I finally have a friend who can fully relate to me...years and years of infertility heartache, a miracle baby, but only one. She has a son, just one, and only one child. It's nice to finally have someone who doesn't throw their many children in my face about how hard their lives are (what I wouldn't give!!!) or who doesn't understand why Builder Boy can't just "sit and color" when I need to do something. She understands what it's like to have one child, specifically a boy child. She understands that the mere nature of having an only includes spoiling not because you want to spoil, but because there's not one else who requires your attention. It's so refreshing! When we talked last Saturday morning and I relayed to her our Friday night adventures, she commented, "Well, of course you freaked out...this was a first, and as the parent of an only child, everything is a first."
She was commenting on our very first trip to the ER with Builder Boy. I feel blessed to say that in almost eight years, this truly was our first time. We've had our close calls, but nothing ever requiring an emergency trip. Builder Boy was in the after care program at school on Friday (and yes, if you know me, this added to my guilt immeasurably...you know, if mean mommy didn't have to work then mean mommy wouldn't have had to have him in after care and then this wouldn't have happened...) and when I went to pick him up, I noticed an aftercare worker rushing over to a child. In that split second, I thought, "Gosh I hope that's not my kid." Not even for one second did I think it was Builder Boy. Not even as I got out of the car and headed over to the sidewalk. Even when the kid started walking slowly, head hanging, blood pouring from his face did I think it was him. Because that day, of all days, he was in a different coat than usual and it took me a bit to realize that this kid, dripping with blood was mine.
"What happened?!" I screeched in the hysterical, high-pitched way I have when my kid is dripping blood. "Oh," said the dad watching the playground, "He fell." In retrospect, I should have slapped him across the face for his nonchalance. Oh, okay! Thanks for filling me in!
Turns out, Builder Boy was playing on the the playset, tripped, and landed on his face, full force. His bottom teeth went completely through his bottom lip, hence the obscene amounts of precious blood spilling from my baby boy. He was an absolute champ throughout it all! I got him to the bathroom to clean him up and he did not shed one tear, not even when I hugged him (which you know will do most kids in when they're trying to hold it together). He did take one look at his face and started hyperventilating, almost throwing up, but with some slow, cleansing breaths he calmed himself down. One look at his cleaned up mouth, which was still gushing blood, showed all teeth were presented and accounted for. The mothers at after care sprang into action, getting me a cup to rinse his mouth and a bag of ice to sooth it and work on the swelling. One looked at his mouth for me (again, I'm a novice at this) and pronounced the necessity for a check up. All this time he was holding it together while his adorable friends, even the older kids who didn't really know him well, hovered around him, making sure he was okay. He started to get teary, and so we made a beeline to the car.
We headed to the ER to see if stitches were needed. (They weren't.) On the way there, he sobbed his little heart out while I patted his leg from the driver's seat. Somehow, someway, I got him there and without shedding one tear myself. This is short of a miracle. Once we were there, as he was sitting on the hospital bed, I noticed the gaping wound on his jaw. I thought for sure I would pass out. I didn't, but he noticed my face turn ashen and asked if he was getting worse. I assured him that he was fine and he said, "but your face is funny." So much for that theater degree!
For a child who freaks out about every.little.thing, he always handles the big stuff well. At two, he went to visit his grandma after her hip replacement surgery and was not the least bit overwhelmed by her walker and immobility. At four years old, as he watched his grandfather having a stroke, he calmly asked me if his Pappap was dying. For the past three years, he has seen his mama have four surgeries and waited sweetly at home, preparing the couch with his pillows and stuffed animals. Now, his first ER trip and when asked how the pain was, he shrugged and said, "Not bad!" He cracked jokes with the nurse, challenged the doctor on how long it would take to heal, and asked for something to eat.
This was a tough first, but we did it. And while I'm sure many people can trump this visit with numerous ones of their own, I wish they would remember that this is my first. Every single time something new happens with my child, it's a first. I don't wish these types of experiences on anyone, but trust me when I tell you, I'd love to have this be no big deal because I have so many more kids.