Yesterday I looked after my friend's little boy (Bennett: the one in the latest run of pix). Midmorning, I took the three boys to the park to get some fresh air. Ayden rode his bike, Matthew walked, and Bennett rode in the jogging stroller. Matthew was too slow and drove me nuts picking up every single piece of garbage, pinecone, stick, leaf, and flower on the 1 kilometer walk. We'll have to revise the transportation strategy next time. Anyways, while we were at the park all three boys were having a BLAST running around, and Bennett wanted to climb the play structure. So, I helped him with the steps and the climbing, and made sure he didn't go too close to the edge (not wanting to hand my friend's kid back with a broken foot or something). Then he made excited gestures towards the slide, so I put him on my lap and we swooped down the slide together. I was concentrating so hard on making sure our heads didn't hit that annoying bar that is across the top of most slides, that I didn't pay attention to his feet, and one foot got caught between my hip and the slide, twisting it as we slid down. He SCREAMED and was writhing in pain. OH MY GOSH he got hurt on my watch! I tried my darndest to calm him down but he was too upset. So within five minutes we packed up and returned home from the park (the trip home was torture: Ayden was cold and whiny Matthew was cold and whiny, and Bennett cried the entire walk). Bennett's foot didn't LOOK too bad; no swelling, bruising, or obvious deformity, but when I prodded it he complained. It being naptime I thought perhaps he was overtired and maybe that was contributing to his prolonged crying, so I put him to bed and called his mom to give her the bad news that I'd smashed her kid's foot with my big bum on the slide :-) She was very reassuring. Kids get hurt all the time. Call me back after his nap if he limps or it seems sore.
After his nap I tried to get Bennett to walk to see how it was; he couldn't weight bear at all and cried if anything touched his foot at all.
I called my friend and burst into tears so she could hardly understand me as I said, "I think you need to take him to the doctor!" I felt SO aweful! He got hurt while I was watching him! It could have been worse; at least I couldn't be thought irresponsible at all: he was on my lap going down the slide in order to be more careful!! If he went down alone and got hurt maybe the 'should haves' would be a little stronger. Anyways, from poor Bennett's perspective it couldn't be worse; he was in pain! I didn't even have any kids' tylenol to give him and he wouldn't let me put any ice on his foot. In the end the doctor said it was sprained and not broken, but if it still hurt today to take him for an x-ray. I'm still harbouring a suspicion that it is broken, since no doctor I have met thus far has x-ray vision and can see bones through skin, muscle, and several generous layers of baby fat.
I was a basket case.
I had two very strong Braxton-Hicks contractions yesterday evening and wondered if it was the stress of worrying so much about Bennett's foot.
His parents still trust me enough to continue with the original plan to drop him off at our place for me to look after him tomorrow, too! Thank heaven!
I couldn't help but think of that little boy I posted about from work about a month ago, the one who drowned? He was at daycare when it happened. Maybe some of my stress and worry was simply re-hashing and further processing that event. Sometimes that happens with tough calls at work. I'll think it's gone and I'm over it, but it will come burping out again a month later. I have a lot of empathy for his daycare provider (and everyone else in that situation, of course). Who will come alongside her in her grief? She'll live with that forever. How do you say, "I'm sorry" when someone's child dies in your care?
Yeah, I think maybe my intense emotional reaction to Bennett's injury may have been double weighted with the memory of this other child. Plus, I LOVE Bennett and hate to see him hurt or sad. He's the sweetest kid in the universe! 99.9% of his life he has the BIGGEST grin on his face, and he's game for trying anything new. Plus, I'm pregnant and weepy. Hopefully he's still game to come to our house tomorrow!!