The sound of a little voice playing Pet Shop and occasionally breaking into an Adele song is gone. The Disney laugh track has been replaced with Fox News. This morning, I ate my breakfast alone.
Last night, I read “The Night Before Kindergarten” to my Sassy. I barely made it through the book without crying. She told me she was nervous but excited too. Yesterday morning, as she crawled in bed with me for one last morning together before her school year started, she started to cry and told me she was worried about me. “Who’s going to take care of you when I’m at school?” she said through tears. That’s my Sassy, the little 5-year old who insisted on carrying the cooler to and from our spot at the pool last week because she insisted that I shouldn’t be carrying heavy things.
For the past almost 6 years, Sassy has been my at-home buddy. If I’m folding laundry, she’s usually helping me. She begs me to let her help put clothes away. If I’m cooking, she’s dragging a chair out to the counter to get up and help me crack eggs and stir batter. There is no doubt I am going to miss my little helper and my little grocery shopping buddy.
This morning, Sassy had eaten her breakfast and was dressed in about 15 minutes flat. Clearly, she was excited. She told me she was nervous but did so with a smile on her face. She is so excited to be a big kid and to be going off on the bus with her big sister. We took pictures and made our way to the bus stop.
It was there that she started holding my hand and standing really super close to me. I kept bending over and assuring her that she was going to have a great day and that she would love it. Big I and her friend promised me they’d look out for her on the bus; and then the bus was pulling up.
I gave her one last squeeze and told her “good luck.” I stood in the street and snapped a quick picture of her getting on the bus. She was all smiles. I’m hoping she will be the same when she gets off the bus today. It’s such a very long day and I already miss her like crazy.
I have to admit that it was definitely easier putting her on the bus than it was with Big I many years ago. Knowing you are sending your little one off with an older sibling really helps ease the nerves a bit. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have to put my sunglasses on and sniff back the tears until the bus doors closed. But knowing that Sassy’s big sister will see her at lunch and ride with her on the bus certainly does help.
Today I’m going to grocery shop, clean and go to my midwife appointment solo, for the first time in a very long time. Soon I’ll have another little buddy to keep me company. I thought I might enjoy the break; so far though? I’m not.
In her mind, she swims a 16 second 25 meter freestyle. Her butterfly is flawless and she moves through the water like a dolphin. She doesn’t think it’s a big deal at all that she still lifts her head straight up to take a nice long breath (and possibly have a conversation with someone standing nearby), while grabbing the side of the pool, to get ready for another whole three strokes. Yes, in her mind, she is practically an Olympic qualifying swimmer.
The reality is that she is 5 years old and wants to be just like her big sister. She’s not there yet, but her mind tells her she is ready.
Last night, Sassy tried out the 8 & Under program at Big I’s swimming club. We signed her up during the winter for the 6-week spring session. She had started taking private lessons and was doing really well. Enter broken tibia and long cast for four weeks. It was a major set-back. After spending almost four full weeks in physical therapy, she was just released last week. The leg injury brought all kinds of challenges for her. When she finally got back in the water, it was like she completely forgot how to do backstroke, something she was doing just fine weeks earlier. Everything suffered and she fell behind.
Her coach didn’t think she was ready and neither did I. So on Monday, she sat with me and watched her sister swim. She also watched the 8 and under’s practice. On Tuesday she told me that she wanted to try.
So last night, she suited up a good two hours before practice started and packed her swim bag all by herself. She was so excited and determined. When it was time for practice to start, she marched her tiny little body over to the lanes without a glance back in my direction. She got in the water, last in her lane, and set out on a long lap of freestyle. She made it to the first set of flags (about seven strokes) and then lifted her head straight up to breathe. She also grabbed the wall and had a conversation with her coach. She dug right back in and went another three strokes before grabbing the wall again. It was absolutely painful for me to watch. She wanted it so badly, but it was plainly obvious she’s just not ready yet.
She finally made it to the end of the pool and prepared to go back, another 25 of freestyle. This one was even slower, more deliberate, and involved much more doggy paddle and wall holding. The one coach motioned for me to come down. It was over, a valient attempt.
As I made my way to the end of the lane to retrieve her, her coach said, “She just needs to get stronger. I feel so bad because she wants it so badly and she is trying SO hard.” I told her not to feel bad. She had tried and she would come back when she was ready.
I met Sassy at the end of the lane and grabbed her little hands to help her out. I told her she did a great job and that she was all finished. She looked confused. As we walked around the pool, I told her I would help her get a shower and get dressed, and that she just needed some more lessons before starting at the club program. She stopped in her tracks, looked up at me in disbelief and said, “But I am doing it!”
In her head, she’s a mini Dana Torres, and when she is finally ready. . . look out.
It is a difficult task to write, when you are feeling like you have to barf all the time. I spent the past few weeks being green and unlike what Kermit claims, it’s not fun, cool, or trendy. It just plain sucks. This past Saturday, something miraculous happened. I woke up and didn’t feel like I had to throw up for once. Sunday was the same. Monday I felt great too. Tuesday was awful. Why you ask? Well, Mr. BBM decided to make coffee while I was on campus and I came home to a house that smelled horrible.
This morning, as I was getting ready to take Sassy to school, Mr. BBM asked me what my plans were for the morning. Sneaky little sucker was trying to see if he could sneak in making a pot of coffee. I called him a bunch of names and threatened his existence. He decided to make tea.
If I have to get fat, feel nauseated all the time, and have major food aversions, then he can avoid coffee until I can handle it, which might be never.
The past two days have been great, besides feeling like I could take a nap anywhere at any time. On Thursday, my students were looking at me like I had two heads or something. I told them, “You’re not used to this, are you? Mrs. B is back baby! I’m finally feeling better. . . BUT DON’T FOR A SECOND THINK YOU CAN START BRINGING COFFEE BACK INTO MY CLASSROOM!”
I think the first trimester nausea is finally coming to an end. I am 11 weeks and 1 day pregnant today. Lots of people have asked me where my belly is, and I’ve been busy telling myself that it’s all those months of hard work on my abs. They are not giving up without a good fight. Besides a little bump, it’s definitely not obvious yet.
In other news, Sassy got her cast off on Monday. It was violent and insane and I had a hard time keeping a calming look on my face with the way the lady was going at my little girl’s cast “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” style. Sassy was not happy about it and spent a lot of time crying and saying she wanted the cast back on. Her knee and ankle are stiff and sore from being frozen in time for four weeks and although it is Friday, she has yet to really walk on her own. She seems to have forgotten how, and I’m tempted to get her some physical therapy, despite the doctor saying she would bounce back without it.
I know my kid. She doesn’t bounce. She has a mentality like an adult and she thinks about everything entirely too much, exactly like I do. I really think physical therapy would do her some good. In the meantime though, she’s got a mommy who has been through PT many times and I’ve been having her do some exercises and ride her big wheel to get her motion and strength back again. I think, that at this point, it’s about 90% mental and I get that. I really do. But it is frustrating because I have to carry her almost everywhere. Despite the fact that I’ve been through this mental business so many times, I am having a hard time keeping my patience with her. Despite going through it just last year, it’s easy to forget after time passes. I’m trying to remember those early days of wobbly legs and doubt to help her through, but this kid has got to start walking soon. My back can’t take much more. It’s simply not a matter of “sucking it up.” It’s really difficult to get over physical hurdles; more-so to get over the mental ones. Mr. BBM told her he would pay her $20 if she walked on her own this afternoon. I have never seen a child more motivated by money. She just might do it.
In a span of 13 days, our cat died, I found out I was pregnant, and Sassy broke her tibia. Please tell the operator of this ride called life, that I would like to get off. . . NOW! Hit the emergency button. I can't take one more thing.
To say that I am overwhelmed with my life would be the understatement of the century. As I write this, my daughter is hanging out on the sofa in a full leg cast. It starts at the very top of her thigh and goes all the way down to her toes. She is non-weight bearing for six weeks. She is too little for crutches. That means that every time she has to go to the bathroom, I have to carry her there. The cast is so high that it actually rests on the toilet seat when I sit her down. With my own non-flexible knee, to say it is awkward would be another gross understatement.
Last night, I put the crib mattress across the kitchen counter, put her on it and washed her hair in the kitchen sink. This morning, I gave her a sponge bath.
Did I mention that I'm pregnant? That I pretty much require a three hour nap each day, that I have no energy to do anything at all, and that the bouts of nausea are wicked when they come?
Should I also add that Mr. BBM called me this morning to tell me he has a week long trip coming up? Because I needed that news like I need a hole in the head.
This is how it happened. This past weekend, we were in Delaware visiting friends. They bought a new trampoline and Mr. BBM spent part of Saturday morning helping our friend put it together. Trampolines make me nervous; they always have and I was secretly hoping that it would take a week to put together. It only took a couple hours though, and soon the girls were jumping away on it. We kept an eye on them and when the big neighbor boys were on there, I told her to take a break. At one point, she fell off the short step-ladder to get up into the trampoline and cried for a bit. But she was back up and out there within minutes.
On Sunday, we were all packed up and ready to leave. Mr. BBM wanted to get some pictures of our kids with their kids. The kids wanted to get the pictures taken while on the trampoline. They got in; Sassy jumped and instantly went down on her knees and then her side. She grabbed her leg and said she couldn't walk. I was inside when Mr. BBM came running inside with panic in his eyes. I knew something was majorly wrong. This is the kid who split her face open near her eye and sang "Kung Fu Fighting" while they super-glued her shut.
We got her into the car and propped her leg up on pillows. We gave her ibuprofen and iced it the whole way home. We wanted to see a doctor at home. We knew the ER would probably take a while. We dropped Big I off with family and went straight to the ER. Sassy told me her leg felt broken and that she heard a crack. I knew it was broken and I was right.
She fractured her left proximal tibia just under her knee. The orthopedic surgeon thinks that she may have also fractured her growth plate a bit. We'll have to keep a close eye on it and follow up with x-rays to make sure it doesn't close. Growth plate injuries can be serious and can require surgery. She has what they call a "buckle" fracture. From simply jumping on a trampoline along with a bigger kid, it can break a leg. Since this has happened to her, three other people have told me the same thing happened to their child. I had no idea it was so common. I had no idea trampolines were so dangerous, from just the jumping part.
Despite the doctors telling us that this is one of the slowest healing fractures and that it is also one of the most painful, she is in surprisingly good spirits. She is enjoying wheeling herself around in her little rental wheelchair. She has to be enjoying all the attention because there are balloons throughout our house, presents galore and visitors around the clock wishing her well. The nights have been rough and it is absolutely horrifying to see your child in so much pain and discomfort. Today, she started screaming and told me her leg was burning and that it felt like a volcano.
Knowing what I went through and how agonizing it was, I can't even imagine how this child, this 5-year old little peanut, is dealing with this so well.
Two days down, 40 more to go. That's about 42 too many. Needless to say, my kids will not EVER be going on a trampoline again. Never.
I've been taking care of Finny the cat this week while my parents are away on a trip. Tuesday was one of the days I had to go over there, and after the horrible weather we had in the morning, it had to wait until after Big I's orthodontist appointment in the afternoon.
While we were still contained within the walls of the orthodonist's office, she seemed fine. After sucking it up for over an hour while they put the braces on her teeth, she was even smiling a bit. But when we got in the car and started driving to my parents' house, the drama began.
"I want to kill myself," she said. "I look awful. I look like a teenager."
I told her how ridiculous it was to say something like that, and used it as a lesson to talk about the implications of committing suicide. When I was finished with my diatribe, I think she realized how silly it was that she said that. I thought the drama was over.
We arrived and I sighed. No kind neighbor had come over to snowblow their driveway. A good two-three inches of snow and ice were piled up on their steep and long driveway and on all of their sidewalks. Big I and I made our way down through the snow, not wanting to slip on the ice and I asked her if she could take care of Finny while I started shoveling.
As we were making our way to the front door, Big I pointed to a red spot on the snow. "Look Mommy. It looks like blood."
I looked at it from a distance and thought the same. I glanced down at my knuckle thinking maybe the cut I had opened back up again. It hadn't. I shrugged it off, went in the house and showed her what to do, before going back outside.
Back outside, the weather was brutal. Freezing rain was coming down slowly but surely and I nearly broke the plastic shovel because the snow and ice were so heavy. I found a metal one and started the long process of shoveling the windy sidewalks and the plunging driveway.
Then I started noticing something.
There were little red stains on the snow everywhere. They were in front of the house, across the sidewalk, across the driveway and even down near the stream. My imagination started going wild. I imagined some criminal, injured in some way and bleeding, hiding out in the woods surrounding the house. I realized that it was super quiet and that perhaps this criminal had taken shelter and snuck inside the garage while I had my back turned. My stomach tied itself into a knot as my rational side told me to calm down and my martial arts side told me that if my gut felt something was wrong, then I should trust it and figure out what to do.
And then I heard the screaming.
It stopped me in my tracks, but I couldn't quite figure out where it was coming from. It had definitely been there and loud and then it was gone. It didn't take long for it to start up again. I started to move towards it as quickly as the ice underneath me would allow as I made my way to the house. I took a mental inventory of what I could use to defend myself and fight off an attacker. I had my keys and I had a metal shovel.
I made it to the only locked door at the house and looked in the window. There were finger marks and what looked like fresh steam marks from breath on the window pane. And there was Big I. . .
She was face down, sprawled across the sofa, her feet still on the ground. It looked like someone had taken her and turned her at a 45 degree angle and thrown her across the sofa. She was screaming. I fumbled with my keys (it's a deadbolted door) and scanned the rest of the room. Where was the attacker? Who was doing this to her? I screamed her name and she sat bolt upright.
She ran to the door screaming and crying, "I couldn't get out. The door is locked" and then burst into drama-laden tears again.
Still convinced there was more to this story and scanning the house, I mean, there had to be right??? I screamed at her, "Are you ok?" I expected her to tell me the attacker was coming back. He was in another room. . .
"I just hate these braces," she yelled back at me, as she covered her face and assumed her 45 degree angle position again across the sofa, careful to leave her feet on the floor, lest my mother find out she was putting her feet on the new sofa.
Then it dawned on me that the front door and the garage door were both unlocked. She could have gone out either one of those doors, yet she chose to stand at this door and scream the scream of someone being ripped limb by limb, completely apart. I turned around for a minute to compose myself because I was seriously ready to kill her myself and that's when I noticed another red stain in the snow. . . this time with a half-eaten, bright red berry beside it.
I breathed a sigh of relief before turning around and telling her what I thought had been happening while she screamed ridiculously from inside the house. I then pointed out the two very unlocked doors, which had been only steps away from her.
"Oh," she said.
Perhaps the orthodontists of days gone by were onto something when they chose to put braces on older children. Perhaps, certain 9-year-olds aren't exactly prepared for the brace-face that will greet them in the mirror. Maybe they haven't learned proper coping tools this young in life.
Maybe this 9-year-old just saves the best possible, ridiculous, scary, nightmarish drama for her mama.
Make sure you visit The BBM Review and enter for your chance to win a $100 Visa card on the Jimmy Dean review!