Managing The Mama Bear Instinct (To be filed under “Things I Suck At”)

Jul 22 2011

How in the world did a needle manage to lodge itself in my son’s leg?

Well, here’s the deal.  I HAVE NO IDEA!  And that fact drives me a little bit crazy because it begs the question… how do I make sure it never, ever happens again?  ‘Cause if we mamas can’t prevent every bad thing, we sure want to learn from the experience and at least not repeat the bad things that have already happened.

If you ask Cael how he hurt his leg — and I believe that now 2 parents, 4 siblings, 3 nurses, 2 x-ray techs, 1 doctor, and 100 of our closest friends and family have done exactly that — Cael will tell you, “I stepped on a button.”

Seriously.  That’s his story, and he’s stickin’ to it.  “I was packing my suitcase for Grandma’s house, and I stepped on a button.”

Which would make a ton of sense if a) buttons had long needles attached to them, b) he’d felt anything at all penetrate his skin, and c) the needle was in his foot instead of below his knee.

Here we are, on Friday evening, and my kid is still playing host to the needle.

Yep, that little stinker will be hanging out in Cael’s leg for the weekend.

I’m trying very hard to just think of it as an overnight house guest.  A naughty, naughty overnight house guest who gets no popcorn or movies followed by a forceable ejection on Monday afternoon.

I learned something from this episode.

When I grow up, I never, ever, ever want to be a surgery scheduler and deal with half-crazed mothers of preschoolers… or probably half-crazed mothers of any type.

I was on the war path this morning when I discovered that Cael’s surgery consult is scheduled for Monday.  Not the surgery.  Just the consultation.

I found myself on the phone using Irrational Mommy Voice… the trembling sotto voce of “Will the Mommy cry?  Or will she lose her poo and flood the phone with a torrent of nasty words and accusations?”

I said things like, “My 4-year-old has a NEEDLE stuck in his LEG.  I – I mean, he – cannot wait indefinitely for it to be removed.  Yes, you can call me back.  Actually – wait – I’ll call you back in 30 minutes.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Cael played blissfully on the slide.  He was not perturbed.  He was not disturbed.  He was not dismayed or emotional or put out.

Cael, in fact, giggled.

I was bug-eyed and ready to rip someone’s head off.  Greg got in my way once, and I talked to him from between clenched teeth with my eyebrows up to my hairline.

Emotional Mommy threatened to take permanent control of my mind and my body.  My speech sped up.  My heart rate quickened.

Cael ran to the sand box with his brother.  They made a playland for their cars.  Then he hung out on the slide again.

DO YOU SEE HOW HE’S HANGING ONTO LIFE BY A THREAD?

(Actually, do you see the wump on the right leg?  That there’s a needle under the skin.  Nice, right?)

I called the surgeon’s office again.  They assured me someone would return my call as soon as possible.  I said I’d call back in 30 minutes.  Again.  I said, “I know you’re working hard to accommodate me, and I’m grateful.  I really am.  But it’s Friday, and lunch time, and I need to make sure we solve this today so we can do surgery on Monday.  I’ll keep calling.”  The scheduling lady deserves a medal.  She didn’t sigh at me or anything.

Cael ate a Popsicle and played dress-up with his sister.  They convinced Cai to put on make-up and a dress, and then they had a parade.  Poor Cael.  His suffering just goes on and on.

The surgeon’s office called me back.  The scheduler was unfailingly polite.  They rearranged their Monday, and Cael’s surgery is on the schedule.  She didn’t even say it through clenched teeth, and her eyebrows sounded perfectly normal over the phone.  She was amazing!

Cael was so relieved.

OK, fine.  I was so relieved.  There’s just nothing like knowing there’s a needle stuck inside of my kid that makes every single Mommy instinct I have scream, “GET IT OUT!”

So that’s what we’re going to do.  We’re going to get that sucker out of my baby.

But not ’til Monday.  Which I’m sure will be no problem at all.

For Cael.

For me, we shall just have to wait and see.