Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Brighter Side of the Hospital

A daughter in the hospital for days on end? That's the last thing I need right now...or maybe it's not so bad.

Yesterday evening I drove home for a few hours so I could eat and catch up on chores while Matt got a chance to visit Naomi. I was glad to be home...for about five minutes while I ate and hugged Toby. Then it began. I put away the dinner leftovers that a friend had graciously brought us, loaded and ran the dishwasher, started the girls cleaning up their mess, and went down to the basement to throw in a load of laundry. Just a few minutes later Hannah came running down the stairs yelling, "Toby's in so, so, sooooo much trouble! He broke the mirror in your room and he's playing with the glass!" That got my heart pumping.

Toby was now downstairs quietly looking at his hands, which were both covered in blood. He looked at me and back at his hands, but he didn't dare complain. I ran him to the sink and washed his hands and was relieved to see only two small cuts on his fingers. After being bandaged up I left him strapped into his booster seat in the kitchen, screaming, and I felt zero sympathy for his plight.

The mirror had been given to us by Matt's parents last week as part of a dresser and desk set that Matt had owned when he was young. I thought the mirror would be safer and more useful on the wall in our bedroom than on the back of the dresser in the kids' room. I had moved it to our bedroom and left it against the wall, but hadn't found a chance to hang it up yet (somehow, it's been a busy week). Toby had found the mirror in my bedroom, tipped it down on the floor and, judging from the bent-out back, had probably stepped or jumped on it until it shattered. I removed all the little pieces of glass to the dumpster and vacuumed the room thoroughly, all while Toby screamed and screamed.

"Mommy! Can I get out my boo-seat!" he wailed. "I be a good boy!" But, after lecturing and releasing the prisoner he did not live up to his promise of good behavior. I returned to the basement to finish the laundry and he immediately pulled a chair over to the basement door, closed it, and slid the barrel bolt in place, locking me in the basement! He was not malicious in his intent, he is just Curious George incarnate. He soon realized that he had locked himself away from his own mother and began screaming again and banging on the door, "Mommy! Mommy! I lock the door! Mommy!" I just shook my head and went right on with the laundry. At least I knew where he was, and he did figure out how to open the door again by the time I was ready to come back upstairs.

I tucked the kids in bed, finished the laundry, packed my bags, and couldn't wait to get back to the peace and stillness of the hospital. Amazingly, I slept fairly well in the recliner in Naomi's room, other than the three times she woke screaming in pain because they kept wanting to sit the head of the bed up. I was armed now with clean clothes and snacks to last me a few days. When Naomi slept most of the morning I ordered her a breakfast tray, but then couldn't let it go to waste, of course, and had to eat it myself. Shhhh! In Naomi's words, "They sure do cook good around here."

When I called my mom to see how things were going at the house this morning, she attempted to update me, but had a hard time finishing a sentence without having to yell something at Toby. "Boy, he doesn't miss a beat in the morning, does he?" she observed. But my morning was quiet. It is now my full-time job to keep my daughter comfortable, watch movies with her, read books to her, and keep our family and friends updated on her condition. Of course, I want more than anything for her to feel better quickly and for us to all be home together again...but a little peace and quiet in the hospital has its upside too.

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