When we got home on Saturday, both kids were extremely excited to see their dad. L kept crawling over to Paul to snuggle with him on his lap. Paul was beside himself with joy because his relationship with L has been more difficult in this first year than it was with E. I think it was partly because we had more than one kiddo to deal with, so he also took the bigger one; the fact that we have been on one income for much longer than the last one; and possibly the co-op preschool that gave me special time with each one. I don't know, but I'm glad we're past that and L is totally digging his dad.
So on Sunday (which was Easter, for which I didn't do much planning or shopping, and ended up digging out toys I had purchased last year for E in anticipation of the new baby for her basket, and putting a couple bananas and plastic eggs filled with Veggie Booty in L's), L took more than one step in succession. It was AWESOME!! E started walking two weeks before her first birthday. This year, Easter Sunday is two weeks before L's first birthday.
Monday marked my first real day of work. I say "real" because my official start day was the Thursday before Spring Break, which turned out to be a snow day with a late start, so I worked about two hours and there were no kids or classrooms to observe. It's not an entirely new job. I'm teaching Early Childhood Special Education classes at the same district I worked in (and same school) before I got pregnant with Lizzie. So I started work on Monday. It's been kind of hard this week since I had to hit the ground running with new classrooms and kids, no plans or idea of who my assistants or support staff are. In addition, in the past three years, there have been some changes in the systems we use at the district, and there are a lot more new to me staff than old staff, so it's been a little strange, and difficult to maintain balance.
Someone else is at my desk.
Someone else has my SLP (Speech and Language Pathologist). My SLP was awesome and fun. He was (and is) the only dude in the building. He also likes to joke around and play pranks on people. It's just not the same.
But I'm enjoying it. I like going to work. I like playing with the kids, and making messy art projects that the assistants hate cleaning up. I like the paycheck I'm going to get at the end of this month. And I like the ECSE schedule. I can work 189 days. (I love unions!)
So, I go to work on Monday, totally jazzed about my new job and meeting all the kids and figuring out what the hell we're going to do with our day. I put my purse in my desk in the office area and head to class. I have two classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. The first is 8:30-10:30. The second is 10:45-12:45. I go home at 1:00. Tuesdays & Thursdays, I have planning time. Next week, I'll pick up a third class from 10:45-12:45. I get most Fridays off.
After my second class, I talked with my boss for a little while, then went back to my desk and started packing up. I opened my purse to get my cell phone. I noticed there was a voicemail and some missed calls on my cell phone. The voicemail was from my husband saying, "I just want to start out by saying everything in OK..." My initial thought was Oh no, he's been in a car accident. Oh well, he's calling me, so we just have to deal with the car, no biggie.
The message continued "I have E with me now..."
The blood left my body as I listened to the rest of the message. I can't remember it verbatim, but the gist was that E had been leaning back in her chair at lunch (exactly what her dad does when he sits in a chair), and fell. She pulled the table (it's a kid-sized table and kid-sized chair) on top of her. On the table was her bowl, which just happened to be ceramic. It broke, and a piece found its way to her arm. He met the nanny at the urgent care, and they're waiting to see a doctor.
[cue Mama guilt for going back to work]
I called Paul. He had everything covered.
I wanted to meet them at urgent care. I wanted to turn back time and call in sick that day. I wanted to turn back time and not interview, or even apply for the job. I felt awful.
If I hadn't gone back to work, E wouldn't have fallen and she would be fine. If I hadn't gone back to work, I could have stopped this from happening. If I hadn't gone back to work...
I picked L up from the nanny's, went home and waited for Paul's instructions. His phone died. I paced. I ate whatever crappy food I could find in the house. I paced some more. I beat myself up some more. I considered just packing L into the car and driving over to the urgent care.
Paul called from the urgent care's phone. Our choices were as follows: 1. Do butterfly bandages at urgent care; or 2. Go to the ER and get stitches under anesthesia.
I freaked out about the anesthesia.
The nurse sent me a text with a photo of the wound. It needed to be stitched up. I couldn't deal with the whole anesthesia part. What if she didn't wake up? I will never do something stupid like go to work again.
Paul finally decided to take her to the ER. As it turns out, there is a thing called a papoose board, where children can be restrained for things like this. It looks like a torture device, and when they were giving her the local, it sure seemed that way. Paul says it's the one time in the whole ordeal he came very close to crying.
But she didn't need to be put under, and that made me happy.
She got seven stitches. She won't let me take a picture of them. She doesn't like looking at them. She screams and cries and tells me she would rather go to bed than to have the bandage replaced and let us clean it every night. Poor girl.
I've gotten over my mommy guilt. I can't protect her from everything. I fell and needed to get stitches when I was little. My mom was working at the time. I came out of it just fine. I know she will, too. I went back to work on Tuesday, and again today. I intend to return tomorrow.
I take my cell phone into the classroom with me now.