Monday, November 23, 2009

It Will Get Worse

I expected the Bubba to get home a half-hour sooner than he did. That was my time to get ready. I had showered and dressed, but my hair was still wet, my makeup still in its bag on the sink. He got home about the same moment as I had been hoping to leave the house. As soon as he walked in the door, I directed Lucy to bring her books to Daddy and I ran into the bathroom. I pointed the hair dryer in the general direction of my dripping mop of hair while trying to simultaneously slap moisturizer on my skin. I got as far as putting pressed powder on my face before it happened.

Lucy snuck in the bathroom at some point during this process. And what is more interesting to a 15 month old mischief maker than a dangling cord attached to an unfamiliar machine? I'm not sure exactly what the play-by-play was, but at the end of that momentary eternity, my flat iron ended up flying onto the floor and Lucy froze mid-reaction. She stood perfectly still with her elbows bent and her fingers splayed staring at the wall for a good few seconds.

I imagined that she had tried to bring it to her mouth. That she had gotten both her cheeks with the sides of the flat iron. That it had gotten her eyes. Her mouth! Lips! That her face was going to be a blistery mess! Skin grafts! How much to skin grafts cost! How do I explain to Lucy that she's going to be one of those girls that's pretty on the INSIDE and that her husband will love her for her PERSONALITY?

Ok, I'm lying. That wasn't my first reaction. My original reaction was something more along the lines of very helpfully screaming "Shitshitshitshitshitshit!" (Or, possibly it was the F-bomb... heh heh. Still working on that potty mouth thing. A moment of crisis is NOT the time.) My second reaction was a huge hot ball of fiery anger at the Bubba for not watching her more closely as I got ready and at myself for being in such a rush that I didn't notice my baby in danger. We are obviously the WORST PARENTS EVER.

Lucy just stood there while I screamed cuss words. Frozen to the spot, I imagine she was both assessing the damage herself and freaking the heck out because of my yelling. Then came the tears, the huge crocodile tears. And Lucy was sobbing too. I looked her over and over and couldn't see any burned spots. I asked her where any owies were. And she just went from me to the Bubba and back for cuddles and loves, not interested in our concern.

And then a faint redness blossomed on skin of her hand. The Bubba put it under water, and I was still so angry at the whole evening's situation that I hid back in the bathroom and started over by washing the crying off my face. Lucy was oblivious. She was so happy to be playing in the faucet, it could have been her birthday for all she knew.

So insignificant!

But me, I was angry. Angry at us. Angry at the situation. Angry that I was in such a rush. Angry that the Bubba was all "What's the big deal?" about it. I left without much more said because I didn't trust myself not to start a fight. And that turned out to be a very smart thing. By the time I got home, I was able to tell the Bubba what was going on instead of just slinging vague insults in his general direction. Guilt has a funny way of lashing out, doesn't it?

I know we'll probably deal with cuts and stitches and burns and maybe a broken bone or two in our kids' lives. And I know that it will (um, probably!) not be my fault. This burn was seriously a little nothing. And not the worst that will ever happen to her, for sure. Or as that same phrase goes in German "It will get worse." I guess we'll see.


Lisa said...

Oh, I've had those moments! It seems like everything in the world is conspiring against you. I hope it doesn't get MUCH worse, because we've seen some pretty bad falls around here.

Emily said...

Oh Liz. Sometimes the hardest part is trying not to beat yourself up about it. I remember when Asher needed stitches at 14 months... he stopped crying about the gash about ten minutes in, and I felt horrible for a week. It is so hard.

(Thank you for your sweet note, by the way. You're a GEM.)

Manda said...

Oh my gosh this has happened like one billion times at our house. John is supposed to be watching/entertaining Syd and all the sudden my laptop is on the floor bc Daddy turned his back to PLAY WII. I get so upset when my baby gets hurt too, by the way. But I can't talk about it w/o crying sooo....