Yesterday was a rough day. Truthfully, and without going into too much detail, it’s been a really difficult couple of weeks. I’m not one for sharing the bad stuff of life, crying and moaning about what can only be endured. My life is incredibly wonderful. I celebrate the wonderful things and the little battles in a pretty public way here and on facebook. Some stuff is only for my BFF. This is a disclaimer, for your benefit and so that you can understand what I’m about to write. See, you’re my guest here. And if you were a guest at my house, I figure you wouldn’t want to see the soap scum ring around my bathtub so I close the shower curtain. (Yes, I should scrub my tub but my kids want to eat and wear clean clothes and sometimes the tub gets the short end of my stick instead of a scrub brush.) It’s kind of that way here on the blog, too. But just in case you ever think it looks too perfect, remember that the shower curtain is closed for your benefit. I have bad stuff to deal with, too. My life isn’t any more perfect than anybody else’s life. And that goes the same with any of the other blogs you may read. Just ‘cause you can’t see our messes, don’t think that they aren’t there.
Anyway… Back to what I came here to write. Yesterday was a rough day. We got up and out the door by 9:30 yesterday to go to the pediatrician for flu shots all around and to get my baby’s stitches out. He’d fallen in his room and hit the corner of the wall, requiring four stitches in his perfectly beautiful head. It broke my heart. Taking four kids on this great adventure was not horrible, but also not very easy or pleasant. We followed it up with some Christmas shopping (while we were in town) and a trip to the grocery to stock up on milk.
Seemed we were deserving of a bit of a treat after all that. So we stopped at my favorite kid friendly restaurant for kid’s meals and a visit to their indoor playground. It had been such a nice visit. My darlings were well behaved, ate their food and happily went off to play. I gathered up baby boy and followed along. They were so glad to get to slide and play. It’s been so cold here that our play-set at home has been unused for weeks.
Baby boy was having a blast. You gotta understand, he’s 22 months old and 33 lbs of muscle and skill and determination. He was being so good. He walked (and I use that term very loosely because he never, never walks slowly) across that lovely soft surfaced floor (put there for safety), and then he fell for no apparent reason and hit his head on the gently curved edge of the bottom step to the play-set. I knew with one look that we were headed back to the ER. And then, I broke down into tears.
I’d like to think I’d be a mom with more strength and dignity than that, but no… I melted down like a snow-cone in July. I came apart. I bawled. I held my bare hand to my babies gaping wound (in a different spot from the original from last week, by the way), trying to stop the bleeding. Thankfully, another kind momma rescued me. I love her. I don’t know who she was, but she ran up front for paper towels and ice. She offered me her help. I don’t know if I thanked her. I was pretty hysterical, to be honest. I knew it wasn’t a mortal wound or even a big deal, but the pressures of the past few weeks had built up and once they got loose I couldn’t stop it. I just bawled. Like a baby.
Now, here’s where it goes really bad. I’m holding paper towels to my screaming baby’s head, trying to figure out how I’m going to get my kids’ shoes back on them and move them safely to the van and then somehow drive the bunch of us to the hospital.
Praise God (and I mean that genuinely) for best friends. Amy called me at the right time and happened to be blocks away from the restaurant. We both live twenty-five minutes from this restaurant, so this was truly a blessing. She headed our way.
My handsome husband decided to pick that moment to call me from work before a scheduled conference call. I scared him to death. He thought our baby was horribly wounded. I make no apologies for this. He called me. ;) I didn’t answer many questions. I think I may have hung up on the poor man. He made it to the hospital in record time.
So here I was, bloody toddler, fidgety nap-needing three year old, a scared five year old and a very sad seven year old. I asked for help from the management. No one came, except an old man who offered me a grungy old band-aid from his wallet. Truly. Do they not have a first aid kit?! Somehow, I managed to get the kids in a line behind me while I carried a screaming, bleeding toddler toward the door. The other mom who had offered help had gone to gather up her purse, but in my crazy crying I decided I just couldn’t wait any longer. So we made a scene, trailing blood and paper towels through the restaurant. Several managers were standing at the front counter. I told them that my little one had fallen and we were on our way to get stitches. I mentioned that we may or may not have left a mess. I had done my best not to, but… The all stood there and watched me struggle to get my kids out not one, but two big heavy doors.
I was now beginning to get angry, and so were other customers. One nice gentleman helped me carry the kids to the car. He helped me hold Sam so I could see how bad the wound was. He all but cried with me. I wish I knew his name. I would send him a Christmas card, every year. He then proceeded into the restaurant to rip the managers to shreds. A manager hurried outside to check on us. He asked me to wait. I did wait, thinking that perhaps he was going to offer to help me drive to the hospital. I so needed that kind of help. No, he had gone in the restaurant to get a stuffed cow to console my little one. Seriously. He held me up from getting to the hospital so he could give us a stuffed cow. A stuffed cow!
We made it to the hospital, my friend had caught up to us as we pulled out of the restaurant parking lot and followed us there. She took my older three kiddos and toured the hospital, bought them drinks and generally earned her title of BFF. They had Sam into the ER in no time flat. The same nurses who took care of Sam the first time were working last night, too. True story. They remembered my little guy and took such good care of him. The wound was too close to his eye to use any topical pain killers before they gave him the injection. It was pretty horrible. I helped hold him down and tried to sing to him while they worked. He ended up with five stitches. He needed six, but sometimes that last cosmetic stitch just isn’t worth it.
All this to say, when you see a momma crying her eyes out just be nice to her. Even if you think she’s a hysterical nutcase, be kind to her. You don’t know what she’s dealing with beyond the little glimpse you’re getting. You don’t know why she’s crying like crazy. Have compassion. Get outside your own little world. For goodness sake, at least hold the door open for her!
Thanks for sharing in my little battles and my life in general. Thanks for lending a shoulder today! I love you all!