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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

With a little help from friends or why you should always carry your health card with you

After a late nap for the boy this morning we finally made it to the park around 11 am. Staying home probably would have been a better idea.

The girl seemed to be feeling rough right from the start. At one point I looked up from playing with the boy to see her running towards me with tears running down her face. I asked her what was wrong but she was crying so much she couldn't speak. Finally an older girl came over and told me that when my girl had been playing inside the house the older girl decided to peek in an say "boo". The older girl obviously felt really bad to have caused such hysterical crying. She apologized twice.

The girl recovered eventually. In fact she was playing happily with her little friend W soon enough. W's mom and I sat on blankets with the babies and chatted. This mom is really lovely and I think we are on the way to being friends. I sure hope so. Our kids get along great. Maybe even too great. While we sat there talking I noticed that the two of them had managed to open the door to the field house and had run inside. One of the few park rules I have is that the girl can't go in the field house without a parent. So I told W's mom that I would go get them and ran towards the field house.

As I ran I thought to myself, "this really isn't a good bra to run in". Then I fell. I fell flat on my face over the two cement stairs. I scrapped both my knees and split open the big toe on my left foot. For a moment I just lay there. I thought about lying there longer. But I got up. I looked around to see if anyone had noticed me fall. Then I got the kids out of the field house.

My toes was bleeding and throbbing. I limped over to the lifeguards and asked for some first aid. I think there is a rock or little piece of cement stuck in my foot I said. Can you take it out? Oh, no said the lifeguard, I can't do that. Can you clean it with any antiseptic? Oh, no we don't have any. Do you have a band aid, I finally asked in exasperation. Of course no! Instead the lifeguard wrapped my toe with gauze and masking tape.

I decided to call the husband and ask him to meet me at the walk-in clinic down the street so he could take the kids. I'll be there in twenty minutes he said. Great, now I just had to get us there. As I packed up the blanket, changed the girl out of her bathing suits, cleaned up the snacks and packed the bag the girl started to wail again. I don't want to go to the doctor she said. It's not for you, I said, it's for mommy's toe. I don't want to show him my knee, she said pointing where she had fallen and scrapped her knee running on the basketball court while I was getting my toe wrapped in gauze.

On and on we went the girl and I. I told her we had to go. Finally she agreed but she wanted to ride in the stroller. I told her she had to walk because I couldn't carry her brother right now. More tears. W's mom offered to lend us her double stroller so both kids could ride. No, the girl didn't want that. Tears some more. It wasn't until W's mom very kindly offered to take the girl back to her house for lunch and a video that the girl calmed down. Now she was positively excited. Popsicles were promised and the girl was ready to go.

In the midst of all this chaos, the strollers and the mess of bags being organized the boy stood up. He took three steps, turned towards me and took two more steps into my arms. His firsts steps on his own! I laughed. I laughed that this would be the moment he decides to walk. I feel like crying I said to this new friend of mine. Me too, she said picking up on all the emotions whirling around.

The girl safely seen to I was ready to go to the walk-in, only to realize I didn't have my wallet with me (I never bring it to the park) or my health card. At that moment a dad we often see with his daughter arrived and asked how things were going. Fine, I said. Wait a minute, I amended, what am I saying. Then I explained very, very briefly what was going on and asked him if he would mind watching the boy while I limped home for a minute to grab my wallet. He didn't mind and I was back as fast as my foot would carry me.

I was so thankful for these kind friends. So thankful that I force myself to talk to people at the park. I was especially thankful when I arrived at the walk-in and found it closed. Then I was extra thankful that I hadn't brought the girl with me and that the boy heading how with his dad.

The short version of the rest of the story is that I grabbed a sandwich for my lunch, money from the bank and took a cab to the only other walk-in I could think of. I waited for an hour and a half to be told that nothing was under the skin, I could have a stitch or just use gauze tape to keep the cut closed and that it should close up in about five days. I felt a little silly. Silly that very thing was fine. But I am a cautious one. Some might even say a paranoid one. I like to hear from an expert that everything really is okay.

I took another cab home. When I opened the door I heard the girl crying and saw her sitting on the floor in front of a cup. She was crying over her spilt milk. I went over and gave her a hug. The boy saw me from his highchair and started crying too.


  1. Poor you and your poor toe!! I am glad you had ppl there when you needed them! I guess I need to try to leave the house more and make friends... you've talked me into it! ;) But now that Ms. Priss has started back school, I'll have all of my school mom "friends" to rescue me! Yay, for no broken toes!! xo

  2. Oh my goodness! I am so glad you told us about your day. Not in a voyeuristic-evil way, but in a sharing-commiserating kind of way. You reminded me that the things that happen in our life that make us laugh and cry all at the same time are important, and necessary, and sometimes suck. To laugh at situations that are so silly that they have to be true, and boy, are we living them! And silly IS ok. Your toe is what keeps you on your feet, and able to care for your children, so good to check it out, right?

    I hope you were able to rest well, and that your toe is not three times its size and blue.

  3. Great support from the people at the park. (Except the poor undertrained life gaurd) We'll call you lucky. Boy WALKS! Nice orgnization on the kids, walk in, dad, cab, dauhter, toe.
    Read like a short story.

  4. Oh, my gosh. What an adventure. I'm glad it wasn't too serious - and that you had kind people around you to help you out!

  5. Oh, what a day! I'm glad that nothing was too serious but the whole thing sounds pretty traumatic! I think that investing in your community (by meeting people and making connections) is one of the wisest things to do. The payback is truly priceless.

    Also, congratulations on the boy walking! So exciting!!

  6. I think the best thing about this story is that you asked for help, and accepted help when it was offered. Too often I've been in a messy situation, but when someone offers to help out, I always say no. I just feel so guilty accepting help, even though I'm more than happy to help my mommy friends and neighbours when I can. It's definitely a hang up I need to get over!

    Good to hear the toe is doing well :).

  7. Well, you told the story so well, I was captivated. I loved that you were thinking about 'this is not a good bra to run in' when you fell, so honest.

    It sounds like the entire day had so many ups and downs - so wonderful he decided to walk when you could not - that's poetic.

    Hope you and your toe are feeling better :)

  8. If it wasn't for our friends, I don't know where we'd be - they're really our community, since we don't have family here.