|It's a jungle in our household. Enter at your own risk.|
When I "came back from the light", I was sitting on the floor, legs spread out in a V and a searing pain emanating from my left knee and making every part of my brain throb. When I could form a thought, I remember realizing that it seemed so oddly sweet and strangely terrifying at the same time that my 4-year-old daughter was stroking my hair, whispering "shhhhhhh, you're OK. It's OK Mommy" and kissing my forehead.
It took me a while to process exactly what was happening, but then it finally hit me. I had broken my leg by slipping on an errant shoe on the floor, and my young daughter had been there to witness it all and deal with the aftermath. Imagine her trying to help me up off the floor and prop me up as we hobbled to the car. I'm sure it was hilarious if you weren't screaming inside from the pain.
Before you get all sympathetic about my little accident, allow me to explain that it was 30% my fault for being so clumsy, and 70% the fault of that mini Florence Nightingale. I had asked her repeatedly to put her shoes on so we could leave for daycare/work. I had begged. I had pleaded. I had threatened. I had screamed like a shrew who could not be tamed.
Finally I stomped across the floor like a giant in a blind rage to grab the kid's shoes and forcibly put them on her. That's when it happened. I slipped on my own shoe that had been waiting patiently by the front door, hyper-extended my knee, the lights got brighter and then those lights went out. The bright side of the situation is that this child knew instantly that the situation was dire, and believe me those shoes were on her feet before my mouth started to work again.
I relay this story not to garner sympathy for my poor, battered leg (although I still am able to hobble and whimper if the need arises, like if I am faced with having to help someone box up and move).
No, really this story is about how for me this was the big one that almost caused the big sleep. As with many maladies, Chris is the one who caused me to have a broken leg, which incidentally created a blood clot that later dislodged and almost killed me.
Truth be told, this wasn't the first time that this kid gave me a close up and personal brush with death. She came out of the gate this way, forcing an emergency c-section when my blood pressure dropped dangerously low from the trauma of trying to evict this child to leave my warm and cozy womb.
And I suspect it also won't be the last time I almost shake hands with Mr. Reaper. Visions of teenage driving lessons are dancing in my head, not to mention the sleepless nights during which I'm out of my head with worry and nearly overdose on chamomile tea (or wine should the situation require it) to soothe my frazzled mother-of-a-rambunctous-teenage daughter nerves.
I foresee dangerous times ahead.
So instead of being nice to my child because someday she will pick out my nursing home, I use a different strategy of guilt, guilt and more guilt. And then I'll throw in a little more guilt to jab her conscience.
I remind her of her murderous streak quite often and sometimes out of the blue, just as we're laying down and the world is quiet and hazy, she will whisper to me in a creepy melodramatic voice, "I'm sorry I made you break your leg and that you almost died." And when she says this, I smile and say, "You should be sorry. Next time you should just do what I tell you."
Horribly shocking? Yes. Therapy-inducing? Probably, and most likely not the only reason she will need a therapist to get over her time with me. So why would I blame a little child? Why would I remind her of it whenever she gets out of line? How evil and mean!
|I can't specifically blame this one on her....but|
I'm sure she contributed. Positive of it.
"Yes," I tell her. "I almost died. And you're the reason. And it's also because of you that I will have this ugly scar and stretch marks across my belly for the rest of my life. And it's because of you that I carry around this extra 10 pounds (along with a few other ones that really don't have much to do with you, but that is not the point). And it's because of you that I have these deepening wrinkles around my eyes from sleepless nights and a hoarse voice from yelling at you to go back to bed. And it's because of you that I have this irritable stomach that knots with worry."
I also blame my daughter for making me sicker in the 8 years since her birth than I was in the previous 30+ years of my life combined. She must have sucked out every single bit of immune system I had inside me and in the past few years I dealt with near constant sinus infections, sore throats, flu-like illnesses, pink eyes, bronchitis, etc. You name it, it seems like I just can't fight it off any longer.
You see what she does to me? I have to let her know what kind of havoc such a child has wreaked on my life.
And I have to tell her all of this - repeatedly - so that I can also let her know I would endure all of this and worse in a heartbeat. I would break every bone in my body. I would take a bullet for her...maybe not gladly, but a bullet nonetheless. I would gain so much weight and so many wrinkles that I might as well create an online dating profile substituting Jabba the Hutt's picture as my own.
|Concocting a mother-killing poison perhaps?|
It does sound sick and wrong. But I remind her because how else would I be able to remind her that I would do it all again?
Is it too much to ask, though, that she just put on the freaking shoes the first time I ask?