If I had known how the day would turn out, I might have picked out a different shirt for Kiddo Thursday morning.
I definitely would have gotten right to work when I arrived in the office, rather than following my usual routine of checking various blogs and social sites while reading work email. I had only one task that needed to be completed that day, and it would have been done by the time the phone rang: Kiddo’s daycare director, asking me to come pick him up and take him to the doctor.
In retrospect, I might have switched the order in which I made the phone calls. My boss first, sure. I had to let him know I was going to be out for a bit, possibly the rest of the day. I probably would have called my husband next, though, since I was on hold for more than five minutes when I called the doctor’s office. Perhaps it would have been a good idea, months ago, to ask which extension I should use for the rare “I’m letting you know that I’m bringing my son to you right now” phone call. I wasn’t setting up an appointment (although that was the extension I settled on), the ask-a-nurse line is a message service where they would call me back later, and it wasn’t urgent enough to dial 911.
I am glad, now that I think back, that the daycare staff had already cleaned up Kiddo’s forehead and bandaged the cut. If I’d known what was lurking underneath, I might not have been as calm and speed-limit-abiding as I was on the drive to the doctor’s office. I did wonder, though, why I was feeling a little shaky about the whole thing. After all, the cut was covered by a single band-aid–it couldn’t be that bad, could it? Surely the daycare was just covering their bases by asking me to have it checked by a doctor.
Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll be less tentative when I finally get in touch with my husband. While it didn’t seem like a serious enough injury to require us both, I really needed someone there to give me a hug and help me keep it together. The phrase “a half-inch cut on his temple” sounds smaller over the phone than it looked in real life, especially when it was my own baby’s head. I wanted to stay calm for our Kiddo’s sake, and I’m told I did a pretty good job of that. But on the phone, I hesitated when my husband asked if he should meet me there, because I didn’t want to inconvenience him at work. Thank goodness my gut won out on that one.
Looking back, I wish I’d repacked some toys in the diaper bag when I emptied it last weekend. Or at least remembered to ask my husband to bring in the book from the diaper bag in his car. Kiddo was apprehensive when we were first shown into the exam room–a different one from the one we visit for well-child checkups–but he soon relaxed enough that he wanted to walk around and look at everything. When we didn’t have any toys, he got creative and started pushing the doctor’s rolling stool around. Fortunately he only ran into the door a couple of times.
Something I hope I’ll never have to repeat: holding down my son while the nurse flushed the cut with sterile water. He hated that! My attempts to soothe him seemed to just make him madder. His father was holding Kiddo’s head still, and we had some blue paper stuff that was sort of holding back Kiddo’s arms, but he kept working them free, so it was my job to keep him as still as I could. Toward the end he started putting his legs on my arm and arching his back, trying to get away. He’s too young to understand “Just lie still and we’ll be done quicker,” and probably felt a little betrayed that Mom and Dad were not helping him but rather contributing to this torture. I wondered all afternoon whether he’d reject my hugs because they reminded him of being restrained.
For heaven’s sake, I don’t know why I didn’t nurse him sooner, once the cleaning was finished. A long time ago I figured I’d start tapering off the breastfeeding after he turned 15 months old. Somehow, that hasn’t really been happening. Thank goodness, because once the cut was clean we had a toddler who’d missed his lunch, missed the nap that usually follows lunch, and was now very angry about people messing with his forehead. I was expecting the doctor to come right back in, but after five minutes when she hadn’t returned and Kiddo hadn’t calmed down much, I decided to go for it. It worked well enough that he dozed off in my arms.
We think we made the right choice when we opted for surgical glue instead of stitches. The doctor said either one would work, but we’d need to go to the ER for the stitches and they’d require a local anesthetic. The glue could be done right there in her office, with me holding him in my arms. Kiddo still hated it, but it was over and done in minutes.
It totally slipped my mind to ask about the phone number as we were leaving.
Finally, had I been thinking, I would have picked something else for lunch when we finally got home. Penne pasta with Marinara sauce is delicious but very messy, and Kiddo had had enough of people messing with his head for one day.