Since having a child, I have learned so much about myself. And lately, it seems the most important lesson is that I am useless--yes, useless--in an emergency.
Supporting evidence for this claim can be found in abundance. Last night Sam slipped and fell coming out of the bathtub while her dad was at basketball. She banged the back of her head with such force that the ground shook. If I were, say, good, in an emergency, I may have immediately wrapped her up, sat down, comforted her until she stopped crying and moved on with my evening.
If I were at least coherent in an emergency, I would have called the doctor immediately. A little panicked and reactive, maybe, but at least able-bodied.
I am apparently neither coherent or good. Instead of these options, I fell into hysterics myself, became convinced that she was passing out, called R blubbering and sputtering and finally called the doctor. Later, she fell asleep in my arms and I held her, checking her breathing every 10 seconds. The word panic? An understatement in this case.
If that is not enough for you, I also can tell the tale of the day Sam was attacked by a swarm of black flies. Yes, they got her. Yes, she had blood matted behind her ear and in her hair. And yes, it was upsetting. But it was BUG BITES. And I hyperventilated. I am not kidding. I literally hyperventilated and called the pediatrician in a tizzy. I even wondered if I should call 9-1-1. For big bites. Yes, I am that mom. Please don't hate me.
To be truthful, I am just ill-equipped to deal with any threat to my child. And I have never been one to scale trauma. A sprained ankle is just as upsetting as a broken limb for me. I blame my parents.
But seriously, what will I do as she gets older and tiny falls become slamming into trees while sledding and bursting her eardrums, getting a concussion, breaking her collar bone and spending days in the hospital (yes, this happened to my husband). How will I handle that?
I am hoping that I just need to be desensitized. Or maybe I need to never be alone with her. I think that is part of the fear. I don't want to have to make life or death decision on my own. I don't want that responsibility. Please note, I never said I was a good grown up.
Somehow life was much easier when I was only responsible for myself and my own potential head injuries. Or maybe I am just not cut out for motherhood. Maybe I need to hire a babysitter when I am alone with her.
But seriously, is there some kind of training I can get? Am I the only one who totally sucks at this? There must be more of my kind. And when I meet them, I am going to steer clear. There can only be one of us fluttering our arms, hyperventilating and crying, "why me?"
The other person needs to call 9-1-1. For me.