Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ride or Die

Caitlyn's kind of a badass. At only a week old, she had her first trip to the pediatrician's office, and by extension, her first vaccination. She cried for about 10 minutes after that first shot and, at that point, it was the worst thing that had ever happened to her (well, besides that whole squeezing blood out of her foot thing at the hospital right after she was born. She was pretty pissed about that), so it was expected. I think it was more the shock that someone was stabbing her for no good reason that bothered her more then anything else, because since that time, she's never cried for more then a minute for any of her shots.

During her next visit, when she was a month old, she had to get 2 shots- one in each leg. She cried during the actual shots and maybe for a minute or two after, but that was about it. By the third set of shots at 3 months old, Caitlyn had decided that it really wasn't that big a deal.

I was prepared for the red-faced screaming, so I stood right next to her, so I could comfort her as soon as possible. She cried a little for each of the two shots she got, but then she did the funniest thing. She looked up at me, her eyes filled with tears and a puzzled expression on her face. It was as if it had just then occurred to her that "hey, this doesn't even hurt anymore, why I am still crying?". She stopped crying right then. And not even in that crying that dissolves into hyperventilating sniffles kind of way. She just dead stopped. I picked her up and she smiled at me.

Even her doctor is impressed with Caitlyn's indifference to pain. She's just a ride-or-die bitch like that. For her last two shots she didn't even whimper, let alone cry. I would venture to say she didn't even notice she got a shot at all. And it's not just shots. Her pediatrician commented once when she had to have her nose swabbed to check for the flu that most kids cried for at least 10 minutes after having that done. Not Caitlyn. She was obviously annoyed by it, and she definitely tried to get away from the swab, but she's just not prone to overreacting about anything. My point is that Caitlyn is hardcore. She laughs in the face of danger and wags a disapproving finger at all the cry babies at the doctor's office.

Keeping all that in mind made it especially traumatic when I accidentally maimed my kid's finger with a nail clipper and she screamed for 15 minutes straight. I knew better, really I did. I couldn't find the baby nail clippers for a week. And by couldn't find, I mean I looked for approximately 10 seconds every time Caitlyn accidentally scratched me with her crazy bird talons. So on that fateful day, I spotted the regular, grown-up nail clippers and convinced myself that it wasn't the worse idea I've ever had.

I have moments like that. Moments where I'm fully aware that I'm making a bad decision. Moments where I'll actively consider NOT doing something stupid. I've gotten better. Nadine once pointed out to me that all the stupid, klutzy things I do are probably proceeded by a moment of clarity when I realize I shouldn't do it (hello, microwaving an egg- I still have the burn scars!). I realized she was right and started listening to my inner voice- the one with common sense that reminds me when something is a terrible idea- and I've injured myself out of sheer stupidity significantly less since then. I slipped though, and this one was pretty bad.

I never wanted Caitlyn to be the victim of my stupidity. I made it all the way to her pinky finger before she started gushing blood and screaming inconsolably. It occurs to me now that she probably would have stopped crying a lot sooner if I hadn't been sobbing hysterically, begging Rodolfo to take us to the hospital. I, clearly, am NOT a ride-or-die bitch.

I was absolutely convinced she was bleeding to death. From her finger. Yeah. When 10 minutes had passed and I still couldn't stop the bleeding, I called my mother, thinking she would talk some sense into Rodolfo. "Babies are SMALL- they don't have that much blood!", she would caution. "Jaclyn's fear is completely warranted". That's not exactly how it went:

Mom: Well, Jaclyn, based on what you have told me, I've got to assume she's not actually gushing a life-threatening amount of blood from a nail clipper injury on her finger.

Me: (through hysterical sobs) YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND MOM- I'M COVERED IN BLOOD (maybe one of my fingers was?)!!!

Mom: Maybe you need to calm down, then the baby will calm down too.

Me: HOW CAN I CALM DOWN WHEN NOBODY IS TAKING THIS INJURY SERIOUSLY?!?!

Mom: Well, if you are that worried, why don't you take her to the hospital yourself?

Me: HOW CAN I DO THAT? SHE'S GOING TO BLEED TO DEATH ALL OVER HER CAR SEAT BEFORE WE MAKE IT TO THE HOSPITAL (which, for the record, is roughly 3 miles away)!!!

Mom: Sometimes it just takes a while for bleeding to stop. I think you need to calm down and listen to Rodolfo.

Me: :::CRIES:::

At this point, Rodolfo took Caitlyn away from me. He had made several attempts to take her before this, but I gave him the death-stare every time. I had practically amputated her finger and I needed to make sure she didn't bleed to death. Obviously I couldn't trust a sane person who was in control of the situation to handle that. But I was wiped out and defeated at that point, so I gave in and handed the baby over to her dad.

The moment Caitlyn made it into her dad's arms, she stopped crying and smiled at me. For some reason, that made me irrationally more upset. Like, in that moment I was convinced that she had only been crying to make me feel like a bad mother. I think I got that first period in a year and a half like a week later.

In the end, Caitlyn is obviously fine. Traumatized for life at the hands of her mother, of course. But physically she is going to make it.

1 comments:

AKD said...

I shouldn't be laughing as hard as I am at this... but I am. You destroy me. :)