more prepared this time, I will take my Prozac and Valium beforehand. I’m considering phoning the doctor and asking if Liam can’t take them out himself, he did a pretty good job with that first one.

Yes I know that children, especially boys, get themselves into these situations and I have no doubt that this is not my last trip to the emergency unit, but I do hope that as I age as a mother, I will have more control over my galloping heart rate and my knocking knees every time my babies get injured. In hindsight, I honestly don’t know who was more traumatised by this whole experience, mother or child? The scar that will be left behind once the stitches are long gone, will serve as a reminder of the day my son got his first real booboo, and his mother almost wet her pants in fear.