Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What Will He Be?

Mommy had a splitting headache yesterday.

Seriously - I wondered if Athena was about to jump out.

Steve and I are bathing Syd before bed. He wanted me to lean down and play with him, but I reminded him that Mommy's head had an owie.

Syd's scar still pains him. It has healed, but not to the point where the nerve endings are no longer sensitive. He felt his head, then looked up at me with wide eyes.

Syd: Want to see it?
Me: Mommy's owie?
Syd: (vigorous shaking of the head 'yes')
Me: Mommy's owie in inside, Baby. We can't see it.
Syd: We should get a door.
Me: A door? That's a good idea! We should have doors in our heads!
Syd: Get a door and open winna key
Me: Open the door with a key?
Syd: Yes. Open winna key and see da owie.
Me: Oh, so we can see the owie. Will that make it better?
Syd: Open the door and see da owie and get meh-neh-ninn. Make Mommy's head better.

How beautiful a sentiment! I was so tickled by this I tweeted the story, in abbreviated fashion, and got the response from two students - one thinks he's going to be a neurologist. The other has insisted, for two years, that he'll be an engineer. Whatever he decides to do, I'll be happy if he is happy, healthy, and contributing to society in some fashion. And always with a dose of love and 'meh-neh-ninn.'

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Weekend of Firsts

Syd's first baking experience. He is very proud to tell anyone that he poured the milk in all by himself. I didn't touch the glass measuring cup or the glass bowl.

He also cracked the eggs all by himself, though I did have to work some to get a few fragments of shell out of the bowl.

He helped in nearly every capacity, and it was truly "Sydney's Bread" - so much so, that I think we're going to change the title of the Amish Friendship Bread starter and result to "Sydney's Bread." He'll always have that memory to carry with him.

There was more, but I'm at a loss right now to remember it. Shame on Mommy...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Teaching Quandary

One of the most difficult parts of teaching is that we are unable to take direct action in certain circumstances. We can be an ear, a shoulder. We can suggest other people with whom to speak. We can direct administration or counselors to help the students, the parents, etc. But legally speaking, there is little we can directly do without risking getting sued for influencing a minor, or worse.

I understand, completely, the reasoning behind that. Our world is no longer a place where you trust until proven wrong. We must now, for our own safety and the safety of loved ones, unfortunately, mis-trust until proven otherwise. It's sad. And perhaps, this thought process shows that I am a rather jaded person.

When I am able to help a child (and it is difficult saying that due to the age at which I am most in contact with my students - they tend to be 16-18, and behave in very adult-like ways most of the time - acceptable or not), it is exceedingly rewarding. Regardless of the aid given - tutoring someone in English, helping a young lady with boy troubles, giving a hug when a pet dies - whatever the reason is, it is wonderful to know that I made an impact on that particular life in that particular moment. And I want them all to know I do it out of love.

But on the other hand...

A student came to me several weeks ago with a quandary. I was meant to merely be an ear. I happily loaned said student my ears and my shoulder.

Today, I returned to my room after a class held in a different wing to see Student waiting outside my room. Student needed ears again.

Original conundrum has grown. Exponentially.

Details do not matter at the moment. What matters is that I really want to directly do something to help this wonderful child. Student is one of the more mature high schoolers I've had the pleasure of working with - thoughtful, funny, smart, logical - future plans in place - genuinely a student from whom I would want updates and visits over the years.

It pains me greatly to see Student in this particular sticky spot. There is nothing I can do. Not without running the risk of losing my job. I shared the situation with Steve when I got home, and while he sympathized with Student and me, he was more concerned my heart would take over and I would do something foolish. I will not do something foolish. But I can't help but think that I was meant to be in Student's life for more than just ears. More than mere hugs. My heart is breaking at this situation.

If my heart is breaking, I cannot possibly fathom what Student is thinking and feeling.

There is no hint of light - no trace of hope. The proverbial rock and hard place are set to squeeze Student. I can only let Student know my ears and shoulders are here. I just wish I could bear some of the brunt of the load Student is now carrying.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Syd's Stitches

Here, Syd was playing with his puppy. The nurses gave him a play doggy that has the same injury as he does. I presume it is to help him understand what happened to him and to have something that looks similar, especially when he was walking around with nothing but gauze and tape on his own forehead.

And this lovely photo shows the 4 stitches he received. It's only been two days (and our first opportunity to bathe his head), but they are already looking better - especially when you consider that it was split to the skull. Thank heavens for a quick response at the hospital! Let's just hope the scarring stays at a minimum.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My First Real Panic

Looking down at myself in the E.R., I saw that I was splotched with blood. I was in my pajamas with tennis shoes haphazardly thrown on - laces untied. One of Daddy's hoodies was thrown on. I was presentable, but by no means in anything I'd want people to see me in. And I was bloody.

Sydney was even worse. He had large patches of blood on his shirt - all down the front, smeared across the shoulders, and dripping on to his pants. He was in socks. I remember telling Daddy not to worry about putting his shoes on, but to grab his cheddar bunnies, water bottle, my wallet, and his yi-yi.

The evening started off much differently. It was Friday - hallelujah! It had been a long week, and SoLs are next week, and I needed a few days to forget about school. Syd was in a delightful mood. Each night, we eat dinner and then we have music time where we dance, play Chase, wrestle, and tickle. Daddy was relaxing on the floor while I had a tickle fight with Syd. He stood up to walk down the hall, tripped over my leg, and had a vicious all-out brawl with the bookshelf.

The bookshelf won.

Instantly, blood started pouring down his face. I grabbed my handkerchief I'd been using and tried to staunch the flow. I knew what was going on, but Daddy didn't, so he understandably was a little panicky as I barked orders to him - Ice! Red rag! Get the liquid bandage!

Syd fought the red rag. It was hanging in his face, he hurt, and he couldn't see. He didn't know what was going on. So, I moved the rag out of his face, told him very calmly he had fallen on to the bookshelf and had an owie, and then started telling him a story about Milo the Elephant, Barnaby the Train, and Sarah the Horse.

No idea where that came from, but he started listening and calmed down. The bleeding slowed, then stopped.

It was disGUSTing. A very clean slice straight through to the skull.

It was a year ago. Almost exactly, as tomorrow is Zane's third birthday. We were getting ready for Zane's birthday party and Mommy was eating a peanut butter sandwich while Daddy was in the shower. I gave Syd a mere pinky-fingernail sized bite of the sandwich. Within seconds, he started scratching his eye. In the next few moments, he started to swell until the first eye was swollen shut and the entire left side of his face was getting puffy.

I had one split second of indecision. Do I yell for Daddy? Do I get a cold-compress? I grabbed the Benedryl and gave him a half teaspoon. Then, I yelled for Daddy and called the doctor. We ended up going to the E.R. for that, too.

Last night, I did not falter. Syd was bleeding profusely and I was the first with him. It is actually rather ironic as Steve and I enjoy the sitcom Whitney. This past week's episode was about couples and who has the fight and who has the flight instinct. The result, after 30 minutes of comedy, is that we each have our strengths and weaknesses, and they balance each other out.

Daddy was panicking. He started driving a little too fast. I reminded him that Syd was ok for now and we needed to get to the hospital safely. We got there, got checked in, triaged, and waited. It was then that I started to shake. Almost uncontrollably.

Thank heavens the Friday night crew was fresh. Yes, it took 4 hours, but the nurse was wonderful, the child life specialist did a fabulous job keeping Syd distracted, taking him for walks in the halls, and even talking to me about how she got her job - news for my seniors... And the doctor was the same we'd seen a year ago. She is unbelievably calm, soothing, straight-forward, but not condescending. If it weren't for the fact that it was 3 hours past Syd's bedtime by the time we left, I think we may have even been a bit jolly.

But the fact of the matter is we were all tired, and Daddy and I were drained. Syd didn't like pulling his shirt off over his head. I had to put him in a button-up today. And his stitches will hopefully not scar. But if nothing else, he already looks so much like his Daddy, we joke (already! I know!) that he couldn't go much longer without getting the matching scar that Daddy got when he was 4. Also from a fall.

What's really crazy is that Syd remembered his last visit because he asked if he could push the bed. The nurses pushed him in the bed to the room where they treated his peanut allergy. I never expected him to recall that at the tender age of 18 months.

Syd took a much needed LONG nap today and is finally eating again. I'm sure things will be fine, but he definitely gave us a scare last night. Let's just make the visits a little more spread out than once a year...