Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
That's What She Said
You can also find Monica's writing here:
Search The Girl Who
« Not Nesting! Getting Shit Ready For When The Kid Comes | Main | Isn't He Romantic? »
Tuesday
Feb152011

More Before Eight Than Most Folks Do All Day

Yesterday was my first day of maternity leave.  I took a week off in advance of my due date because I wanted to sit around on the couch and watch Teen Mom and I Used To Be Fat get ready for the baby. 

So I'm all pumped up to spend some quality time with Violet.  I have her bathed and dressed by nine and sit her in front of a DVD in her bedroom so I can shower.  Yes, I lock her in her room with a DVD but it's the only way I can get a shower in.  Besides, it's not like I set her up to watch porn.  It's just Showgirls.  What?  It's a cult hit!  And Elizabeth Berkley was also in Saved By The Bell which is totally kid appropriate. 

I've got her watching the DVD and I'm just about to head in to my bathroom with the baby monitor when I notice the kitchen counters need a quick swiping.  Damn Serge and all his coffee making in the morning.  What in God's name does he do there?  There's sugar all over the damn place, coffee splattered across the counter.  It's like he asks Violet to freshen up his cup or something.

So I'm wiping the counters and I hear a thud followed by silence.  I'm to the point where I don't investigate every single thud.  Violet has been known to lie in bed and kick at her walls for, well, for kicks.  But there's something ominous about this particular thud.  I pause and cock my ear toward her bedroom and then I hear the cry.  Parents know the cry.  The There-Is-Something-Very-Wrong cry.

I run into the bedroom and she's just standing there, not crying anymore.  Then she turns toward me and I realize she seems to be in shock and is taking that big breath before the real crying begins.  As she does that blood starts dripping out of her mouth.   A lot of blood.  Like, movie blood.  It's start splattering her little pink shirt in horrifically bright drops.

I fucking freak, y'all.  Fuh-reak.

She's never been hurt before.  Sure she bumped her head in the night and got kind of a black eye.  And yes, she's faceplanted a time or two... but nothing serious.  For a few seconds we both stand there staring at each other, eyes wide, mouths gaping, both of us about to launch into hardcore crying fits. 

She beats me to the punch and begins wailing.   No, screaming.

I get a hold of myself and swoop her up and run for a towel.  I hold it over her mouth and jitterbug around the room like a crazed monkey, not really knowing what to do next.  I mean, I need to assess the damage, I know I need to assess the damage but Oh My God what if she's knocked a tooth out?  What if she's bitten off her tongue? 

All this races through my brain for what feels like a ridiculously extended period of time but is really, maybe ten seconds or so.  I pull the bloody towel away from her mouth, fully expecting to see little chiclet teeth come away with it, but everything appears to be okay.  Aside from a rapidly ballooning lip. 

Further investigation reveals that she likely bit down on her bottom lip really hard.  It's got a couple teeth prints in it and it's already the size of Texas. 

I did what any good parent would do, I turn on cartoons to distract her from the injury.  Then I slip an ice cube in a towel and let her suck on it while I hold her and bawl.  She's fine, I'm bawling and yelling at myself.  Stupid me... Trying to shower.  Big dumb mom, leaving her in her room with a chair that of course she's going to stand on. 

Finally, I get over myself and call Serge who is unusually calm about the whole thing considering he's the one who taped foam around the fireplace "just in case."

Later, while holding Violet, a violent coughing fit strikes.  Like, you know when you aren't even eating anything, you just, like, swallow your spit wrong or something?  It's one of those.  So I'm holding my injured baby and start coughing but every time I cough, pee comes out because I have another seven pound child relaxing on my bladder.  I sit Violet on the couch, all while cough/peeing and hobble down the hall for the bathroom:

COUGH/PEE!  COUGH-COUGH-COUGH/PEE-PEE-PEE.  COUGH/PEE!  COUGH-PEE/COUGH-PEE/COUGH-PEE.

So there's that.  Pissed myself and let my kid chew through her lip and nearly bite off her tongue an hour after waking.  I do more before eight than most folks do all day.  Helluva first day of maternity leave...  helluva day.

Reader Comments (11)

Well, at least you hadn't showered before the cough/pee incident hit. And yeah, a crazy first day, but look at it this way - you got all the crazy bullshit done and over with - it will be smooth sailing from here on out. Thanks for the a.m. chuckle, and I'm glad Violet's okay. Cheers!

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJust Jill

Oooh no! Yeah, we never forget the first time we see our child's blood. Ours was on an airplane, somewhere over South Dakota.

So glad V is ok. And you will be too, mama.

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkate

Can't tell you how excited for you I am that you're on maternity leave! Enjoy every second of it.

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaty E.

I have been there! I keep a supply of ice pops in the freezer for those lip bleeding accidents. Not only does it keep the swelling down, but it is also a treat for your toddler!

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMjorie

Glad to hear she is alright and hope the rest of the day was less intense and more restful for you1

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergina

Yikes! Glad she's OK- those kids be fallin' everywhere. May I share a bit of my childhood with you? I was accident prone, and my mom would lose her shit every time I came home injured. It got to the point that I would begin bawling not because I was hurt, but because I was scared of my mom's reaction. Just be sure to take a deep breath when one of your sweet kids hurts themselves.

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

omg, thank you for this. just--thank you.

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE let us know when you go into labor! I check about once an hour looking for the news! I know your blog world is the last thing you are thinking about when you are about to pop, but we still care and want to know! PLEASE!

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Mercy! Jennyonthespot sent me your post, I think because she knew how well I could relate to dealing with bloody faced children while peeing your pants. You poor thing. Now.. when that baby comes, showering with an infant at home and a toddler just doesn't happen. Use baby wipes for yourself.

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlozulfog

Monica, just sit down over there for a few hours and relax while I wash your dishes, clean your floors and entertain Violet for a couple of hours. What's that? Serge left those pots and pans displayed on the stovetop again? Let me just put those away for you too while I'm at it...

February 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine from Canada

My 20 month old daughter had her first 'spin around too many times in front of the mirror while dressed as a ballerina, fall over and end up with bloody mouth' experience a few days ago. I cried because a) I was in the room at the time and STILL didn't get there fast enough to save her b) I'm pregnant with my second and cry easily. I worried all night that she'd choke on a tooth that somehow dislodged. Turns out she was fine. Didn't cry. No missing teeth. Forgot it happened 10 mins later. Far out, what a day. Now I really want to implement a 'No dress Ups, no spinning, no falling' rule in the household.

March 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarissa Roberts

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>