Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Love hurts

A tear, not a tear, in my eye.
"Where's my kiss?" I asked in my sweetest mommy voice as I leaned in close to my adorable 18 month old right before he lashed out with his wicked toddler talons and gouged a small chunk of skin out of my right eye.

The pain lasted about four hours, and I finally went to see my opthamologist, who gave a satisfying "yikes" when she examined my eye. For some reason, going to the doctor about this felt like I was giving in to weakness. Could I really be seriously injured by my own darling baby?  She drew the diagram (left) and reassured me that no, I wasn't the wimpiest mother in the world. This eye also happens to be the one with a really interesting toxoplasmosis scar, extremely near the optic nerve on my retina.

I was glad the doctor told me my eye would heal quickly, because a recent injury from my 6 year old lasted a few weeks and had just finally faded. We were enjoying a terrific game of "tickle my tummy" when he head-butted me on the bridge of my nose. I was out of commission for about 10 minutes, and actually contemplated checking with a doctor to see if it was broken, but I didn't because I felt dumb. How would I explain it? My kid's head is like granite? My nose is like fine porcelain? Ever helpful, my loving spouse encouraged me to develop faster reflexes. I really wanted to show him the reflex in my middle finger worked just fine, but refrained.

A close friend had it a lot worse. Her five year old daughter reared up under her head in an attempt to hug her and literally broke her mother's jaw. After several days of agonizing pain my friend finally trudged into the ER and learned her jaw was broken. It got worse as she had to endure a few surgeries with a protracted and painful recovery.

As a mom, I feel so guilty bringing an injured child to a doctor because I am sure they are judging me as an incompetent parent for allowing my child to be hurt. Now I know I am even more reluctant to be judged as an incompetent parent who has been maimed by her possibly dangerous cherubs. It hurts when we see our children get hurt, but it hurts a helluva lot more when they injure us. Though it was hard going to the doctor, I need to get over that. More injuries likely loom in my future, since I can't even dodge a tiny fingernail aimed directly at my eye.