Thursday, September 23, 2010

Children That Will Be Fantastic Adults (If They Make It That Far)


Outside the box thinking.

Follow through.



Creative problem solving.

The ability to rise up against failure and try again and again.

All things that are fantastic qualities in an adult, right? I do believe that the above list would describe a very successful person.

But when those qualities are highly present in children, well, things get a bit trickier.

"Emma, how did you get on the roof of the shed?"

"OK boys, I understand you just wanted to make a tightrope high up in the air. But pulling out your dresser drawers to walk along the edge is really not a good idea."

"Drew, where did you find that puzzle?" Drew: "Up, up!" Me: "Yes, I know it was on top of the fridge, but how on earth did you get it down?" (Drew giggled and ran away.)

Emma: "Mommy, do you think Drew is super?" Me: "Of course, I think all of you kids are super." Emma: "No, Mommy, do you think he has super powers, like Jack Jack in the Incredibles? 'Cuz he does some crazy stuff."


A couple weeks ago we had our first injury-related ER trip. Drew, who will be two in January, has been nicknamed Monkey-Boy for his abilities to do his crazy stuff. Either he is the most fearless creative problem solver of them all, or he has the power of levitation, but only when no one is looking.

Well, he decided to demonstrate his money-like skills and showed his wonderful ability to climb out of his crib. But the skills he had in climbing out, he lacked in, well, landing. I was sitting on the couch eating lunch when I heard the THUNK! (short pause) "WAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!"

I ran.

Slightly panicked and in shock, I scooped up Drew off the hardwood floor of the boys' room, hearing the twins exclaim in surprise, "Mommy, he crawled out of his crib!" and took him into the living room to calm him down. In less than a minute, he started vomiting.

That's not a good sign.

I called the doctor, who said to go to the ER. I called Marty to meet us there, and packed up the kids and left.

Emma had strict instructions in the van. "Tell me right away if he starts shaking, and don't let him go to sleep, OK?" She was on it, my little administrator, loving being in charge of something. She played games with him on the way to the hospital, and he laughed and giggled and had a great time.

About an hour into our waiting room wait, I started to re-consider my decision to bring him in. He was his boisterous self, and quite ticked at the fact that we wouldn't let him run outside, was protesting loudly at the fact that we were trying to quiet him down, and the fact that we wouldn't let him lick the bench in the ER, and that we wouldn't go home.

We finally go in to see a doctor, who checked him out and declared him to have a concussion, but nothing more. All during the visit the doctor kept jumping every time Drew tried climbing up on a chair, and seemed a bit surprised that we weren't doing the same. "I don't even jump when he's dancing on a table anymore. I will move quickly if he's up on the kitchen counter trying to get a glass out of the upper cabinet, but this is nothing."

We left with instructions to try and keep him from hitting his head again, but after watching Monkey Boy climb all over the room, the doctor left us with encouraging words.

"Uh, good luck."

Why thank you, thank you very much.

Marty took the kids home and I went on a quest to find something to keep him safe at night. He is way to little to be in a big boy bed, and the fact that he shares his room with his twin brothers would leave three destructive boys on the loose and while there is the chance that they would use their powers for good instead of evil, creating an alternate fuel from dirty diapers, boogers, and the gunk that collects in the windowsill; it is much more likely that they would re-enact the circus and the tightrope act would only be the beginning.

So I went hunting for a crib tent. I headed to the fancy baby store in town, hoping that it would be a quick search. No luck, not only were they our of the tents, they told me that they cost $80.

Holy smokes, batman.

I don't happen to have $80 lying around, and especially since there will be and ER bill coming, I cringed at the thought. I tried Target, no luck. By then I was really wishing that I had not declared it to be jammies-all-day day, and although I had thrown on a t shirt and jeans before leaving for the hospital, I had not showered, put on make-up, or actually found a shirt that fit well. I was uncomfortable, looking like a slob, stressed out, and cranky. Really not a good combo.

I gave up and headed home. Drew now sleeps in his playpen, as the sides are higher than the crib. The playpen is pushed up to the front of the crib and the crib mattress sits on the floor in front of it as a landing pad in case he tries to launch himself again.

Two weeks later, I am still on the hunt for a crib tent, and I still haven't found $80 lying around. In the mean time, all the circus performers boys are loving the fact that there is a mattress on the floor.

I did make a call to the doctor's office as I was told by the ER doc to have a follow up visit. I spoke with a nurse (not our regular nurse) and asked if we could skip it and just do it over the phone, since he was fine. I was told that the most important part of the follow up was so that the doctor could talk to the child about sports safety so this wouldn't happen again.

Ummmm... really?!? Sign me up for that talk, I would love to see it!

After explaining to the nurse that he was one and didn't have an attention span long enough for a nice sit down chat, she passed me off to my regular nurse who had no problem with me not coming in. (Although, in all fairness, they have a new all-digital medical records system, and she might have been afraid that Drew would come in and re-program the computers so that every child's name is Elmo and add a John Deere soundtrack. He's smart like that.)


I'm hoping that the onset of fall will make my blogging easier and get me back into the routine. However, the children that I am so blessed to call my own are exploring their creative problem solving, perseverance and determination, and actually causing my hair to leap from my head on it's own without even being pulled. ( I stole that phrase from Kingdom Mama, it made me laugh. And it's so appropriate!)

But it does make sitting still at the computer for a half hour at a time reasonably difficult, of not dangerous. I really don't want anything else covered in crayon, broken, or set on fire. OK, nothing has been set on fire yet, but I'm sure that day is coming.

My Grandpa set his house on fire as a kid. But that's a story for another day.


Mrs. Valente said...

You are so right!! It's a good lesson to see those character traits and realize that we do want our kids to have them! But really, sometimes...WHY?!:)

Essie said...

Oh I'm so glad Drew is ok! I can't tell you how many ER trips I have done where I am sitting in the ER thinking,"should I have really come here?" The answer is usually yes, but the boys just seem to have such a great time in the waiting room...unless there is blood.
When I moved to the town I live in now outside of Seattle, I asked the urgent care nurse where the nearest emergency room was since we were new in town. She actually asked me, "Are you planning on having another emergency?" I answered,"Why yes, yes I am nurse, because I have boys." This is all character building. I'll remember to repeat that to myself. This was a great post for me to read right now. Thank you.

Paging Doctor Mommy said...

Holy cow girlfriend! You have got your hands full!
You must have gone to Along Comes a Baby?!? I love the store, but hate the price tags. But I will admit that the prices there still beat the prices of purchasing anything up here in Canada! I'm actually planning to head down that way one day soon (possibly even this afternoon if the border isn't bad) so that I can grab a wall hanging to match Myers's nursery from them. Last I saw, it was on sale!!!