My husband made a joke today about the T-shirts they sell that say “What happens at Grandma’s ____” He said that in our case, it was “What Happens at Grandma’s, stays in the ER.” Our daughter had to be taken to the emergency room yesterday after a fall from a five foot ladder. She hit her head on the cement, and while we were very, very worried yesterday, after being home and knowing she’s OK, I find that I’m just mad.
Yes, that’s right: mad. Mad at myself for letting them watch the kids. Mad at them for not taking their job seriously (yes, they knew she was on the ladder. They were, in fact, also letting my thirteen month old climb as they took pictures). I’m mad at my father-in-law, whose taking the full blame, mad at my mother-in-law for refusing any. I’m mad at my husband for being just as mad as I am. (Yes, I know that makes no sense, but I’m on a roll here!)
You know, being mad is a lot better than what we were yesterday, which is helpless. Our little girl was in so much pain, she was terrified, and all she wanted was to go home. I wanted so much to give her that—her home, but I couldn’t. The tests had to be run.
When we finally got home last night, she’d had Benadryl, sedative, and no nap. When she conked out, she drooled into my hair as I carried her up the stairs and put her in bed. She didn’t wake up until after eight this morning (an hour later than her usual wake up time) and I swear she had the best sleep of her life last night. I know, because she has been bouncing off the walls for the entire day. She is talkative, she is comedic, she is full of energy and back to jumping on and climbing anything that she thinks she can scale.
I am relieved beyond words that she is OK. I never, ever thought she would be at the ER so young. Taking her around today has been beyond embarrassing. She looks like she has been hit by a truck (as my mom put it) or beaten with a baseball bat (thanks, sis). Everywhere we went today when people would catch sight of her they would stare. I felt like they were accusing me, or my husband of the worst. I kept wondering if someone was going to ask about it, but I usually jumped in with an explanation before anyone could. I want to have a sign flashing over me, saying DIDN’T HAPPEN ON MY WATCH.
Why, as parents, are we so inclined to feel this way? Like we have to defend ourselves? Kids will be kids, but it still don’t look pretty. I know the bruising will fade with time, and that there won’t be any lasting damage. In the meantime, I think we’ll hide out at home as much as possible.