Thursday, April 30, 2009

Child Abuse

I'm lucky my firstborn wasn't removed from my home and placed in protective services this afternoon. His head looks like I took a bat to it. And Matthew had a well baby appointment with the pediatrician. And Garrett went with me. And trust me, he did not look good. And though my reasons sounded better than he fell down the stairs I was still a little worried. And it was special. And yeah.

This morning was my last session of MOPS and, after picking him up from his childcare room, I took Garrett to the bathroom. While I helped him maneuver little Garrett so that we didn't christen the restroom with his urine, I noticed that his ear was completely bruised and swollen. Concerned, I went back to talk to the adult in charge to see if I could figure out what had happened. They had no recollection of him hurting himself. Garrett insists that he did it at MOPS and that it happened when he somehow got into a fight with the table. This confuses me since the table only goes up to Garrett's waist. Troy thinks it may have happened when he ran into the door this morning, before we left.

Matthew's doctor's appointment was at 1:10 and I left MOPS at 11:40. I stopped at Costco to fill up the gas tank and then headed over to McDonald's. As I flung the door open, so that it would go wide enough for me to fit through with a car seat, Garrett stepped right into the oncoming metal. The edge of the door hit him dead in the center of his head. He stumbled back and flopped onto the ground, screaming. I quickly set Matthew's car seat on the ground and scooped Garrett into my arms. There was no blood, just a two inch dent on his forehead. We're trying to pinch every penny these days so I took a sandwich for Garrett and got him fries off the dollar menu to go with his PB&J. And I got a cup of ice--for the head. I called my mom to tell her that the pediatrician might take my son away from me on account of the fact that I throw doors into his face. After he consumed his sandwich I told him he could go play and he could come back for fries when he wanted them. Happily, he took off, with a fry in each fist. After he clomped around in the play area for several minutes, he emerged at the bottom of the slide. Still holding a fry, he shoved it into his mouth as he smiled and ran, head down, toward me. Poor little guy never saw the support beam coming.

Though it was padded, the beam, which held up the structure, left a fast growing goose egg on the right side of his forehead. I held him, iced his egg, and called my mom. "You are not going to believe this..."

Well, the doctor never said a word. When the nurse came to give Matthew his shots, Garrett was just desperate for a Band-Aid. I said, "Well, you don't need any shots today. Maybe we could put one on your head."

The nurse replied, "Yeah, what happened there?"

I launched into the story complete with, "I was kind of afraid to come in here after that."

She replied, "Oh no, they all look like they're self inflicted."

"All except this one." I ran my finger down the dent. "That one was mommy inflicted. Maybe I should teach him not to throw himself in front of doors at the last second." She laughed.

I wish I could tell you that Garrett's child abused head was the most mortifying part of my day but it wasn't. No ma'am. That would belong to the moment when the doctor pulled the rolling chair up next to me, turned a chart in my direction, and talked to me about childhood obesity, since that is where Matthew is headed.

Okay, honestly, she said that she "had to talk to me" but she wasn't terribly worried about a two month old. There is nothing I can do at this point. He has to eat when he's hungry. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

But let us compare for a moment, shall we. Garrett, at two months was in the 42% for weight and the 48% for height. Matthew, tank that he is, is in the 67% for weight and the 16% for height. He truly is, as Troy calls him, the bowling ball with limbs. He weighs 12 lbs 8 oz and is 22 inches long. At this rate he just might be our little running back. If we can turn that chub into muscle, that is. I told my mother that if he was my first baby I'd have died of horror. But well, I'm much more worried about losing him than I am about his eight week old rolls. Formula=liquid fat I suppose. But she must not have been too worried because she said she'd do anything she could to help us during our legal battles. Like writing a letter, if needed. Well, that was quite a relief because I spent the whole time trying to keep the other kid away from the soap and the sink. And I probably said no five hundred times. But I didn't ask for a bat. That probably earned me some points.



  1. Seriously, I get home from work today and my first thoughts upon seeing Garrett range from when did my son enlist in kick-boxing to what neighborhood kids decided to use my two year old as a pinata?

    Which just goes back to my mantra regarding that boy, "It's not a question of if he'll get hurt today, it's simply a question of when."

    Still, I wouldn't trade away his courage and sense of adventure to rid ourselves of a few bruises.

    As for Matthew---well He does kind of resemble the shape of a buddha statue like those found at the those oriental nail salons. Sigh. How do you put a 2 month old on a diet. "I'm sorry son, I know you're hungry but Jenny Craig says you've used up all your points for today."

    Love those boys.


  2. Yah....I was starting to dread any phone calls from you today because I just knew you were going to tell me that he had yet another owie! Too funny! And, by the way, Matthew could give Candy the "propane tank with legs" a run for her money. Kiss both boys for Damma.

  3. "Being the tank that he is..."
    - HAHA

    Garrett does inflict a whole lot of injuries upon himself, particularly his head. Perhaps we should send him a little helmet - you know, just as a precaution.

    P.S. I feel as though I'm allowed to say these things, because I'm unnaturally clumsy when it comes to basic activities such as walking. Maybe not clumsy, just completely unobservant and hurried.

  4. I loved holding Matthew today at MOPS - he is so solid - like when you find a good spaghetti squash. :)
    Some babies are so "flimsy" and I have to maneuver them constantly. Not matthew - he just sat there, chillin' with me and being as adorable as could be.

    And Garrett's upper body is the reflection of Zoe's lower. After 4 shots at the md visit, her scraped knee and multiple shin bruising, you would think we are training her for Thai boxing. She is so tall for her age that her legs get out of control. Picture Phoebe on "Friends" running...

  5. You have incredible humor. I'm glad that it was a relatively good day that didn't involve a baseball bat. :)

  6. Please stop beating up my nephew. That must run in the family, though. A kid has a lapse in judgment, their mom hits them with some sort of door, their mom gets a cup of ice from a food-serving establishment. Tell Garrett I know how he feels.

  7. loved what troy said. i can just imagine the little bowling ball with arms and legs, what a cutie. what a sweet doctor to offer to help with the adoption battle.

    and poor little Garrett, poor clumsy little Garrett. we've got one of those in this house too, but it just might be me.

  8. I got the obesity talk when my 3 year old was 42" tall and 32 pounds... but my 2 year old was 32" tall and 42 pounds. (he was 20lbs at 12 weeks) They work it off, they run it off. As a mommy you know when your baby and child is hungry. You feed them well and watch the treats as they get bigger. At 6 he needs husky pants but he is solid and not fat at all. Hopefully sports will pay for his college education here too!

  9. OMG. It seemed like the universe conspired to bully your kid and give him bumps all over his head. Aww... poor guy. I hope his head is fine now.