Thursday, June 24, 2010

Every picture tells a story, don't it?

Do you ever find yourself in a situation in which you kind of step outside of your own body and have a sense of a snapshot of the scene that you're in?  Like when the chaos reaches a critical mass, and the only way to deal with it is to mentally step back, as if you're not really there, but simply an impartial observer.

That happened to me this morning, when I was sitting in my underwear, with blood all over my shoulder and bra-strap, trying to console a hysterical baby while crying myself and at the same time, trying to not get too worked up so that the toddler wouldn't completely lose his mind as well.  

I actually got a decent night's sleep last night, even though I had Zeke pressed against me the whole time.  I let him sleep with me because Jason has been working overtime in Vail since Monday, and it was the easiest way to get Zeke to settle down and go to bed.  Plus he was so sweet about it.  "I sleep in your bed, Mama?  We can give hugs!  I love hugs!  I love you, Mama."

Seriously, how can I resist that?  It's like a shakedown, only with lethal cuteness rather than threats of broken kneecaps.  

So I woke up relatively refreshed, as both kids slept through the night without incident.  I heard Josie stirring at around 6:45, so I got up and she was all bubbly and happy to see me, and we went upstairs to have a bottle and watch last night's episode of The Daily Show, as is our routine.  Zeke woke up at around 7:30, and was also chipper and happy.  We hung out and had some breakfast and watched some Elmo, and then went downstairs to get dressed.  Everything was copacetic.

I put both children in the middle of my bed, where they usually bounce around and chatter at each other while I get myself ready for the day.  It's a big bed, so I don't worry about Josie being in the middle of it, and Zeke always keeps her giggling and occupied for a few minutes.  But today, she decided that her new-found ability to almost-crawl, i.e., pull herself around on her belly with alarming speed, was too irresistible, so I was in my closet with my back turned for about a minute when I heard a "thunk."  I turned around and saw Josie lying on her back on the floor -- she had apparently pulled herself over to the side of the bed, fallen down head-first, hit her nose on the bed frame, and then flipped over onto her back.  

I raced over and picked her up, where she shook silently for a couple of seconds and then let out a wail and completely lost her shit.  I held her to my shoulder and tried to comfort her, only to discover after a few minutes that she had a bloody nose and was bleeding all over me.  So I gently touched the bridge of her nose and determined that her nose wasn't broken, she just mushed up the cartilage at the tip.  But it hurt like a bitch, and she was scared out of her mind, crying and crying and crying on me.  

I felt so awful for her and so guilty about turning my back that I started crying.  Zeke looked at the two of us, saw my tears and said, "are you a little bit sad, Mama?"  Because the few times he's seen my cry, I've tried to reassure him that I'm OK, just a little bit sad.  He came over to both of us with a scared look on his face, and crawled into my lap and put his arms around us, kissed Josie and kissed me, trying to will everything to be OK.

He really is such a sweet boy.

And that was the point that I kind of mentally stepped back.  The picture keeps popping into my head, even hours later.  Me sitting there in my underwear, with blood on me, trying to console both children while having a hard time keeping it together myself.  Josie with the tip of her nose all purple and blood on her face, because every time I tried to wipe her off, she waved my hands away.  Zeke in his pajamas, diaper sagging, curled into my lap with his arms around us, afraid that his little world was crumbling.

Eventually, I managed to get it together.  Josie calmed down, stopped bleeding, and reluctantly let me clean off her face.  I found a clean t-shirt and some jeans, and figured that no one at the office gives a shit about what I wear anyway.  I got Zeke into a clean diaper and clean clothes.  We all sat for a bit in the living room and chilled.  Josie was in my lap, leaning against me, sucking on her fingers and doing the "huh-huh-huh" thing that kids do when they've been crying too long.  I got them off to school, and made it to work, where I've been somewhat productive (except for a little lunch-hour blogging).

But I'm still feeling shaken.  I can't get that pathetic picture out of my head.  I see my poor little girl, terrified and bloodied, and I start crying again.  I have a huge tolerance for physical pain, but my baby gets a bump on her nose and I'm a freaking basket case.  Pitiful.

I really need a vacation.  Or a drink.  Or both.


  1. Oh, Wendy. Hugs to you. It's very scary! I was told that all babies fall off the bed...and I was all oh sure and then mine did and it was terrifying.

    You definitely need a vacation and a drink and a whole lot of high school friends to hang out with.

  2. I would have freaked out, too. Those little scenes are memorable. Zeke's capacity to empathize is so sweet.

    I hope you're enjoying a little break this weekend.