Monday, November 05, 2012

Toddlers Are Not for the Faint-hearted

3 days of keeping the 7 year old at home because of a scratched cornea, resulting in 3 days of non-stop arguing and screaming between her and the toddler --- and you just want to run away and join the circus.

So you take the afternoon off - invite their BFF for a play date, ask the nanny to watch over them for a few hours, and retreat to your room for some "me" time and old episodes of No Reservations.

An hour in and there's screaming again. You tune it out, immune to the sounds of children playing/arguing and the slaughter of innocents. A couple of 7 year-olds burst into your sanctuary and start screaming and talking at decibels that have been know to render certain species deaf - and you listen with half an ear (with the other half still tuned to your show). The toddler walks in wailing. You look in her direction, ready to dismiss the crying as the result of another failed attempt at world domination,  when you notice the blood dripping out of her mouth.

There's blood. And there's a lot.

Your heart jumps to your throat and decides to stop beating.

But you calmly walk over, pick her up, and try to get her to stop crying long enough to assess the damage.

You see it's a big cut on her inner lip, from where her teeth cut into the flesh when she had fallen off the bed while playing with the other kids.

You wipe off the blood. You tell the nanny to go get some ice (any excuse to get her out of the room before you decide to throw your laptop at her for taking her eyes off your kid long enough for this accident to happen). You tell the other kids to go back to the other room (crazy rubberneckers). And you rock the still wailing toddler, while whispering the inane nothings that mothers say to soothe their young.

She stops crying. You get some antiseptic mouth wash, put some on a q-tip, and approach with caution. You know it's going to hurt. She knows it's going to hurt. But you clean the cut any way. And she let's you.

Without a fuss or complaint, eyes scrunched shut - you meet the bravest person in the world. And you know that part of that bravery is because she trust you. Implicitly. Even with the pain, she knows that what you're doing is something that's good for her. She just knows.

And you try not to cry, in the face of such bravery, and trust, and unconditional love.

Crazy thoughts run in your head:

Cancel plane tickets.

Stay home.
Fire nanny.

Buy plastic bubble.

The ice comes. You tell the nanny to watch the other kids ( anything to get her out of the room before you decide to take the kiddie scissors on your bedside table and stick it in her eye). You put the ice on her lip, and apologize for the discomfort that's about to come.

And she looks at you and says (with the lisp that you secretly hope will take a while to go away) - "ith okay Mama. You chis and make feel better."

And the tears you said you wouldn't shed, because you don't want to scare her, they come. 

The crazy thoughts become a hamster on a wheel inside your head: Cancel plane tickets.Stay home.Fire nanny.Buy plastic bubble.Cancel plane tickets.Stay home.Fire nanny.Buy plastic bubble.Cancel plane tickets.Stay home.Fire nanny.Buy plastic bubble.Cancel plane tickets.Stay home.Fire nanny.Buy plastic bubble.

And two minutes later the toddler shoves the ice aside, yells: "I'm ok! Guys! Guys! Get out of my woooooooom!" and runs away to go terrorize the 7 year-olds yet again.

Your heart start beating again. It's still in your throat, but at least it's beating again.

The hamster inside your head gets off the wheel, but it's still thinking crazy thoughts.

And you wonder if it's possible to stuff a small 2 year old into your carry on luggage.

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