You know how your child’s toys are always underfoot?
Well, yesterday one of Elanor’s new Melissa and Doug wooden stacking blocks was…literally…as I stepped down from the couch (where I’d been hanging Chinese New Years decorations), fell, and breaking my ankle and messing up a tendon/ligament/musclethingy in the front of my foot.
Stupid bad luck.
Right from the moment of the fall, I knew something bad had happened. There was too much pain, that I HAD to keep it elevated because lowering it hurt like hell. I could only lay on the floor and try to figure out what to do. I chronicle all the Singapore-related nonsense over at Expat Bostonians (here) like it being THE ambulance on duty for that hospital and whatnot.
One of the more stressful things that was going on as I lay there was E flipping out. Understandably. Totally understandably!!! I’m sure that it was terrifying to her to see Mommy fall and start crying (and swearing in there at some point) and not get up the way that she does even when falls hard enough to cry. I’m sure that it was scary to have her Yaya B (Yaya is Tagalog-B’s native tongue-for “auntie”) restrain her and keep her from me.
As I’m tried to fight through the tears and the pain to talk to the ambulance and to Ravi, the predominant sound in the background is Elanor, shrieking “Mommy’s crying!!! Mommy’s crying!!!” and “No! Mine!! My Mommy!!” as she tried fight B to get to me.
“Here, have some Mommy guilt to go with your physical pain,” the universe said.
Once I was off the phone and could concentrate on Ellie’s needs, I asked her to come to me. I tried to explain in language she could relate to, that I had hurt myself. I asked her for hugs and kisses. Hugs these days are usually brief encounters to be enjoyed and then released. This hug was a cling for reassurance. She knelt beside me and prostrated herself over my chest, clinging to me. I rubbed her back and kissed her, murmuring that it was going to be okay.
Over the 40 minutes between the accident and when I left in the ambulance, Elanor displayed the many emotions of being 2.
ANGER–she got a bit too close to the leg, touching and hurting it more, causing me to shriek in pain, and B to pick her up and pull her away. “MINE MY MOMMY GIMME MOMMY”
EMPATHY–hugs, kisses, concern that I was crying (I tried not to as much as I could, but the pain and the fear and the frustration were overwhelming)
DISTRACTION–Hey, that’s shiny! I have a rocking horse (near Mommy’s head) and I’ll ride it. Hey! Why can’t I just ride in my car? It’s MY floor…she’s just in the way. Maybe I can roll right over her?
LOVE–I got “I love you, Mommy” and those spontaneous and extended hugs and kisses.
EGOCENTRISM–“Mommy play, Ellie play!” “Mommy, play Ellie!” and no real interest in my injury for a while
When the ambulance arrived, she was quite concerned that they were DOING THINGS to her Mommy. She told them emphatically “Ellie ready to go.”
The ambulance guy turns to me and is like “They’re coming?”
“NO.” Because really, what better place for an active 2 year old than an Emergency Room?
She made B bring her downstairs (I wonder where she gets that imperious tone from?) and she watched as they put me in the ambulance.
Later, Ravi would go home to get stuff (food, mobile chargers, etc) and for once his greeting at the door wasn’t “DADDY!” but instead was like “MOMMY? Oh, Daddy. I guess that’s okay, too.” Ironically, she made a point of showing him the Chinese New Years decorations I’d sacrified my ankle to hang and saying “Ni hao”…all that recent exposure to Ni Hao Kai-Lan apparently having some pay-off, I suppose. She made a point of telling him to say “Ellie loves mommy” and giving me hugs and kisses.
By the time we got home, she was asleep, but when R checked on her, she immediately muttered “mommy?” so he picked her up and brought her to me. She blearily stared at me, taking my face in her chubby toddler hands, looking at me, and once reassured that I was back and all was right with the world, she faceplanted on me and promptly went to sleep.
Of course the other awkward “parenting” (sort of, not sure what to call it otherwise) moments were when I had imaging done.
“Are you pregnant?”
“Um. Well. I ovulated on Sunday and there was unprotected sex. I’ve gotten pregnant fast in the past. It’s too soon to know. I don’t know. Maybe?”
This was a needs of the mom versus needs of something that may not even exist, so we did the x-ray (with extra lead aprons over my abdomen to protect it) and the MRI.
Again, like the issue with why I had on a shoe (see the EB post), there was definitely some confusion on the part of the doctors as I whip out my iPhone, open the period tracker app and make a note as to my (within 48 hours) exact date of ovulation. They were like…oooookay, then. Bit of a deviation from cultural norms, there.
Today, with the introduction of my wheelchair, Ellie is fairly non-plussed about it all. When I asked her if she remembered that Mommy got hurt yesterday, she said YES emphatically. I explained about the splint on my leg (although that didn’t do anything to make her more cautious around me…ow ow ow). She looked at my wheelchair and named it “Mommy’s bicycle.”
She watched as I hopped about the house with the help of my walker. She can say “walker”, and multiple times today she went up to it (while I was sitting on the couch) and held onto it and lifted a leg. It’s clear that she’s trying to make sense of it all, which is somewhat adorable.
When the rental wheelchair broke (a wheel was defective…and it was fairly beat up to begin with), Ellie kept telling us for the rest of the day that “Mommy broke the bicycle.” (I ended up buying a new one rather than try the rental route again for a variety of reasons).
One thing is for sure…I’m super lucky to have B. Her presence allows me to focus on healing, and is an extra set of hands. I’d be in bad shape in Boston, as I can NOT parent my child right now. I can sit on the couch, I can read to her, I can watch tv with her, and that sort of thing. I can’t make her food, change her diaper (I’m not too broken up over that one), dress her, pick her up (maybe if I’m in the chair, but not if she’s sitting or prone on the floor), or enforce any sort of discipline. I can’t pick her stuff up off the floor. I’d be relying on family in Boston, so it’s not like there wouldn’t be support…but that I also don’t have to worry about ice right now (a BIG issue back home) means that if I had to break it, at least it broke here.
Moms…consider it a PSA…those toys ARE out to get you! Watch your ankles, or the fridge phonics will get you! (or the blocks, or the stupid cards, or the…..)