Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Guilty Feeling of Dumb Innocence


I am writing this sitting in the Accident & Emergency department of the hospital for the second time in a month, and probably the 6th time in two years. This time its Mate's turn. He of nimble feet was running in the living room (my five year old has gone all middle class on us and has banned the description front room), when he tripped over some fresh air and cracked his head on the open patio door. He only cried for a minute, there wasn't even that much blood to be honest. If it had been me I would have filled the cut with ground pepper and put some sellotape on it. Unfortunately this is a method the Wife disapproves of so it was off to the hospital.

Knowing she would freak out, I decided to ring the wife whilst driving there and get it over and done with. She hates speaking to me when I'm driving and using the hands free and always keeps the conversations short, so I obviously use this tactic a lot. Such was her maternal panic that not even this was working, so I had to resort to beeping and shouting "Get out the way" to imaginary road users. That did the trick.

As I parked the car and started carrying him into the hospital, my stomach was full of butterflies and my head was full of paranoia. Not paranoid thoughts, just pure plain head splitting paranoia. I seemed to be visiting this place so often that I should get a season ticket. I'm sure the Security Guard nodded with a frown of recognition, and I still had to face the receptionist. I tried to calm myself down as I answered her numerous questions, told myself I was being stupid. I couldn't see her screen but I could imagine it now showing all of our details, all our numerous visits. I know I'm a good loving parent, I do believe in a smacked bum, but I don't believe in beating a child. I needed to stop panicking, it would all be fine.

"Was you alone in the house with the child when the incident happened?" This one brought me up short. Would they have asked a woman that question? When did the accident become an incident? I guess I should be thankful that she referred to him as the child and not the victim. I bit my tongue and gave neither a smart arse nor a stinging retort, just a feeble "Yes". I think I just made myself look more guilty, her eyes have changed I'm sure of it. Maybe I should be getting angry with the delay, but I know they're only doing their job. But one of their jobs is flushing out child abusers, and did I now look like one?

I was eventually directed to the Paediatric unit, and took the long walk with a sense of dread and trepidation. Most parents would feel this way on that walk, but normally because they were worried about whatever accident had befallen their child. I knew Mate was fine, they just had to un-Humpty Dumpty him, maybe that's why the paranoia was so bad. Maybe if I was doing the parent panic foxtrot, pacing up and down waiting to find out what was wrong with him, I wouldn't have even noticed it?

We sat down with the Triage Nurse and I answered another series of questions as she examined his head. They were a little more probing this time, dwelling more on previous visits, particularly the bruising episode. Mate had been 6 months old when I brought him in with some unexplained bruises on his arm. He hadn't fallen or anything, it just didn't make sense. That was the start of 48 hours of testing, monitoring and questioning. The Ward Sister could barely hide her contempt for me and what she thought I had done. That was until the second day, when she herself left him bruised after a straight forward blood test. Whilst she never actually apologised for her suspicions, she did offer me a cup of tea for the first time. They never did find the reason he was bruising so easily, but it stopped after a few days and never repeated itself, touch wood.

I knew I should stop talking, surely rambling on and on just made me sound nervous, and what did I have to be nervous about? I hated the over analyzing part of my brain, wishing it would just give it a rest and shut the hell up. Triage Nurse gave way to an actual Doctor who was thankfully short on small talk, and big on gluing the boy back together. I was sent on my way with the usual concussion warnings and some leaflets, none of which were about abuse.

As I escaped from the hospital, for escaping is how it felt, I did let out a sigh of relief, both for me and the boy. He was fixed up and showing no ill effects, and I had narrowly avoided a paranoia induced breakdown. I decided to reward us both when we got home, him with an ice pole and me with an ice cold beer.

EPILOGUE

Whilst escaping any signs of concussion, Mate did however have a couple of unusual side affects to his 'incident'. I was watching Erin Brockovitch the other morning when I noticed that Mate had stopped what he was doing and was intently watching as well. The train set that he had been playing with whilst watching Mickey Mouse lay forgotten besides him. My son had fallen in love with Julia Roberts. Although to be fair Julia does wear a lot of very low cut tops in that film, so maybe he just thought it was lunchtime. He also stopped wearing his sister's old pink boots that day. I can only conclude that his love of all things effeminate was knocked out of him and a love of the feminine form replaced it. That's my boy.

26 comments:

George's Mum said...

it's not just you- I think they make all parents feel a bit like that. Glad he's OK but it took me a long time to work out what the photo was of!!!

xx

@Angpang said...

Friend (no really it WAS a friend) had same experience when she dropped knife on son's head a week after daughter broke her arm jumping off sofa believing she could fly.

Glad he's OK.

Loved the 'un humpty-dumpty' line. I will be using that one soon I'm sure!

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Glad he was OK. Seems an odd line for the nurse to trot out though 'were you alone with him' is it suddenly a crime to be alone with your child?

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

Delighted your son appreciates a Pretty Woman now.

And...er...what's the number of your local social services?

Heather said...

You were watching Erin Brockovitch the other morning? WTF?

Oh and yeah, there was some other more serious stuff wasn't there, just got distracted by that last bit there...

Humdrum Mum said...

This reminds me of the fab Outnumbered episode where the dad takes his son to the A&E for the umpteenth time. My son told his nursery that Daddy made the mark across his neck (he didn't) and they joked that another couple of comments like that could see them calling Social Services. I didn't find it that funny! I've tagged you for a photo meme http://ahumdrumum.blogspot.com/2010/03/my-first-photo-meme-deconstructionist.html

Cate P said...

A very trying day, brilliantly captured. I really felt for you.
I think the guilt starts to build from the moment they hurt themselves when they're under our care, even though we know we couldn't have stopped it, kids are kids, accidents happen, and fresh air is there to be tripped over.
So glad he has manned up as a result, was time for the pink boots to go ;)

Emily O said...

Ouch, hope he's doing okay now. Let's hope another knock on his head doesn't get him interested in his sister's pink boots again. Or am I allowed to say that? Surely we have to open-minded and non-judgmental about boys and pink.

Russ said...

You went to the hospital for that? Ice pack and tell him to walk it off!

themommydaddy said...

My little girl has absolutely no grace what so ever. My wife and I feel blessed if she gets through a day without some kind of Boo Boo. For a long time I was worried that her pre-school would call child services on us.

littlebrownbird said...

Nephew4, when age 2, used to go into a trance when the Pussy Cat Dolls came on the TV.

Too much booty and boobage.

Once a boy.....

LBB x

The Dotterel said...

Must see what Charlie thinks of Julia Roberts... Erin Brockovitch'd make a pleasant change from Teletubbies!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Poor mate. Not fun for him to be humptied and then un dumptied. You'll be back there soon enough...

goonerjamie said...

George's - What did you think the photo was? Ewww that's gross.
Angpang - Yeah right, whatever you say lady.
Very Bored - It's a crime against my eardrums that's for sure.
Trish - The number is 0001 931 759 4221
Heather - I should have realised it was an afternoon film

goonerjamie said...

Humdrum - Cheers for the tag, shall do my best.
Cate - He was well overdue some testosterone.
Emily - His mind was nearly permanantly open.
Russ - That's what I said, but you know Mum's.
Little Brown - Never enough booty, never.
Dotterel- He's going to love it.
Bosnia - Nearly was last night, ge front flipped out of his cot.

London City Mum said...

Mr Man did the same at nursery some 3 years ago after a fall/push from another child against an open cupboard door.

He was nonplussed - most exiting thing for him was the trip to hospital in an ambulance.

LCM x

susie @newdaynewlesson said...

Luckily I work in the adult ER not the kids one, though we do get some trauma cases.

There are so many things that can look suspicious even if they are not, but if child is happy to be with the parents and not afraid that says a lot.

Sandy Calico said...

I'm glad it was nothing serious and they let you out without accompanying social workers ;-)
Seriously, it's terrible that a few bleeps put everyone under suspicion.

goonerjamie said...

London City - I've always wanted to ride in an Ambulance
Suzie - I shall make sure I never take him at halloween
Sandy - I could quite happily tear the bleeps a new bleephole.

muummmmeeeeee...... said...

Dressing wounds with ground pepper and sellotape!!!! and you question my parenting skills for submerging my sick son in a bath of porridge...shame on you!

Diana (Diane) Maria said...

It's good your son is OK.

When my boys were little, I was on pins and needles hoping nothing would happen. Now they are older and dating and I'm on pins and needles hoping nothing will happen. I don't think there is an end to this.

Note:
There is an award waiting for you on my blog About Moe - Daily.

Hot Cross Mum said...

So, hang on, let me get this right. You leave your child alone all day with the patio door wide open and let him drink beer and watch Julia Roberts movies while you do your day job as a hospital security man. Shocking.

Will said...

Glad the little tike is OK - did that require stitches? - Speaking of stiches - I was in one whilst realizing your paranoia was centered in potential child abuse acusation. It hadn't occurred to me a cup o tea could be so reassuring - then again, I'm a sans children Yank so what do I know? Also sending a bit of gratitude for unvieling of in-traffic, convo-shortening tips. One never knows when such might come in handy!

Security News Media said...

I guess Julia's got the magic for him :D

In case you don't know who this is it's the TAZ.

CyberDiva2 said...

My kids have permanently bruised legs & have been known to say of injuries "Mummy/Daddy did it". Gotta love'em, eh?

Glassprimitif said...

Ooh this happened to me too, I was interrogated by the triage nurse after I shut my daughter's head in the boot of the car (no permanent damage - the car is fine). I had to confess my sin to the receptionist, nurse, doctor, radiologist and porter in A & E. Yes, I AM that mother. The shame!