Well. It’s time. The nightmares have finally gone away, and I’m able to sleep a little sounder.
It’s been a few weeks ago, now. March 15th, to be exact.
This was how I spent my Sunday morning. In the emergency room… with my 20 month old son, Archer. It started out a fairly good morning, I got to sleep in. D is usually really awesome about that on the weekends. He got up and took care of the kiddos while I slept in a little bit. When I DID get up (which really was about 8:00), he made some coffee.
Let me preface what happened next by saying I IN NO WAY blame my husband for what happened. I’m barely starting to forgive myself, but I never, ever thought it was his fault. I just wanna put that out there for those who think the previous statement means I do. I know how judgy the interwebs can be.
Archer decided he was going to “help” daddy in the kitchen. I’m not sure what he was thinking exactly, but he must have seen D pour me a cup of coffee and wanted to see what was in that shiny thing on the baker’s rack. So… he pulled it down and promptly dumped the whole pot (minus one cup) of freshly made coffee all over his back. No joke.
The screams that followed were the absolute worst things I have ever heard in my whole entire life. It’s a sound that no person with any sort of feelings ever wants to hear, let alone a parent. A cross between a howl and a scream, it haunted my dreams for a long while afterwards (and probably still will from time to time). My poor baby boy burned THE SHIT out of his back.
As we ripped his shirt off and started trying to cool the skin down with the coldest washcloth we could manage, we started to notice the skin peeling off his poor little back. We called 911. Luckily, we are two driveways down from the fire station (no joke) and they were here in 5 minutes. He wouldn’t hold still. He kept writhing in pain, trying to get away from the fire on his back. And every time they would put a gel pack on his back (to cool it off) he would start screaming again. He wanted me, he wanted daddy, he wanted me again. All we wanted was for our baby to stop feeling pain.
When he FINALLY calmed down (but only a little) we made the decision to have them take us in the ambulance to the emergency room to have him looked at and bandaged up. On the list of things I have never done (and would never want to do again)? Ride in the back of an ambulance. Archer snuggled into my chest as we rode to the hospital, and it took everything I had not to break down right there. I couldn’t look at his back. We got to the hospital, and back into a room, and I still couldn’t look.
He was bandaged, and given pain medication, and we were told that he would be fine. At the time, it was hard to believe. But this kid? You guys, we came home, he took a nap, and later on that day he was running around like a freaking crazy person.
Three doctors visits in the following week, and no sleep on Momma’s part, and we finally got to take the bandages off. It was the longest 10ish days of my life.
This is what it looked like, a week and a half after it happened. And today? It looks even better. I’m hoping that it doesn’t scar, or if it does it’s so faint that you can barely see it. And I hope that the lesson of not touching hot stuff is one that he’s learned. But let me tell you what I’ve learned from all of this….
1) I simply cannot be everywhere at once. And that’s going to lead to shit happening. Because this kid is SO different from his brother. He’s curious, he’s fearless, he’s sometimes reckless. And I just can’t watch him all the time. And that? Is okay. And things are going to happen to him, and that’s how he’s going to learn.
2) I’m not alone. You wouldn’t believe the “parent of the year” stories I have heard in the last few weeks from people. We all have them, and if you don’t, you will. And hopefully we can all look back and laugh at them.
3) The internet is a funny place. A place where humor can heal you, and people you’ve never met in person can be the most supportive people in your life. It’s a place where you can connect with the people you love that live far away (or even not so far…) and they can help you heal. And I fucking LOVE my internet family.
4) Who my support system actually is. Sometimes, it takes things happening to your children, and you freaking the fuck out about it, to figure out who you truly want to give your time to. You forget, feelings mend, you forgive and then shit like this happens, and you remember why you have the people you do in your life… and why some people just don’t belong.
5) Chicks dig scars. Or so I’ve been told. And while he may not completely remember that Sunday morning in March…. Mommy and Daddy (and brother) will. And we will be able to tell him about it (and hopefully laugh). And it’s things like this that scar our memories forever, and not every scar is ugly.
Thank you, internet. Thanks for being there when we needed you. Thanks for telling us that he was going to be okay. Thanks for being right. Thanks for telling us that we’re not bad parents for this happening. It will take a while, but we may even actually believe you one day. And thanks to the family and friends that reached out to make sure I wasn’t diving deeper into my head when all this happened. And a special thanks to those who tried to pull me out. Love you all.