Just when I was starting to feel like I was getting my feet back underneath me, I had to drop everything and run to the ER for a cat scan for Atticus. With all my time in the hospital, this was actually my first time as a parent in the ER. That’s a little silver lining in the disability. No accidents when you can’t run around! Or so I would have thought.
Atti was sitting on the bed in our guest room, jabbering and singing with me while I typed, and as we played the front door opened and in walked Bear. Atti got so excited he forgot himself, lost his balance, and plummeted off the bed and onto the edge of the bookshelf. He didn’t bleed, he didn’t throw up or lose consciousness or any of the other scary things that happen with a bonk on the noggin, so we just tried to calm him down and make him feel better while we tried not to laugh. A pissed off four year old is hilarious, especially when he’s blaming his dad for the fall. In between screams Atti would literally shake his fists and say “Oh daddy! Daddy! :unintelligible grumbles: Daddy!” and then to make certain we were getting his point he did a pitch perfect impression of me saying “JARE-ed! JARE-ed!” as he rubbed his head. If his dad hadn’t come home and gotten him all excited, Atti never would have fallen off the bed! Dang daddies.
Other than totally pissed off, Atti seemed fine and didn’t even complain the rest of the night. It wasn’t until nearly a full week later that I was combing his hair and felt a softness. It was so subtle I had to stop and ask myself if it was always there. I told the nervous mother in my head to chill out, but the next morning it was worse so I freaked out and took appropriate steps to get him treated.
One of those steps was getting Bear to come home from work. All I had to do was say ER and there was a Bear shaped cloud of dust left behind his desk. I might have freaked out, but he FAH-REAKED out, and like all good partnerships we recognize that when one of us is FAH-REAKING, the other has to rally and hold things together. I talked to doctors and filled out paperwork and kept Atti calm while Bear just tried to keep from clasping Atti to his chest and sprinting into the sunset.
But then it was time for the cat scan. And I just happened to be in that window of my cycle when if the odds are ever going to work out for us to have another baby, I had to take some precautions. Precautions that turned out to be unnecessary since I’m yet again not pregnant, but that’s another load of crazy making for another day. Bear had to go in without me and keep Atti still while he faced down a giant robot. And since we have a good partnership he switched off the freak out switch and came through like a champ while I was in the other room taking my turn to freak.
Head injuries are so dramatic. They’re like the teenage girls of injuries. Atti turned out to be just fine. The swelling is a hematoma which is just a little bleed in between the skull and the skin of the head. It’s totally nothing, but with a head injury, and a head injury of a disabled boy with brittler than average bones, you don’t mess around. It all just makes me very very grateful that we don’t have to do this regularly. Next time I see a mom with a really active boy I’m going to cock my head to the side, furrow my brow, put a gentle hand on her arm and say, “I just don’t know how you do it. You must be so strong.”