Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Injured or Hurt, What's Worse?

I feel awful.
The other night Connor hit his head—hard.
I had just washed his hands/face when he took off running from the bathroom before I could dry him off. He sprinted down the hallway, missed the turn into the kids' bedroom, slipped and went face first into the door frame.
Instantly there was screaming—Connor wailing and me shouting.

As he turned around to look at me, his forehead was already purple and swelling. Now, we have been to the ER a few {OK, several} times with Liam {stitches, staples, IVs, you name it!}, so I abandoned all calm, rational thought and entered state of hysteria, barking orders because "the baby" was hurt:
I yelled for Jesse to look up the hours of the new Urgent Care place that just opened near us.
I told Liam to change his clothes and get ready to leave in case Connor had to go to the hospital.
I ran for the ice and my cell to dial the doctor-on-call.

I hoisted the bellowing toddler onto the counter and started to evaluate the giant-yet-still-growing goose egg that was pulsating and purple when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Liam's little face go white.
He had his raincoat and boots on and was "ready to take care of Connor." But what I saw wasn't the {hilarious, even in the moment} child dressed in an absurd outfit, all I could see was his look of fear and anxiety. And I knew I did that to him.

I let my emotions and worry for Connor cloud my ability to be a good parent to Liam, who is the most sensitive creature I know. I tried to hit the pause button, but I had already single handedly thrown us all into total chaos. Jesse came half-running down the hall, pulling on his shoes when he saw Liam—he stopped and pulled him into a hug and quietly advised his older son on the benefits of sneakers vs. rain boots while I spoke to the pediatric answering service. And I was grateful to Jesse in that moment. And if I am being honest, a little jealous that he was the one to comfort Liam, when I was already feeling desperate to fix this mess I had made.

Connor turned out to be fine, no signs of a concussion, just a giant back and blue lump that kept me up most of the night checking on him…. And I know this should be all about my little guy because  he was the one that was injured, but I just can't stop help feeling badly because it was also Liam who got hurt.

We spent the next two hours cradling kids on our laps while watching TV. We had to keep awake to check on him, but if Connor got "extra-stay-up," you know Liam was bargaining for "extra-stay-up" time too and we were totally OK with that!

I was thankful for those moments, just holding my boys and kissing their hair. And I was happy to tuck Liam in bed and thank him for being such a good big brother, but I can't shake this feeling.
Did I light a flame of panic or anxiety in my soon-to-be 5-year old? How can I handle things better in the future? Is there any way to turn off the Mommy-worry?

I don't have any answers, if you do, please let me know!

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