You know how I wonder from time to time what really goes on in people’s lives, especially those who blog and continue to post their happy posts with recipes and photos, creating an impression that they never fight, they don’t have conflicts, everyone is happy and they all love one another, and eat well, and so on… Well, I was thinking about it again this today. I was sitting in my PJ this morning, writing a post about Danish pancakes that I’d like to publish on Saturday, but as I was typing and looking at the photos something happened.
I got a call from the day care my 2-years-old daughter attends. Her teacher was on the phone and told me with a somewhat shaky voice that my girl fell when she was riding a bike at the playground and hit her face on the cement trail. Her mouth was bleeding and she was inconsolable. They could not tell how bad the injury was because she would not open her mouth and show them. She just cried and cried.
I got dressed as fast as I could, trying to get my brain rolling with different scenarios and what should I do. I drove there, calling my husband on the way (using the ear piece) and then the dentist’s office – I still didn’t know if I should call the pediatrician or the dentist or the emergency room – to update them on what’s going on and asking to make an appointment. When I got to the day care, I saw my girl sitting on her teacher’s lap. They were both quiet – all the other kids were still outside – her teacher hugged her. My girl looked sad and in pain, her upper lip red and swollen like a raspberry. When she saw me she reached her arms to me. I took her in my arms and sat with her. She told me “Awee, awee”. “I know, you’re hurt, my sweet little girl”, I said. “Are you sad?” “Yes”, she replied. Then it was time to find out how bad was the injury. I tried to convince her to open her mouth. She resisted at first but after a few attempts she cooperated. Such a smart and brave little girl. She opened her mouth and both me and her teacher took a peek. Then I sat with her in my lap some more as I called the dentist again to give them more details. They referred us to another dentist who specializes with treating young children.
We got to the dentist’s office and I had to fill out some forms as my daughter held me tightly with her arms and legs and wouldn’t leave me. She was afraid. We sat in front of the fish tank and while she watched the fish swim around, I filled out the forms. After a while she felt more confident and noticed the toys. We sat on the carpet and played with Lego and dolls until we got called to see the dentist. There she was afraid again. New place, unfamiliar faces, but she was brave again and didn’t resist or cried too much. She’s such a good girl.
While we were in the waiting room (for about 45 minutes) I recalled that I fell on cement when I was about 3 years old. My baby teeth got damaged and when the permanent ones came out they were blackened and discolored. Only when I was 17 a friend convinced me to go to a dentist and have these teeth taken care of. Until this day I have issues with those teeth. This of course makes me worry about my beautiful little girl. (Tears in my eyes…) Well, most of it was not about her beauty but the worries I had for a moment that her life will turn out to be like mine (an abandoning father, divorced parents, etc etc, everything that came after). But then I got a grip on reality. Her life are not going to be like my life used to be until about 10-15 years ago. She will have a happy one.
The dentist saw that my daughter chipped her two front teeth, but they seem to be in place. Her teeth went through “trauma”, as the dentist said, and there is no way to tell right now if there will be damage to her permanent teeth when they come out in a few years.
We went back home. I offered her juice, a special treat in our house, with a little straw to drink. She wanted to take a sip but her mouth was aching and she cried and refused to drink. Later, I made her chocolate milk in a Sippy cup but that hurt too and she did not drink. A friend called and suggested I give her a popsicle, a sweet treat that will entice her and might numb the pain with it chilliness. I don’t have a popsicle so I tried ice cream. The second it touched her lip, she cried again, “Awee, awee, it hurts”. Two hours later, I even tried mini chocolate chips, thinking that offering her all these favorite treats will cheer her up as well as give me some indication on how bad she feels, physically and emotionally. I hugged her and comforted her. Then I put on her favorite TV show, The Wiggles, until I got my thoughts straight. I called the dentist’s office and told them that I am worried she might get dehydrated if she doesn’t drink. I asked if I should give her children’s Tylenol to reduce her pain.
I lay my baby on the couch and told her I will give her a purple medicine that will make her feel better. She resisted at first but not too much and I was able to give it to her with the syringe pointed to the corner of her mouth (like I saw a vet do a couple of times during those days when we had a sick cat). She actually liked it and said “the purple” tasted good and asked for more. Purple is her favorite color.
I took her to her room for a nap. No binky. She wanted her binky as she always does when she takes a nap or goes to sleep at night but of course that hurt too. We sat in the rocking chair, and I read her a book, then I sang to her until she fell asleep. She fell asleep fairly quickly and I continued to sit with her in my arms. In my mind I was thinking about all the things I needed to do, but I stayed. I love watching her sleep, she looks so peaceful as if she is feeling safe and snuggly in my arms, covered with her soft blanket. Oh, how I wished I could sit with her until she woke up.
I sat like that for about 25 minutes. Then my arm started to feel numb. Then the phone rang. Someone left a message and the answering machine started beeping … Annoying like a drop of water falling on your head in 30 seconds intervals. After a while I couldn’t take it anymore. I put her gently in her crib, still wrapped in her blanket. She woke up and asked, “Where is Daddy?”. “Daddy’s at work”, I replied. She blinked and rubbed her eyes and said, “All done” and reached her arms for me to pick her up. “You should nap some more”, I said and stroked her hair. It didn’t look as if she was going back to sleep which she really needed, so I sat back in the rocking chair and she looked at me form her crib, still lying down covered with her blanket, until she fell asleep again. I tip toed quietly and left her room with the door slightly open.
Daddy and brother came home in the afternoon. After I begged her to try and drink for hours, the minute she saw daddy she drank her juice and ate a little. My husband said she probably felt my anxiety and that is why she did not drink. Ahhh, go figure. The good thing is that she had a good rest, she drank and ate a little, and played and she feels better. As we waited for the boys to come back home, we sat by the kitchen table and played with play dough. After a while I felt that I could not sit anymore. I needed to get busy and distract myself. I started making banana bread. My little genius declared, “Banana bread” when she saw the 3 banana being smooshed with a fork while the mixer was working. Genius, isn’t she?!
We had a quick dinner. No banana bread for the genius. daddy gave her a good bath and then I sat with her again and read a bed time story. She asked me to sing to her. Talk about how kids change you! I never sang so much my whole life before she was born. She asked for another and another and another song. I didn’t even I could carry some of those tunes. But for her… I guess I can do anything. At least for 20 minutes… But then I could no longer sing.
Now we have to watch and see how she does in the upcoming days. Hoping she won’t have an infection. Wishing her teeth will stay pretty and healthy as they were. The bruise and inflammation /swelling (I’m really not good with medical terminology. It’s as if I refuse to know these things.) are supposed to be gone in a week or two.
I’m thinking about the song by Sting “how fragile we are”. We are fragile, but we’re also resilient and strong. I know my children will fall and get hurt, physically and emotionally, many times and I won’t always be there to watch them and protect them. It makes my heart ache to think about it. It makes me want to cry. It makes me feel a bit helpless but I know that I cannot suffocate them with worrying too much. But I will always be there for them as soon as I can and give them a hug. And then start nagging for them to eat and drink…
Categories : Family