when you combine a 7 year old with a tendency to, shall we say, breathe thinner air than the rest of us, with a T-ball bat, a three year old, and a six year old?
Yesterday afternoon I sat on my couch nursing Nemo, and the bigger kids were outside on our patio playing with Little Man's lacrosse sticks, specifically designed for small people who don't have control of their actions and/or are prone to fits of temper. They are well padded. The ball is super soft, and small, in comparison to an actual lacrosse ball. Little Man has no clue how to use the blasted things, since the coach was a no-show last week, but since there's a boy who lives a few houses down from us who is a freshman in high school and HE plays lacrosse and Little Man thinks HE's the shit, he's got just enough knowledge to be able to play around some.
At one point Little Man and Trout came into the house and got our T-ball net so they could throw the lacrosse ball into it. I reminded them not to swing the sticks near the house or to point the ball at the house (as soft as it is it could still break a window if weilded deftly enough) and not to hit each other with the sticks, and off they went.
A little while later Little Man comes in crying because they lost the ball ("It just disappeared, Mom!"), so he gathered up the T-ball bat, T-ball, stand, and gloves and went on out with them. I repeated my admonishments about how to use the equipment safely, and out he went again.
You know where this is going, don't you?
Not five minutes later, I hear them before I can see them. Little Man and Sunny are coming around the house, screaming at the top of their lungs. I put Nemo down, who promptly starts shrieking at the top of his lungs because how dare I take the nummies away. Trout is nowhere to be seen. Little Man is holding his chin and Sunny is holding her head, and I just thought for sure they had been arguing over whose turn it was and engaged in a bit of fisticuffs. How I wish that had been true.
Little Man is shrieking, trying to get a breath and tell me what happened (do your kids do this? scream so hard they can't breathe and start to panic? Little Man does it all the time), and I hear the words "Trout" "bat" "mouth" "Sunny" and "head" come through and I start to panic a bit. Little Man takes his hand away from his mouth and he has blood running down his chin from his lip, bright red blood emphasized by his stark, pale skin. As I lean down to look at him and see if he needs stitches, if his teeth are loose, trying to get him to stop sucking the blood into his mouth, Sunny moves her hand, revealing the worst hematoma I've ever seen.
My knees got weak, I felt like puking, and I still didn't know where Trout was. I dashed into the kitchen, grabbed two ice packs out of the freezer, ran out on my back deck and shouted for Trout. I had to shout four times before she answered me, she was hysterical and told me she was cleaning things up outside. I shouted at her to get in the house, that we'd have to go to the hospital and I needed her inside. I ran back into the living room, threw one ice pack at Little Man and told him to put it on his lip, and thankfully he complied right away (never, ever happens). I tried to put an ice pack on Sunny's head, but she shrieked and pulled away, yelling that it hurt. It was a soft gel ice pack. I ran back into the kitchen, this time with her, interrogating her about what day it was, what her name was, if she ever "went to sleep" after getting hit, and grabbing a flashlight to check her eyes. She answered everything correctly, so I relaxed ever so slightly because she didn't appear to have a concussion or other head injury.
I called BigDaddyFish, still somewhat weak in the knees, and told him I was going to take her to the pediatrician, since it was during office hours and I didn't think she had a head injury other than the hematoma. We promptly got into a fight because he told me I can't be trusted to judge what treatment is appropriate because I have a tendency to overreact. So I sent him this on his cell phone:
It's hard to see because of her hair, but it did the trick. He agreed that I should take her to the doctor's office. I called the doctor's office and then had to do the back and forth convincing them that she wasn't hurt badly enough to require the ER right away (why do they do this? If she'd been unconscious or delerious or throwing up or whatever I wouldn't have called them in the first place, I'd just have gone to the ER) and getting an appointment.
Add that to the two trips earlier this week for a wet-sounding cough for Nemo and a reevaluation of Little Man's asthma and I went to the pediatrician more days than not this week. Urg.
They're all fine. Ibuprofen for Sunny for swelling and the headache, and italian ice and ice cream for her soul. In fact, most of the swelling is down this morning, though she is welcoming the medicine. The doctor said it will turn all sorts of gnarly shades of blue, purple, and black, and will take a long time to heal. As long as she's not concussed? I can live with that. Little Man's lip is just slightly fat, and a few of his teeth are a bit loose, but I reminded him he's six and his teeth are supposed to get loose and fall out about now, anyway. Trout just gave him an unwelcome head start. (and as for the other ped visits, the baby is getting over a virus and/or teething and making a ton of snot, but he's fine, and Little Man is off to the allergist)
I had thought that Trout had swung once, glancing off Sunny and tagging Little Man in the mouth. Not so. Genius child missed the ball when she swung the first time and hit Sunny, but somehow her little sister's distress wasn't enough to make her stop what she was doing, so she swung again because "I missed my ball and wanted to try to get it again" and then hit Little Man in the mouth. She is barred from any and all sports activities that involve equipment other than her ballet shoes for the foreseeable future, and I'm making her pay the $20 copay for Sunny's visit from her own money. Frankly other than the initial terror about how much trouble she was going to be in, she hasn't shown much remorse, and I want to make sure she gets the message that she has GOT to pay attention and that the number one rule with sports is to play safely, THEN have fun. Any assvice on that is certainly welcome. The whole lot of them are not allowed to use any sports equipment without an older person's supervision - we have some older neighborhood kids, middle schoolers, who DO pay attention and are fine to play with my kids if they want to, but my kids will just have to wait until Nemo has been taken care of if they want to play with sports equipment and the older kids don't want to.
And the lacrosse ball that "just disappeared"? It rolled into an open bag of mulch. I didn't even need to bend over to find it, I just looked. So this whole thing didn't really need to have happened at all if they'd just looked for the damn ball a little better.
As for me, I'm fine now, but I hadn't felt fear like I did yesterday since the day I dropped Nemo on his head. I have two bottles of red sitting on my counter, but yesterday after the adrenalin surge wore off I just crashed. I nodded off during Ninja Warrior. I feel hugely guilty, because I shouldn't have let them play with that stuff if I wasn't out there with them. I would have made sure everyone was standing away from whoever was swinging the bat, just like I do when we do pinatas at birthday parties (what, you don't use a bat for a pinata? Those suckers are hard to open otherwise).
I could do without days like yesterday.