This morning was a morning like any other morning. I woke up, dreading what lie ahead of me for the day. The whining. The refusing to eat. The long walk to the park. More whining. Long walk home from the park. More refusing to eat. Begging for freezies. Begging to help me with the laundry. Throwing shit. Drawing on shit. Carter being Carter. No day is ever easy, but I weather the storms like any other stay-at-home mother. AND - say what you will, it is MUCH harder to be a stay-at-home mother than it is to be a mother who has a day job. I just had to get that off my chest.
So actually, all in all, the morning was going well. Oliver was happy (Oliver is always happy) and Carter wasn't whining too much, and I was thinking about packing a picnic and heading to Gage Park with the kids and the dog. I decided to mull it over in the shower. I put Ollie in his crib to watch his Ocean Wonders aquarium, and Carter just had the run of the house as usual. Cars was on. So I have myself a shower. I'm conditioning my hair and singing Psycho Killer, and then I hear screaming. Not regular run-of-the-mill-Carter-being-a- shithead kind of screaming, but painful screaming. I take a second to process the fact that I'm really wet and naked and I have no idea what's going on or where it's happening, and I just poke my head out and I notice that Oliver's dresser is... not upright.
I make a mad dash. I am totally naked. Carter is wedged between Ollive's crib and dresser, and the weight of the dresser is pretty well just resting against his forehead. I'm being calm. I am aware that when you make a big deal out of these things, it tends to scare kids and make things a million times worse for them. So I'm the hero. I lift the dresser with one hand and scoop out my baby with the other. I check him over for any serious damage. He has a mark across his temple and his eye, it might turn into a black eye. But he seems okay.
I, however, am not okay.
I call everyone whose number I know by heart. My baby just got crushed by a piece of furniture and I have to get him to the hospital! Horrible things are running through my head! Concussions! Internal bleeding! Aneurisms! Ebola! You name it - and no one answers the phone. I have no money for a cab and now I'm just angry because I know that certain people I've called are deliberately ignoring my call. So I turn to facebook and make a big, embarrassing, F-bome-ridden status update that I later deleted pleading for help. Everything is fine at this point - Carter is eating a freezie and just being a little sooky because his new jungle gym fell on him. Shit happens. He's being a champ about it.
But you know what happened? My not-as-close-as-we-should-be friend Katrina called me and offered to drive us to emerge, and just check on us to see if everything's okay. And that meant a lot to me. And even though I'm not extending my deepest gratitude in a traditional way, I am broadcasting it on my blog and I'm sure she'll read this and know that it meant the world. I am going to make myself a good friend to her - even if she doesn't want me to.
And throughout the day, an outpouring of concern and similar "bad mother" stories flooded my facebook inbox, from some rather surprising sources. And I learned a couple of valuable lessons today.
1. Dressers should be anchored.
2. Some family members may not answer the phone because they have a headache, or because they have the flu for the tenth time this week, or because they're scared you want to bring your busy, loud little boy over to interrupt their TV show (I'm not talking about my parents, who are wonderful grandparents who happen to be in another province today)
3. Freezies are a magic cure-all.
4. Support can come from unexpected places and...
5. It's time to be a better friend.
OH! And also,
6. It may be better to shower before bed rather than in the mroning, because all the bad shit goes down as soon as I turn my back for 5 seconds. Of course.