Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Are you ok, Daddy?

Little r has been on a nap strike this week, which has translated into a worn out mommy.  I promise not to get too melodramatic (although that has been my theme this week), but I'm just darn pooped.  As much as we are definitely into the swing of things in our new life, I think some remaining stresses pull at our nerve strings just enough that when the pendulum tips to one direction, it makes everything feel a bit off.

I have been super spoiled with my good little napper.  It has never been a secret that little r needs his sleep, and the older he gets, the more critical those sleeping hours are for him.  I blame his high energy and ridiculous metabolism for his undying need to recharge.  I've been remunerating to myself about how quickly the two to three hour nap times go on a normal day, so when that is reduced to less than one hour, my sanity can feel it right in the gut.

The nap strike has been fueled by a tummy-ache.  The kid hadn't pooped in a couple days, something he is hardly used to.  Monday he wouldn't leave my side, but it came in ebbs of about 10-15 minute cycles, which meant it was akin to having a three month old that weighs 25 pounds (ok, also not terribly unheard of, but I'm venting here...) and screams VERY loudly.  No nap, just mommy and screaming, snuggling and whining - you would have thought the kid was dying here, and maybe he felt like he was.

This nap-free and tummy-yuck day leads us to the title of this blog.  It was an absolutely beautiful day, and Big R was hoping we could sneak in a family bike ride.  I hated to quash that idea, but I just knew it wasn't happening in a way that would be enjoyable for any of us.  I also opted out of making dinner.  All in all, I found myself feeling utterly useless.  Again struggling with the stay-at-home mom responsibility being so much more than caring for the kids.  I got nothing done and I was feeling horribly inept because of it.  Then I was somewhat saved by the poop that finally came after 48 hours of cramps, and little r was feeling spry again or at least he left me and played on his own without the constant need for mommy comfort.  I jumped at my chance and started cooking a dinner I had been planning despite the fact that I was missing half the ingredients and a food processor (I'm finding this is how much of my life has been these days, and yet the dinners are randomly pretty tasty).

So, I'm mid-cook - I had shallots on the stove, fish sticks and sweet potato fries in the oven for little r, and I'm crushing peanuts with a hammer (see comment above about not having a food processor), and the phone rings.  The phone never rings in our house - we don't know anyone - so my heart stopped.  Big R was supposed to be home awhile ago and I had assumed he got caught up at the office.  It was my hubby on the other line sounding completely defeated.  I expected a pleasant, "I'm sorry, I got caught up unexpectedly, I'll be home in few, love you" call, but instead I got the dreaded request... "Can you come get me?"  I knew right then something had happened on his bike and I froze.  "Are you ok, what happened?!?!?"  Meanwhile my brain is assessing the situation and trying not to panic.  Yes, I need to drop everything and come to his aid.  He had an accident on his bike and said he could probably make it home, but in his voice I could hear that he really wanted me to make it all better...

That's what mom's and wife's are for, to make it all better... and yet, at this very moment, I felt completely powerless.  I could shut down the dinner operation, grab the screaming child, and then what? Big R knows I'm utterly worthless driving in the city because I'm endlessly lost.  By the time I wrangle everything into the car and get the house secured and safe, it could be an hour before I found hin.  This was NOT acceptable to me though, he needed me and I wanted to help him.  So, I uttered, "where are you again?"  He gave me a description of a place I swear I had never seen before.  No clue where he was.  I barely got out the words, "so, are you near the bike path?" and Big R knew this was something he would need to handle on his own.  "I've got it, I'll be home soon." That's all I heard and the phone went dead.  Ugh.  Utterly helpless.  That's the worst feeling a mom could have and I felt it with every cell in my body.

I had no idea what shape he was going to be in when he came up the driveway.  It made me sick to think of him doing this all on his own.  Worrying was going to get me nowhere, although I could hardly do anything but, so I worked on my dinner project, and got little r to eat, meanwhile pulling together towels and other cloths I could find in the house just in case he looked worse than he sounded.

I was so relieved when Big R walked through the door.  He wasn't entirely unscathed, but he wasn't close to where I had let my imagination take me.  It was a simple accident and one I'm surprised hadn't happened yet (and just pray doesn't happen to him or either of us again).  The woman riding her bike in front of him slowed down unexpectedly on the uphill side of a bridge underpass, and he had no where to go, so the wall took a bite out of him.  His hands took a nasty beating, but we got him nursed up and taken care of.  One thing we weren't at all anticipating was how upset little r would be over the whole event.  He had already had a truly rough day, and now Daddy was hurt and he was beside himself.  The kid is sensitive - my goodness!  You'll be happy to know he seemed much better about it today, but last night he wouldn't let Big R anywhere near him with his bandages.  Poor, dude. First thing he said to me when he woke up this morning was, "Daddy hurt."  I brought him into our room, and he looked at Big R and said, "you ok, Daddy?"

This whole experience could have been so much worse, but it really shook me up.  Made me realize how vulnerable we are in this foreign place and how we never anticipate that emergencies can could happen.  Having a young child complicates things, but so does being in a place where you are endlessly lost and not being able to speak the language certainly doesn't help.  I also realized that we had no first aid supplies in the house. Not even a single bandaid.  Beyond that though, what if things had been worse?  We don't know anyone here, at least not anyone that we can communicate things to effectively.  No one to call, no one to help, it's a little scary.  Funny thing is, it's not terribly dissimilar from any other move I've had except that I never allowed myself to give it much thought.

It's interesting the things that can shake you mentally, and this tiny little event knocked me off center a bit.  Everyone is perfectly fine.  Big R has some nasty road rash that will take some nursing, but I am beyond relieved that it wasn't more serious.  We took pictures of his battle scars and was going to post them with the caption, "You should see the other guy!" but they are a bit graphic for sharing and yet don't do the injuries any justice at the same time.  He's a tough kid and will have an interesting story to share.  I think my favorite part is, out of this whole ordeal, the part that bothered him the most was that the woman that caused the accident turned to him and said IN ENGLISH "Are you ok?"  He looked at me last night super troubled and said, "how did she know I wasn't German?"  Haha, I'm guessing the cussing and yelling that came out of his mouth IN ENGLISH as he hit the wall was a dead giveaway, but it cracks me up that out of all the things, he is most concerned that he didn't fit in enough to be considered German.  You will, baby, no worries.  We just got here! Give it another year and you'll be cussing in German like a pro.  Let's just not get in another accident - no need to practice, k?  

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