You know when something terrible happens and you manage to hold it together for so long, and then you speak to either you mother or your husband? For some reason just the sound of their voice reduces you to hysterics. Poor Aaron. I'm sure all he could understand in between sobs was "Jackson" and "Children's Hospital". I tried to assure him that Jackson was fine. This wasn't a life threatening situation. Jackson wasn't even crying at this moment. But all I could do was wail into the phone. I can imagine this is every husbands nightmare; you wife calls you at work because you kid needs to go to the emergency room and she can't stop crying long enough to tell you what's wrong.
Of course Aaron jumped in the car and rushed home. He practically ran in the front door and through my sobs managed to hear my mumbling that Lola had a dirty diaper. While I'd been walking around holding Jackson trying to pretend like I was calm, my daughter had just been hanging out, playing with her toys and pretty much ignoring both of us. Thank God for that. Aaron changed Lola, I made a bottle for Jack and got us ready to leave for the HOSPITAL, and Grammy (Aaron's mom) arrived to take over Lola duty. Off we went for our first family Emergency Room visit.
On the way to Children's another idea hit me: "Am I going to be investigated by Child's Services?!?" This is unbearable. I am a fit mother! I really am! I do so much right. I am imagining making my case to the investigator, saying "But my kids drink milk out of sippy cups like they're supposed to, they eat 5 different fruits and vegetables per day, they have bed times and routines and rituals and we sing and read books and build block towers and we don't even watch too much tv!" All the things I would say to justify my competence as a parent came flooding into my mind. And then of course running parallel to that flood was the steady trickle of, "How could you? How are you going to look anyone in the face again?" I asked Aaron if he thinks Child Services is going to get involved and he looked at me, all puffy faced and panicking, and said with just the right combination of assurance and humor that he definitely does NOT think Child Services will be getting involved.
Carrying my son, I sheepishly followed my husband in to the Children's Hospital Emergency Room. A nurse waved us back into a small room to begin the admitting process. She looks at me and asks, "Patients Name?" Simple, right? Patients Name. But through my filter of mommy guilt it sounded like "And what were you doing EXACTLY when you tried to BREAK YOU CHILD'S ARM?" In reality there was nothing accusatory in her tone. When she asked "Patient's Name?" she was simply asking for Jackson's name. Nothing more. Nevertheless I burst into tears.
By the end of her simple exam (weight, blood pressure, a quick look at the arm) Jackson and I were both crying. She sent us into the waiting room, blubbering and overwhelmed, to wait to be called in to see the doctor. We waited for about an hour. We looked at the fish tank. We played with the trash can. We walked and sang. To my great disappointment Jack showed absolutely no interest in the Hannah Montana playing on the tv, but we managed to keep him occupied for an hour or so with little fussing.
But around 6:30 Jackson could no longer be distracted from his hunger (he had now missed dinner and his night time bottle) and exhaustion (between 6:30 and 7 is bed time). He started to really wail and thankfully we were quickly put in a room (which really looked like supply storage area).
From that point on I think the rest of our hospital visit lasted a total of 15 minutes.
********I know, I know... get to the conclusion already. It's coming, really it is. And just to make sure all of you aren't too worried about Jackson in the meantime, this picture was taken AFTER Jackson's elbow injury. No cast, no sling. Just a happy healthy kid enjoying a day at the park with family and friends.
Check out the awesome hair! Joy!