Sunday, August 17, 2008

Guilt Trip

August 10th, 2008 is a day that has been etched in my mind's calendar. I have been operating on guilt mode since then. You blink for a few seconds and something terrible happens. But all is well that ends well. Really? Then why can’t I stop thinking about it and about how much worse the day could have gotten??

The day started off with excitement to go to a picnic for the entire family organized at work. This is a place with a miniature golf course and other such sporty stuff. Also, they had arranged for kids’ events, which is always a good thing! This place is at a stone’s throw from where we live, yet we’ve never been there in the 8 years that we’ve lived here!
The picnic
Anyways, despite it being a picnic, we ate lunch, fed the kids too – better to take well-fed kids especially when the event starts after their usual lunch hours! So, we arrived there in time, got our tags and walked up to the pavilion. Pup noticed that familiar faces (to him) were missing, so he promptly walked to the crates of beer to help himself with some familiar taste. The girls found some pebbles and started collecting them and arranging them on the picnic tables. I made small talk to some of my colleagues, grabbed some iced-tea and took the girls over to the caricature artist. T1 got hers done early on and went miniature-golfing with daddy, while I waited with T2, who unable to sit in line kept losing her spot. She was more excited to see the artist in action anyways. She was totally mesmerized at the artist’s work! Then the artist suggested I should sit in line and hold her place. Not wanting to miss getting her caricature done after having waited over an hour, I paid heed. Good thing I did, cos it was our turn 15 minutes before she was ready to close shop. We put both caricatures in the car and went to the get some golfing (ok! put-put golf) action. T1 made her own friends and was a few holes ahead of us going around it for the umpteenth time, while T2 stayed with Pup and me. She of course, tried to get the ball close enough to the hole as she could, and then happily picked and dropped the ball into their final targets. Mommy, whose game started off with pars, eventually had to resort to T2’s tactics, while daddy’s game was getting better.
Then, we tried to get a game of volley ball. What “game”? We were just volleying and missing. We gave up after a mere 5 minutes and decided to head back home. It was almost time to leave. 3 quick hours had passed by.
So far so good…

The accident
The batting cages were right outside the volleyball court and T1 wanted to try it. I’ve never been to one of these before and unfortunately didn’t even know how it worked! I decided to sit it out. Seeing T1 in a helmet triggered a set of tantrum tears from T2. Pup was trying to convince her that she’s too little, a few feet away from where I was sitting. I was looking at them wondering if Pup needed help or if I should rather not cut in. Then we heard this terrible scream. Very, very, loud! I turned around to see T1 screaming from the batting cage she had entered. From the pose that she was crying in, I figured she hurt her leg. My mind was not working. I was struggling to open the door to the cage. The 2 seconds that it took to open it seemed like a lifetime. I picked her up and found a bench to sit on while she kept touching her right thigh, screaming.
In those few seconds that I was not looking, she managed to enter a cage that was meant for adults, that even talented players think twice before entering. I couldn’t begin to imagine how badly she must be hurting.
I am glad I have a little bit of my mom’s composure in tough situations. Or, maybe it was because I did not know then that these balls from hell keep coming one after the other. Or that if she had moved forward and not backward after the first ball hit her, she would have been facing a terrifying burst of them. I can’t stop thinking about the extreme possibilities.
With Pup still holding T2, my friend and colleague, B, rushed to get an ice pack. She started to calm down a bit. There was only a small swelling and a big bruise. I was hapy that the swelling wasn’t getting any bigger, meaning that the possibility of a fracture was less. She was even able to stand up and take a step. But B offered to carry her to the car, while Pup was trying to console the still-tantrumming T2. Of course, now she was crying cos akka’s crying. Then, I got a hold of T2 and she thankfully stopped crying as abruptly as she had started. Pup was horrified by this whole thing, because he knew that the balls could have come rushing at her, and he also knew that T1 made one hell of a Godsend move backward after she got hit!
The aftermath
By this time, T1 was braving it much better so we figured we did not have to take her to an ER. When we got home a couple minutes later, she even wanted to walk from the garage! We made an appointment with a Pediatric Urgent Care facility, had time to feed her a quick dinner, and then took her there. Thanks to my in-laws, we were able to leave T2 home. They offered to help finish up her dinner, and she ate and slept too giving them no trouble! Amid all her tantrums, she does come through during critical times, doesn’t she?
After a typical long wait, we got to see the nurse. From the time the nurse left us after taking T1’s vital stats to the time the doc arrived, T1 walked back and forth to the books corner in the waiting room a dozen times. By now, we certainly had a clue as to what the doc was going to say, but we still needed to hear it.
So yes, a few minutes later, she walked in and told us that there is no way it could be a fracture with her walking like that. And added that a few inches above or below would have been mighty bad as it could have hit a bone. I still shudder to think about what could have happened!
She sent us home with a dose of Mortin. That's it!!
T1 slept well and except for a slight swelling with a big purple bruise, she’s all ok! The next morning, she was trying to convince me that she’d be ok at the ice-skating camp! Yeah right!
So did this really end well? T1 is one lucky girl to have escaped with a minor bruise. Pup and me are mighty thankful for that! But we can’t stop thinking about the incident.

  • How do we warn and protect our kids from every single danger that lurks?

  • How do we prepare ourselves for everything possible, without taking our eyes off of them for even a minute?

  • How can we not feel terribly guilty when something as frightening happens the one minute that we are distracted?

  • How do we ignore some callous remarks asking to be more careful, because the underlying truth happens to touch a nerve where it hurts?

  • I don’t know answers to these questions, but what I did learn is that –
    T1 has tremendous will-power and strength, and
    We owe a THANK-YOU trip to the temple.
    Which we did this weekend with big fat Thank you check…


    Anonymous said...

    u guys handles it so well, including the comments!!!
    and please ignore the comments if someone criticises!! u know better :)

    Anonymous said...

    Firstly, thank god she is okay.
    You know people say dumb things. Ignore them.

    Secondly accidents happen. You cannot have eyes on the back of your heads. You cannot be monitoring every single thing.
    Dont feel guilty, its okay, stuff happens. Its called life. And the best thing one can hope and pray that everything turns out well.

    ~nm said...

    Ouch! I hiope she is better.

    And please don't take all this on yourself. When something has to happen it will even if you have 10 eyes focused on!

    And ignore those people who say such sly remarks!

    We all are human beings and yes it hurts to see that if we had been more alert we could have averted the incident. But then every one has a limit.

    Take care and relax! You are a good mommy!

    Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

    @sis-u: ya, thankfully i did not retaliate to comments....ya i shd ignore them.
    @asaaan: agree! i'm really thankful that she's all ok now and back to her mischievous self!
    Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words.
    @nm: you're dead on about the 10 eyes! For a long time that day, she was playing with kids her age and was super-fine. Murphy's laws apply!
    thanks to you too for stopping by and the support.

    DotThoughts said...

    I saw the bruise.. looked awful.. I think things like that happen. As ~nm says they will happen even if 15 people are watching. You do the best you can, which you did. Hindsight is 20-20 anyways. T1 is a string girl. She was all grinning when she showed me the bruise :) One tough girl you have there, if you ask me :)

    GettingThereNow said...

    Oh My GOD!! I had my heart in my throat all the time while reading this post (after the first section). Thank goodness she is OK. It coul dhave been way worse.

    Been away from my favorite blogs for quite some time and come back to see this post. Man! I gotta check on you more often!

    Hope she is doing better now.

    Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

    @Hi again Ceekay: Well, you and me both! Been catching up today on quite a few blogs myself...

    It's incredible how well and how fast she's gotten back to normal. I've had bruises from accidentally hitting a coffee-table last longer...She even went for a week of ice-skating after a week at home! I'm so glad she's all ok now...Yes, it could have been so much more worse!