Thump

Grady got a "big boy" bed last year. He and Shawn went to the store and picked out a bunk bed with a desk underneath and tons of storage. He rarely sleeps in it, choosing instead to sleep in his toddler bed. He likes to climb up and hang out in the bunk bed, though, which is fine with us because we thought the more time he spent up there, the more comfortable he would become.

Yesterday he climbed up into the bunk to look for a toy he had misplaced. I was down the hall when I heard a terrible thump. Annoyance flashed through my mind as my first thought was that Grady had thrown a toy off the top bunk. It had been a challenging morning, full of repeated questions and defiance and a total lack of "listening ears." But then I heard a tiny, strangled "mommy" and my heart dropped to my toes and I ran. Truth be told I waddled, quickly, but it felt like an Olympic sprint.

Grady was sprawled on his back in front of the bunk bed amid a mess of toys and an overturned chair. My brain (and my mom) told me not to move him but he was making the horrible gasping noise one makes when the wind has been knocked out of them and he was terrified (as was I). I picked him up and his body shuddered as he took a deep breath and started to cry.

I thought the overturned chair indicated he'd been trying to reach something (he has certain Lego structures that he's only allowed to play with "with his eyes" per Shawn) but through tears the story came out. He had been on the top bunk (the 6-feet-off-the-ground top bunk) and tried to throw a quilt over the edge because he was looking for a toy. He somehow got tangled up in the quilt and as it fell over the edge, so did he. He fell headfirst over the side of the bunk bed, did a flip, and landed on his back on the toys and chair below.

"Horrified" does not come even close to describing how I felt when I realized what had happened. I called Grady's doctor's office and they told me to take him to the emergency room. Roughly ten minutes had passed and Grady was calming down and talking clearly and moving all of his appendages without difficulty, but they said this was a "better safe than sorry" situation and I agreed. Fortunately my parents were over visiting so they drove us to the emergency room to meet Shawn (there was no way I could drive - I tried to be calm for Grady but inside I was panicked and would have been a hazard behind the wheel).

Grady was a trooper. He was patient and cooperative and charmed everyone in the emergency room. One of the doctors asked if he could stay all day because he was brightening up the place. It was a good lesson for me. Initially I'd been reluctant to take Grady to the emergency room because he was acting like his normal self - I figured we could rule out a serious head injury and not waste the doctors' time / take away from true emergent cases. But because of how Grady fell, and the fact that he landed awkwardly on the assorted bits and bobs that littered his carpet, the doctors had to rule out kidney trauma (something I hadn't even considered, because, you know, I'm not a doctor. LESSON LEARNED, UNIVERSE.).

We were sprung from the hospital late afternoon with an orange popsicle and multiple sheets of information on head trauma and warning signs to watch for. The lump on Grady's head is slowly starting to shrink and apart from a bit of muscle stiffness, he's almost back to normal. He's doing a bit of emotional processing today (he has informed me multiple times that he's never peeing in a cup again - because clearly peeing in a cup to test for blood was traumatizing for him and not at all for the person who had to catch the four-year-old's pee while a million weeks pregnant and hunched over a filthy toilet in a tiny hospital bathroom). But when all is said and done, we got incredibly lucky. The accident could have been so much worse and I shudder at the different outcomes I've imagined since yesterday (I thought Grady might have some trouble sleeping last night but nope, that was just me).

I'm doing a little bit of emotional processing myself. Logically I know that I can't hover over Grady and observe his actions 24/7 but the mama guilt is strong. I have been impatient and snippy snappy with Grady lately as my belly and my pain levels have grown. I've felt relief when he's played quietly by himself in his room because it's given me silence and space to think. And then while I enjoyed that silence and space, my heart flipped headfirst off the top bunk and could have been seriously hurt.

This parenting gig is not for the faint of heart or the weak-stomached.

Scatterbrain

In puppy training, one of the first and most important things they tell you is: don't repeat yourself. Give your command once. Don't say something over and over and become background noise that your puppy learns to tune out.  

Lately, more than ever, Grady is like an excitable puppy. He bounces from one spot to the next with no focus or attention to anything around him. I find myself saying the same phrases over and over, to the point where I tune myself out. "Watch where you're going!" "Eyes up!" "Please be careful!" Lather, rinse, repeat.  

This morning I was packing Grady's lunch while he buzzed around the kitchen. He walked full speed into the drawer I had open. Face first. Right into the corner of the drawer. He was so excited to show me the piece of Lego he'd been working on that nothing existed outside of it - his entire focus was on getting to me to show me the Lego.  

He had a good cry in my lap (and I'm pretty sure he'll be rocking a black eye when I pick him up tonight) and after he calmed down I told him that next time he needs to be more aware of where he's walking. "Next time you should protect me," he replied. I'm trying, buds. I'm trying.  

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Okay / Not Okay

I am okay until I am not okay and the shift always catches me by surprise. For the most part, I am doing okay. I am still in regular therapy and it's been extremely helpful for me. But it's frustrating to still be in this okay / not okay holding pattern because I expected to be "better" by now. (Better. Ha. What is better?)

I met my new niece last week. She was less than a week old, brand new and squishy. I am over-the-moon happy for my sister and her family. I am so in love with my new little family member. Grady was so interested in the tiny little baby with her button nose and her wee toes and her snuffly little cries. It physically hurt to see Grady interact with his new baby cousin. I don't want it to. I don't want to be sad when I see babies or pregnant ladies. And I'm not, always. I'm happysad. I'm okay / not okay.

My oldest friend is getting married in Wales this week. I expected to be there with her. I told her I would be there with her. Spoiler alert: I am not there with her. I am not okay enough to travel to Europe. My anxiety and my energy levels will not allow me to be there for my oldest friend as she marries her love.  

My sisters and my oldest friend and my people tell me it is okay to be not okay. They tell me to be gentle with myself and take the time I need to get better. They tell me to feel my feelings and not worry about disappointing anyone - I will be okay when I am okay and trying to force it or pretend isn't helping anyone. My sisters and my oldest friend and my people are smart people. They are thoughtful and kind and wise so I will make myself believe that they know what they're talking about. I will trust that one day I will just be okay. So okay that I don't even think about it anymore, I'll just be. And until that day comes, I will try my hardest to stop pretzeling myself into the shape of someone who is okay all the time.  

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London, Baby

I am not going to England this spring. Possibly not at all this year. It was an extremely difficult decision to make - I won't see my oldest friend get married - but a necessary one. My energy and anxiety levels are impeding my day-to-day life. Adding  international travel and an 8-hour time difference seems like a recipe for disaster. So I made the decision to stay and I know without a doubt it is the right decision, it's just also a sad decision (hashtag first world problem, I kno.)

I'm not pouting. I'm not resentful or sulky. I just feel sad.