Wordless Wednesday – Hanging at the Museum of Nature
I remember the day that it happened. A beautiful and hot day in July. We had just come home from a long walk. Woo was hungry and wet, so I went upstairs to change him while his bottle warmed. He was his usual happy and playful self, not yet fussy, but getting there, so we headed downstairs.
I lost my footing and we tumbled down the last two stairs, falling forward. My knees hit the floor first, then my elbows, then Woo. Onto the slate tile. It was so silent for an eternity, then we both freaked out. He cried and fought to stay awake while I cried and called Willy. He rushed home and we headed to the closest hospital. I should have called 911, but I had never been faced with a situation where you would need to call 911. I called Willy and he came running.
We were fast tracked at the hospital. It wasn’t a pediatric hospital so it was a bit of a comedy of errors trying to get his vitals taken, but we quickly got to see a doctor. Woo had perked up by this time, and charmed said doctor and everyone else around, which was incredibly normal for my lil man. He was thoroughly checked out, and we were sent home with instructions to watch him for any changes, any pattern of abnormal behaviour. Which is not the easiest thing with a four month old. Normal is the lack of routine!
I watched him like a hawk for the rest of that day looking for any little change in his behaviour. He was his usual unpredictable self, but I over analyzed his every move. There were no significant changes until he vomited his bottle right before bed. Then I knew what they meant. This was not normal. It wasn’t a pattern and he wasn’t distressed, so he settled in to bed, and we carried on with the evening. I was stressed and blaming myself, but he was OK, so I was almost OK. Until he vomited his next bottle.
We called tele-health, and they sent us backto the hospital that we had been to that morning. They again checked him over and had us stay overnight for observation. I watched him sleep that entire long night, and then fed him in the morning. He was fine for a while, but then sick again, so they sent us to CHEO, where he was poked and prodded some more, and sent for a CT, which showed that his skull was fractured.
My poor little baby had a fractured skull. I fractured his skull. I felt like the world’s worst mother. A small part of me still does when I think about it. There was no treatment, and other than the added doctor’s appointments over the next year, you would never know it had happened.
I knew. He was so young when it happened. I spent the next year or so agonizing over every milestone, watching his every reaction, searching for something that wasn’t there. I am sure that I drove Willy nuts with my concerns, but he never let on. I was positive that I had “broken” him in some way. He’s still perfect, and for that I am so grateful.
It still haunts me to this day. It doesn’t happen every time I walk down the stairs, but I frequently replay that day in my mind. When I am carrying one of the lils, or even the cat, I clutch them a little bit tighter on those stairs. Now that the lils are older and freely moving up and down the stairs, I am forever trying to be there as they go. To catch them if they fall. Watching them horse around on that very set of stairs kills me, and I forever preach to them that it is NOT ALLOWED. They mostly listen, thankfully.
As I was leaving CHEO on that fateful day, a nurse stopped me and asked if I was OK. I started to tell her that I had no physical injuries, but she stopped me and asked how I was emotionally. I said that I was shaken, but would be fine. It’s taken me a long time, and I am getting closer, but I am still not fine. Getting better about it, but definitely not fine.
Wordless wednesday – Summer fun
Out of sorts
It’s catching. First it was the lils, and for them the last three weeks have been hard. We thought it was getting used to the lack of schedule and no day care in July. We blamed it on travel, on the late bed times. Then there was Woo’s summer camp and the fact that they were separated for a couple of weeks, then more travel. It’s constant though. They’re still out of sorts, and it never ends well. The crying, the tears, the fights, the hitting, the tantrums…
This week it’s us. I know that I am off, and Willy admits the same. He has deadlines and stress at work, I can’t get anything done most days. I am not adjusting well to having the lils n e e d me all day long every day, and I am so very overstimulated by the constant noise and attention. I have not gotten any work in, other than a quick trip to the office last week. There are things I need and want to do and can’t. Things I should be doing and don’t or I get so easily distracted from. Then there are all the things that might be happening, that we aren’t sure of, and that have yet to break or invade our home. They are wearing on me. Plus the crying, the tears, the fights, (no hitting) the tantrums…
It’s hot, I am tired, rambling and out of sorts. I don’t like it one bit.
Wordless wednesday – 365: the end
We’ve had our share of squatters this last year, but have dealt with them pretty effectively for the most part. Some have been embraced, like the families of bunnies that live in or near our yard, or the spiders that reside in the house but take care of all sorts of creepy crawlies and keep the cat entertained. Others, like the mice that invaded our space, the wasps that stung my lil boy five times, or the red lily beetles have been swiftly eventually executed. I thought that we had taken care of our spring ants as well, but I was so very, very wrong.
Last Sunday, upon return from vacation, we were lounging around the house getting ready to head outside for a barbecue. It was a really hot day, and the sun was streaming in through the west-facing windows. I was talking on the phone as Willy herded Goose and Woo for shoes. I heard them go in the room, and then there was silence. Willy called me to come into the room in that right now and I am trying not to panic voice. I dashed into the room and saw that both the lils and Willy were fine. What they were staring at, transfixed on in fact, was not. The ants that were crawling streaming out of one of the window frames. They were big and black and there were hundreds of them.
The word vacuum came out of my mouth, and Willy ran down to get it while I continued to watch in horror. He was back in record time, and we started to suck them up. There were hundreds upon hundreds of these big ants, and they were now coming out of the frames of two different windows, carrying what appeared to be all of their worldly belongings. We clearly had a problem.
About twenty minutes later, we noted that the exodus was now a mere trickle, so we sealed the room after setting out traps and poison , moved the vacuum outside while it was still running, and sealed the vacuum bag and all the ants in a plastic garbage bag. We sat down to eat, but kept checking to make sure that there was no second wave. They seemed to be under control.
I don’t know what happened that made them freak out so, but there was clearly something wrong in their world. It may have been that the heat became too intense and they decided to move to a cooler location, or that some other pest attacked their humble home. I suppose we’ll never know, but can acknowledge that this is a large problem.
Willy was home with Woo the next day, and did some googling to see what next. All of the sources that he found pointed to use of the same poison that we had used to keep them under control . This comforted me, but I kept playing worst case scenario in my head, and did some googling of my own. Turns out that one of the pretty defining characteristics of a carpenter ant is…
A hairy ass. Crap. We need an exterminator. Until we get this figured out, no bug of any sort is safe in this house.
Putting it out there
As I see it, the real problem with putting yourself out there is not what others think about you, but what you think of yourself afterwards. In the back of my mind I know that this is a risk, but sometimes I get brave and put myself way out there anyway. It’s about growth and challenging myself.
When I read one of my blog posts in public last week, I took that risk. It was not something I would normally do, but something I wanted to do, to experience. Since I started writing this blog, I discovered that I really like writing, that I want to write, tell stories, and share my views. This event was another way to tell my story, and I jumped at the opportunity to submit a tale. To say that I was honoured and excited would be understating. I was also very anxious about not being able to get up and share.
On the night of I was a bundle of nerves, but had practiced, and in the end felt that I delivered my post well. What I didn’t anticipate was that I would walk away feeling so inadequate. There were twenty extremely talented people who read around me. They made me laugh and cry and made me appreciate the work that they put into their writing. I walked away feeling that I was not anywhere near their league. How was I even in the same room as them, sharing the same stage? It’s days later, and this has saddened me and paralyzed me. Where do I go from here?
Right now I am in a holding pattern. Part of me says keep doing what you are doing, part of me says forget about it all, and the rest says get better. Do more. Put yourself out there. The right answer is to commit to doing something that I enjoy and improve. But that means I have to put myself out there, and I am not sure I am ready for that.
BOLO, my bits.
Last night, was BOLO! It was a fabulous night, where some of Ottawa’s finest bloggers read their posts. And Ottawa has some simply fabulous writers. The full list is posted on the BOLO site. I was a reader this year, and easily chose one of my favourite posts to read - uninvited guests.
I also submitted ten photos for display. These were MUCH harder to choose, but I finally narrowed it down to these ten:
I’m still processing the experience. It was so much more than I expected!
Wordless wednesday – waiting to bloom
*all the same bloom, taken a couple of days apart*
There are no bugs at bug camp
This week marks our first foray into day camps for the Woo. He was very excited at the prospect, and particularly keen on the camp that we chose for this week “Buggin’ Out”. It’s an afternoon camp, so yesterday morning was spent at home with Willy. He talked about all the cool things that he would find, planned to bring his magnifying glass to see them better, and had his dad read one of his bug books right before leaving, so he would be ready. He went right in to the camp, happy to get going.
At the end of the afternoon, Willy picked him up. He came running to me and was happy, so I asked for a report. He got a strange look on his face and said “there are no bugs at bug camp, it’s just a play with other kids camp”. He was more than a little disappointed, and mentioned it a few more times. In his descriptions of the day, he gave a pretty good list of the things he did, and assured me that he had fun, despite the fact that there were no bugs.
Willy and I talked about it, and both felt that there must be some mistake. Either we read the description wrong, or they had him in the wrong room. Last night I re-read the flyer for the camp, which reads “Come and explore the wild world around us, from the very tall to the very small! Together we’ll search high and low, far and wide for the largest creature to the tiniest fly.” While it doesn’t explicitly say we will hunt bugs, I still felt that there should be some component that involved bugs.
I brought Woo to camp this afternoon, and dropped him of a few minutes early, in hopes of catching one of the leaders to see what was up. Woo was wearing his bug shirt (at his request), and told me that he hoped they would see some bugs today. I got him settled an grabbed one of the leaders. She was shocked to hear that we expected bugs, and that Woo was disappointed to not have seen or heard of any the day before. She explained that they focused on all living things, and might make a bug craft today. She also let me know that they had arranged for a special reptile event at the camp later this week, but that it was in the morning session, the session for which he is not registered. None of these give the little man the bugs he so wants to catch and learn about.
I am still open to the outcome, but our first experience with camp is somewhat of a letdown. It’s more like a play group or daycare, both of which we already have in place. While this is helping him to go off in new situations on his own, I still feel it’s not what we ordered. There better be some science at science camp next week. For now, it looks like I’ll be doing some bug hunting with my lil man.