Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Walk Much, Grace?

So, in addition to 1) learning to sing 'Jingle Bells' (well, mostly), 2) putting herself in time out and 3) begging incessantly for Mama to sing songs from 'Mama Mia' (or rather 'Mom-me-mia, Mom-me-mia, Mom-me-mia'), our Wondrous Lily has had a run of bad luck.

Did I mention that she chipped a tooth? No? Well... I left that bit out of The Tale of a Pool Refilled because it was a personal low. It was the kind of moment that makes you feel that left in your care, your offspring won't make it to adulthood because you just might be the worst parent ever.

Her father and I (mostly 'I') are a bit lenient with Lily Ruth. She's such an amazingly controlled, smart kid that I regularly allow her to do things like... oh... have full run of the house while I jump in the shower or... chew on small things that she really shouldn't (because she'll spit it out if I ask her too)... and she has never once let me down by abusing my trust in her. She has yet to get into anything she's not supposed to or choked on a hair tie. It just never occurs to her to push those kinds of limits.

That's why I left her playing unsupervised in the family room with a pen-light flashlight while I went to her room for a pair of pajamas and a dry diaper. I was debating 'shorts or full-length pants?' in my head when the screaming started. This wasn't 'I've fallen and bruised my dignity' crying. It was panic. I raced to her and scooped her up. She buried her head in my chest and screamed like her world was over. She refused to look at me or even raise her chin, but when I asked her if she was o.k., she sobbed 'YES!' and resumed crying at a slightly reduced rate. She eventually slowed it down to syncopated sobs coupled with open-mouthed drooling. I managed to raise her chin, and found that we were both covered in pink drool. I was just sick. My baby was BLEEDING, and she wouldn't let me find out why.

I called her Daddy in from the (now empty) pool to hold her since he was all that she wanted. His arms calmed her enough for me to see a jagged edge in the center of her mouth. I grabbed my phone and called the Homestead. My grandmother and mother both picked up, but neither could hear me. I hung up then redialed. My mom picked up and could hear me, but couldn't understand what had happened or what I wanted. I started crying in frustration and managed to screech something about Lily's tooth that ended with 'I NEED MY GRANDFATHER RIGHT NOW!' That she understood, and the retired dentist was dispatched post-haste.

My wounded angel was not very cooperative, but we managed to ascertain that the bleeding had stopped and was from her gums and not her tooth. She also let us look (barely) long enough to evaluate the chip. It didn't expose the dentin or the nerve. Chances are that she didn't hit it hard enough to kill the tooth, but even if she loses it, baby teeth are just place holders. That poor kid is already gonna need braces - her father and I both did - so a missing FRONT (!!!) baby tooth would just give the orthodontist more to do when her permanent teeth show up...

Oh, and there's also a tiny chip on the neighboring front tooth. Together, they form the exact shape of the penlight. Lily's not a great storyteller yet, but she did admit to 'fash-ight... fall DOWN'. I'm assuming that means that she had the damn thing in her mouth when she fell.

So there's the big bump caused by Mama's lack of judgement. Then there's the big bump caused by... gravity.

Nanny and Mama and Lily Ruth spent last weekend visiting Uncle Lucas & Uncle Travis (and Cousin Phoenix!). This meant a drive to the coast in gorgeous weather (not a hardship) and a hotel stay (not a luxury when you've got a kid). The weekend is one that will live in infamy. Not because of our family (no, they are blameless angels), but because of strangers, the nature of fire and the aforementioned gravity. The tales of poolside hotel rooms and the burning of a yard will have to wait until the morrow. For now, Newton takes center stage.

Sleep was a hard-won commodity in room 129. By the time he arrived, I was prepared to give Morpheus anything he wanted. I was too tired to argue with 'Uth' any longer when she passed out with her head at the foot of our bed at ALMOST MIDNIGHT. I simply covered her up (AGAIN!) and started sawing my own logs.

It was a rude shock at 4 a.m. to hear the unmistakable sound of a toddler hitting the floor. The wailing started immediately. I scooped her up and held her tight. We rocked and 'shhhhhh'-ed. When I asked her if she was o.k., she sobbed 'yes' and hugged me back. Nanny held her breath and debated turning on the light. She decided against it, and I sighed in relief. I ran my hands over her head, face and body checking for... I don't know - anything... She calmed down fairly quickly, and fell back asleep sobbing softly.

In the light of morning, the damage was visible. Rug burn on her nose and lip. Rug burn. Ugh. Over the course of the next two days, it went from pink to red to scabby. Despite repeated applications of antibiotic ointment, it just kept getting worse.  Here she is snarfing potato chips and chocolate while gingerly exploring the sore area...

yes - potato chips and chocolate. We were at the end of a long weekend away from home and running on about 8 hours less sleep than usual for a 2-day period. I would have fed her red dye #2 from a hose if that's what she wanted.

Now, three days later, if you mention her nose, she starts picking at the scabs. If she's sitting still sucking her thumb, she picks at the scabs... kids are gross.

It's a good thing that she's so awesome. Even in the midst of all of this facial trauma, my baby is a trooper. She just keeps smiling and singing and asking for treats ('tweet, Mama!'). I, on the other hand, am shaking in my boots just waiting for fate to deal her another harsh blow. I've considered buying her one of those Sumo suits and a helmet. I've also given some thought to wrapping her and her world in bubble wrap. I think she'd enjoy that.


  1. Oh, R! WTF? Is it a full moon now or something? You and I seem to have our share of downs lately. Literally. I'm so sorry that LR has some funky teeth and a scabby nose. Though, my experiences this weekend have taught me that I take more of the brunt of their mishaps then they do. I, too, worry about the Third Bad Thing to fall, but between the two of us, perhaps we have that covered!

  2. Yes, between the two of us, the spectrum of bad things is covered. No. more. bad. things. I insist.

    P.S., did I tell you that I ALWAYS let Lily Ruth ride in the back of the shopping cart? She refuses to sit in the seat because she can't see where we're going. I get a LOT of nasty looks, but since she's not screaming, and I'm able to get our shopping done, they can suck it. I'm so sorry about Miss P and her bump!