October 19, 2012

Days in Which There is Much Ado About Nothing

Note to Self:

Sometimes there will be days like today.  And weeks like this week.  And you'll just have to sit back and laugh, because if you don't, you'll cry.

There will be days that you will arrive late at preschool and debate whether or not to explain your lateness - for the 5th time in a row - to the teacher, who does not currently live in the reality of three-years-old twenty. four. seven. and who (even if she's lived it) can't possibly understand, because you really only understand for the few years you are living it and then after that you block it out or have too much perspective to remember how utterly impossible and exhausting it feels.  So you opt not to explain.

There will be moments when you'll look at the other preschool mom who also has a three year old but who is approximately 5 months farther along than you are and have to bite your tongue to keep from saying gleefully, "You look so much more uncomfortable than even me!"  Later, your heart will go out to the same woman whose three year old has a meltdown as she picks her up, thankful that all of your child's meltdowns have (so far) happened at home.

There will be those evenings that you will take your little boy to a friends' house for a party and in response to his wails and tears, will saunter up the stairs with a smile, because frankly, you've lost count how many times you've heard it this week.  You'll hug him and ask what happened.  He'll tell you he "bonked his toe" and then when you try to, you won't bat an eyelash when he doesn't let you kiss it and he says, "Don't take my owie away, Mama!!" through irrationality and tears.

You'll chastise him for disobedience when he won't stand up on the foot of said bonked toe, and then you'll balance his dead weight and your growing tummy, while he clings to you, yank at his underwear and jeans to get them up, raise your voice in the bathroom in attempt to convince him to - for the love of his mother - please stand up so that I can pull up your pants! - and then be thankful for the noise of the party outside.  When you finally manage this feat, you'll hoist him up onto the sink and sit him there for a minute.  Yes, I know you thought you'd never balance your child on a high surface, but I promise you.  You will.  Often.  After re-adjusting your disheveled clothes and noticing that any semblance of glamour that existed when you arrived at the party has since long gone, and frazzled and tired have taken its place.

You'll watch your son crawl "like a doggie, Mama!" under the legs of all of the guests and give thanks for the attendance of another family with young children, so that at least, the two entertain each other.  Will you notice that this is not just a make-believe game and that your three-year-old's refusal to leave the spot next to the adorable 6 year old little girl are actually just avoidance of putting any weight at all on that injured toe?  No, you won't.

But you start to take note, when he refuses to walk to the car, which means you get to carry him while you both wear winter coats to the car with all of your belongings - this really should be an Olympic sport.

After finally getting home, you'll oblige him by putting a band-aid on the foot that was not injured and fall gratefully into bed for a good night's rest.

So you think.

Actually this is just the beginning.  There will be those nights at midnight, that you'll wake to his sweet whimpers blubbering cries and you'll drag yourself out of unconsciousness to carry 30 pounds of dead weight back to bed with you.  Then you'll wrestle him calm him down and try to figure out where in tar-nation between his ankle and his toe is the actual injury, because he keeps changing his story and there is not a single bit of swelling or bruising whatsoever.

You'll start to put together the refusal to put weight on it with the apparent throbbing pain he's experiencing and wonder if a trip to the E.R. isn't in order.

At 2 a.m. you'll repeat this process and decide that a visit to the E.R. is indeed in order - at least to rule out a plethora of possibilities. He'll fall back asleep and you'll proceed to get dressed, pack the car, the stroller, toys, the laptop, medical cards, and snacks in preparation.  With brushed teeth, sort of fixed hair, and mostly dressed, you'll lay back down and figure that you should milk any last moments of sleep you can get before he wakes again.

Though he kicks your dressed self all night long, he doesn't actually wake up, so at 8 a.m. you finish the getting-dressed process, pacifying him with videos on your smart phone.

Oh yes.  I know you think you won't pacify him with videos.  And you think you won't hand over your phone.



You'll take him to the gym childcare and watch him play with other kids - what better way to see if he forgets about his injury than with the distraction of friends?  He doesn't.  He crawls around for an hour in the playroom, dragging the poor injured foot behind and making not a single attempt to stand up.

You'll be convinced.  Surely, this is more than a bruise or a jammed toe. Off to Urgent Care you go, for a 3 hour adventure farce, by the end of which, all are looking at you and wondering WHY ON EARTH you came in in the first place.

There will be the nurse who condescendingly tells you to "next time give him ibuprofen and ice."  You'll think, "Well I would have, if I'd known where to ice! And since there was NO swelling or bruising, I prefer NOT to needlessly pump drugs through my baby's tiny liver, thankyouverymuch."  But instead you'll smile and nod.

There will be an off-key performance by you of a song about trusting in the Lord when one is afraid of the x-ray machine. There will be more balancing acts in the restroom because kiddo refuses to stand up in. Then the nurse will come in to explain that his foot is "just fine" and that there was a contusion on his outer toe.  "That's just a fancy word for a bruise," she'll say as sweetly as she can muster.  There will be the loud "I WANT MY STICKER!"  that your little cherub will holler at you as you pass the nurses station on your way out the door.  And when given a choice about which sticker?  He'll choose Cinderella, because "she's pretty." And you'll find yourself jealous of Cinderella.

Yes, there will be those days.  And when they come, just be ready to laugh at yourself.  And be ready with chocolate, Tylenol and a movie.