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To my one reader

I am sorry I have neglected you. You had the courtesy to sign on for the life-changing advice that I might espouse, the hearty camaraderie shared life experiences would offer, the funny self deprecating humor you would undoubtedly forward to your question asking relatives (who would ponder relentlessly..."so how do you like staying at home?"). Instead you receive silence. Of course now you would assume that in the next few sentences I will apologize for my absence again and vow to post twice per week, at least. The truth is, I generally write everything interesting at bakerquest. And sometimes I assume that you or lurkers may know this and read there. But that should not be the process. I doubt I will ever get to posting twice per week here, maybe twice per month is a better goal. Wait, there can't be any lurkers, I locked the blog to only subscribers, I think.

Anywho. I am going to relay a story from the distant past and then the recent past in order to give perspective to parenthood skills. When my son was born, and both my wife and I were working outside the home, we were fortunate enough to know a wonder woman of a SAHM I will call MA. She had two kids of her own and adopted one. And the one she adopted was a special needs child. I think it takes an exceptional person to care for their own child in a special needs situation, but she and her husband made an effort and sought out adoption of a child like this. But that is not the story. MA was raised in a home where her mom owned a daycare. She seemed keen on surrounding herself with children. She later (about 4 months in to caring for J) shared that taking on additional children was a bit scary because one could have a difficult child that is harder to enjoy, but she loved J so much and he was so easy to care for because of this. I need to stop digressing.

The MA situation was the best thing that could ever happen to us and J. He had three kids to play with, to teach him, to illustrate the the universe didn't revolve around him. He had busy busy days of riding in the car for errands, of going to waterparks, of dropping off kids at school and silent homes strewn with toys afterwards. One day in the midst of our euphoria I received a phone call about 1 hour after I dropped him off (I have always been primary care giver).

"J is okay, but we may need to take him to the dentist." said MA, less than frantic and less than calm.

"Uhhhh, what" father with first injury to child responds.

"He was playing with a walk behind toy, he was walking behind it, and then he stopped, put his mouth on the handle and then sat down. It popped out his second tooth. He was crying for about two minutes and I have the tooth, now he is playing quietly. But we should probably meet you at the dentist so that he can make sure the whole tooth came out."

"OMG, I'll be right there." The whole time I am thinking about a disfigured kid, happy that he is OK. glad that MA was there to care for him with her vast experience of bumps. And also, also a little bit of anger that she let this happen. OF course I didn't blame her. But all the normal human stuff came into my head. 4 kids in the house, my son could ONLY receive 25% attention tops! Maybe we should look for a less overwhelmed SAHM. Maybe I could have prevented this. Maybe I should stay home. Maybe...And then I stopped thinking those silly thoughts.

Kids get hurt all the time with their own parents, and no one is to blame. You can't follow your kids around with a pillow. That being said you can't allow them to play with metal forks next to an unprotected outlet. But the real point is that by the time I made it to the dentist I had made peace with the fact that accidents are accidents and even if they could have been prevented they are actually NO BODY'S fault. There is no fault.

I am glad I learned that lesson then because it would have been far tougher to learn it on my own this month. Baby May injured herself. We were packing to drive to SC for my wife's business trip. We decided to include a stop at her folk's house. So we were loading up Yoda (our minivan) for the trek. Baby May was placed in the "baby safe" area. this is our TV room that has gates on the two exits, and no open plugs, etc. There in one piece of furniture (well 5: The Sectional, and four ottoman). I was outside for about 5 minutes when I walked back in to find May on the floor crying. J was outside the gate playing his game. I picked May up off the floor from her stomach (an odd position for her) and held her. She stopped crying and hugged me as I laid on the couch to console her. I looked at the clock: naptime of course. she must have been tired. I took her upstairs and put her in her crib. She slept.

We finished packing and waited until May woke so we could make it to our dentist appointments before we left town. She cried as she normally does and stood in her crib. I brought her downstairs, but she wouldn't let me put her down. Well she only slept 30 minutes so of course she is clingy/fussy. Peg held her, I loaded the last minute items and we went to the DDS.

We signed in at the office and put May on the ground to play with the toys available, and she stood for a split second then collapsed into tears and laid on the floor on her stomach. P and I looked at each other...something was wrong. I finally put it all together and I realized that she had injured herself earlier. CRUD. What was it? I felt all over her leg after she stopped crying. Nothing made her wince even once while I poked, prodded, and moved. hmmmmm.

So began the mystery. There were phone calls to our family practice nurse. Phone calls to our friend the PT. Advice. Worry. Our attempted diagnosis. An ER visit in SC. X-rays and a declaration of no broken bones. Days past and no walking. Crawling with a strange limp. Then finally 8 days later: standing. We made an appointment with a Pediatric Orthopedist. 24 hours before that appointment she began to walk. 10 days after he initial injury. She still walked with a limp so we wanted to get the PO's advice. We kept the appointment. 4 more x-rays, this time a higher resolution. The verdict: broken femur. She had a "micro-fracture". The only way we knew was because the white bulge around the injured area indicated where she was healing. HOLY CRAP. We felt afwul.

But what could have been done differently? She climbs the couch a million times per day while we are sitting right next to her. She could have easily injured it while were in arms reach. Anyway you can't even ask questions like that because...well you just can't.

the Doctor said she will have no long lasting effects. We go back in two weeks for a follow up. This is when she would have been getting her full body cast cut off had the ER doc detected the injury and prescribed the correct fix. FORTUNATELY, no one saw it...I think it would have been much much worse with a baby in a full body cast. We are very lucky on all fronts. And it was nobody's fault.


Jeffrey, May, kids
Stay At Home Dad

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