I find it interesting, for lack of a better word, the way that life can go from normal to freaky in a split second. I doubt I ever noticed it before I became a mother, but I seem to have an over-abundance of opportunities now.
I've written previously of some of my other experiences, which have included steak knives being smuggled to the park, a bloody nose at McDonald's, and being screamed at by a stranger. I have to say that what happened today outreaches them all on my own personal thermometer of difficult days.
This morning I had a meeting at ten o'clock, so afterward I decided to just take the boys over to Burger King and get some lunch. I had my friend Hannah with me because she babysat the kids that were at the meeting and I had given her a ride.
We were having a nice time at the playplace; nobody was kicking anyone else in the face or hitting other kids. I was alternating between eating, talking to Hannah, trying to feed Simeon who was tired and a little testy, and governing the other other boys.
Suddenly, a horrific scene played out before my eyes. It was one of those moments when I could see what was going to happen, and there was no way for me to change it. It played out in slow-motion before me, and yet I could never have moved fast enough to stop it.
Izzy had decided to give Simeon a ride in his high chair. In theory, this wasn't a bad thing. At McDonald's the high chairs have wheels and it is very easy for the older boys to push Simeon around in them. The Burger King high chairs, however, do not have wheels. On some other occasion, Izzy might have tried the same thing, and it might have worked, but today the odds were against him.
He pushed Simeon about three feet before I even knew what he was doing. I just happened to look over at them at the exact moment that Israel pushed on the high chair and instead of gliding forward, it toppled right over. And Simeon hit the floor face first. Or I should say, mouth first.
Hannah and I both immediately ran over to him, but she was closest and quickly got him upright. I am pretty sure that she was thinking more clearly than I was, in spite of the fact that she is only sixteen, and I'm sure she was probably somewhat horrified at the whole situation.
Simeon's mouth was bleeding profusely. It's not a sight I could ever have prepared for. I grabbed some napkins and tried to keep him from bleeding everywhere. Hannah, fortunately mentioned his teeth to me or I probably wouldn't have thought to check them.
His front teeth had been knocked loose and were shoved back. Hannah's mom, Renee, who is also a friend of mine, had mentioned not too long ago that if a child gets a tooth knocked loose or knocked out that you should put it back right away and the gums will swell around it and hold it in place so they won't lose it.
I had no other option but to reach into his mouth and move his teeth back into the correct position before the swelling started. It was something that I had hoped I would never have to do. I really had no idea whether I had put them back the right way or not, because there was so much blood I couldn't see.
A Burger King lady rushed in with napkins and ice and said something about filling out a form. We cleaned him up as best we could and I tried to put the ice on his mouth, but he wouldn't have it.
Finally, I picked him up and just held him. Dn't ask me why I didn't do that in the first place. I have no idea. Now it seems obvious that I should have held him immediately and to hell with worrying about all the blood. That's just not what happened.
I sat with him and waited for the BK lady to come back with whatever form she was talking about while I tried to comfort my poor little boy. His teeth had stopped bleeding, but he had a nasty gash or two on his bottom lip from his teeth when he hit the floor. After a few minutes I realized how stupid it was to be waiting for a form when my baby was bleeding and upset, and decided to just leave.
Hannah had a dental appointment, so I dropped her off at her grandma's, who lives not far from where she needed to go. Then I went over to her parents' house because last week I lost my cell phone, and therefore had no way to call anyone when this happened. I cannot even adequately describe the frustrating helpless feeling of not being able to call anyone.
When I got to their house, another friend was there too, and I was mildly comforted by the thought of having two other moms to consult with on the situation. The older boys went off to play, and I took Simeon inside. Renee gave me a cold washcloth to see if we could clean him up and get a better look, and then got some infant tylenol to give to him. He didn't like having the medicine administered, so I just held him for a while and he started to fall asleep.
The general consensus was that I probably didn't need to take him to the doctor, so after that I just called Aaron to tell him what had happened. I had held it together pretty well up to that point, but of course, I cried when I told him what had happened.
I stayed at their house for a little while, but I knew I had to go home sometime. I laid Simeon, sleeping, on the couch, and gathered the big boys into the van to go home. Renee was kind enough to let me borrow her cell phone since I lost mine, and since I don't have any other phone at home.
I took them all home and got Simeon settled into his crib, then put the other boys down for a nap as well. After that, I called our doctor's office, just to make sure I shouldn't take him in.
Normally, I'm not a person who likes to go to the doctor over everything, but seeing him bleed like that caused me to think twice. To my relief, they let me talk to a nurse right away, and she reassured me that I had done everything right and told me to try to put some ice on it or let him eat a posicle or ice cream cone to help the swelling go down. It seemed like he would be fine, and I was very relieved about that, but I also felt very shaky, and emotionally I was completely drained.
Later, after he woke up from his nap I gave him a dose of ibuprofen and cut up a strawberry popsicle (okay, it was two strawberry popsicles) for him, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Between the popsicles and the ibuprofen, he was almost his normal happy self, aside from his poor little fat lip.
We ended the night with a bath--he was all sticky from the popsicles and a vanilla milkshake that he drank some of, but mostly dumped on himself. I realize that it sounds horrible that I gave my child popsicles and a milkshake for dinner, but they seemed like good options for a kid whose mouth is all busted up. The rest of us had breakfast for dinner--egg and cheese bagels with blueberry muffins.
Tomorrow I have the option of going to a park with some other moms...but at this point I'm not sure I dare to leave my house.