Toes


One of the parenting differences
At 12:30 am this morning my son wakes me up by screaming the house down.  I jump out of bed out of preservation. I dont want him waking up the 2 yr old in the bunk below.
I’m telling him between a clenched jaw to be QUIET and not wake up his sister.

As an afterthought i ask whats wrong.

The absence of any bears or ghosts or witches tells me all i need to know; there is no reason on this earth for that noise to be allowed out of this child’s face.
“My toe!!! My toe!!!”
During his bath earlier, i discovered the entire bottom of his big toe peeled off. But not OFF. Its just dangling there, mocking the new skin. Not quite ready to jump off. He will not allow me to cut it off, either so after the bath, i put a band aid on it.
Apparently during the BRIEF time he was asleep, the band aid fell off and his toe was rubbing against his sheet.
This, of course, is the calm and intelligible translation of what i actually heard.
“MOOOOOMMM!!! Heeeeelp me helpme helpme helpme helpme helpme!!!!!”
*gasp gasp heave whimper whine gasp heave whine*

Its amazing what your children teach you about yourself. I know a lot of my own limits now. For instance, i don’t communicate very well after being woken up by screaming after only having slept an hour. I manage to keep from tearing mine and my child’s hair out by gritting my teeth, and whisper-yelling.
Yes, whisper yelling.
Who knew?!
Parents of small children, that’s who!
Its not as effective as, say, lighting a scarecrow on fire, or an air horn, but i have found it cuts through a lot of middle of the night hysteria. Partly because it makes me sound batshit crazy, effectively bugging my kid’s eyes out and somehow resetting the common sense meter in his head.
After coming back to bed heaving my frustration, the husband pipes up in the opposite voice.
I hear a mouse squeak, “everything ok? Bad dream?”
To which i growl, “he’s fine, it was just his fucking toe!”

hubbz: “I was gonna go in there, but didn’t want to make it worse.”
He was afraid something was wrong simply because our son was using the phrase “help me!”

That’s the difference between my husband and I. I (usually) know when something is an actual emergency, or a perceived 6 year old ’emergency’ simply by the tone of the screech/yell/scream/cry. He was afraid, i don’t know, someone was crawling through the window to snatch our son out of his bed, perhaps. He said he was waiting there with his heart thrumming hoping it was all ok. Based on the noises he was hearing, he was certain it was serious.

I had a few choice mumblings in my own head about my response time vs my husband’s, but i kept it to myself.

In the span of half a second, i can :

a-wake up

b- jump out of bed which is no easy feat given the structure of my body

c- identify the source of the noise

d-measure it against logic i.e. is the dog barking as well? is there a fire alarm going off? is my husband still snoring?

e- exit my bedroom to hunt down the culprit

In that same span of time, my better half can :

a-kind of wake up

…. *crickets*

b – hope I have it under control

 

On the other hand, he’s probably a much better option to help the child in need at that time since he somehow possesses a heaping barrel more compassion and understanding than I have at 12:30 in the morning. But alas, my son gets the first responder, not the best.

We all made it through the night, and after waking up, i trusted myself with my cuticle trimmers and even managed to convince my son to let me take care of the offending skin.

Problem solved. Without so much as a screech or holler.

7:30 am is so much more amenable to disasters than o’ dark thirty.

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