Monday, November 10, 2008
Add "Surgeon" to The List
I've been many things as a mom. I have been a nurse and I've been a cook, a chauffeur and a bather. These things are givens. But I have also been a designated sock finder, a personal groomer, a punching bag, an alarm clock, a coloring companion, and on those rare occasions when there's just nothing else that will work, I've been a comfy pillow at nap time. I think most of these things are probably in the job description of every mother. And there are many other aspects yet undefined. Last night, I got to add another title to the long list. I became a surgeon.
So last night was my first surgery. I have to say, I was a little nervous. I had never performed surgery before on anything... Ok, actually, yes I have. But a broken purse strap isn't nearly as important as something that belongs to my children. I knew so much was riding on the outcome and I knew I had to make sure my patient made it through. I don't think that there's ever been a crisis that big in the house before but last night, it all came down to Mommy being needed for yet another task that I'm sure wasn't described in the manual.
Oh wait...I never got a manual.
It all went down like this: Crazy bedtime routine as usual.... We recently moved Aidan into Angelina's room so the baby could get used to her crib (which is in Aidan's room) without being disturbed. Since then, the evenings have dragged on, leaving little room for even a glimmer of a quiet moment for Mommy and Daddy to relax and reconnect. So, I am in the back of the house, busy finishing some stuff on the computer and shutting it down for the night while hubby is in the front of the house checking on the giggling crazy kids for the millionth time. It's about 10 or so and they have yet to go to sleep.
Suddenly, I hear my hubby, Joe, saying "Mommy, come quick, we have a problem..." Joe isn't sounding too panicky or desperate so I don't get that horrible sinking sick feeling in my stomach like something major has gone awry but I do hasten my step as I make it out to the living room. I find my husband standing there with some little piece of cloth and before my sleepy brain registers the words that are coming out of his mouth, I realize what it is. Taggie. He's saying "I went in there and Aidan was on his bed frantically turning his Ishy (Aidan's pet name for his blankie) round and round, searching for the tag. I tried to help him get the right edge but then I realized that Taggie was no longer attached. So I looked on his bed and quickly found it."
Meanwhile I hear Aidan in his room crying "Taaagggieeee...." My heart sinks as I imagine my little boy back there clutching Ishy so tightly as if he thinks his beloved blankie will disappear too and in my mind's eye I see the crocodile tears gushing down his cheeks, soaking the crippled blanket. "Where's your sewing box?" Joe asks as I'm already on my way down the hall. I retrieve the old tin candy box I use as a pathetic excuse for a sewing kit (I'm not Martha Stewart and can do a basic stitch and that's about it), and I make my way into Angelina's room where I confirm the images I had in my mind a few seconds before. Aidan is sprawled out on Angelina's bed, crying and asking where Taggie is while his sister is trying to comfort him and recount to me what had transpired over the past few minutes in the way only a 4 year old can.
I get to work immediately as Joe tries to calm Aidan down by reassuring him that the all-important Taggie will soon be reattached and Ishy will once again be whole. I am instantly taken back to a few weeks before when we were at my brother's house and my sister in law is discreetly warning me about how "Taggie" will soon be falling off and I should really get it sewn tightly back on as soon as possible. The poor tag has been dangling by a few thin threads ever since. We recently just washed Ishy and as I put it into the wash, I imagined the tag not making it through, being ripped off by the pulse of the washer or maybe even making it into the dryer but not back out. But somehow it did and then I once again forgot about the task of reinforcing its connection to the blanket.
Aidan's eyes start to light up and he's sort of half-crying, half-laughing with glee as he realizes that I am fixing his beloved Taggie and that Ishy (and he) will survive. He keeps wanting to kiss Taggie and tell it that it will be all better. As I put the last few stitches in and make sure they're as tight and strong as they can be, Aidan's tear-stained face is drying and he's no longer crying those big ploppy tears. He keeps saying "Thank you, Mommy, thank you..." in a small voice saturated with pure gratitude.
I hand the needle back to my "assistant," Joe, to be pushed into the mini beanie baby bull I use as a pin cushion. I am instantly aware that it will get much more use in the years, and maybe even days to come. I give Ishy back to Aidan, Taggie completely intact, telling him that Taggie needs to rest because he's tired from his ordeal. Aidan wants to sleep in Angel's bed so they snuggle up and Aidan lovingly strokes his blanket, telling Taggie "night night" as he kisses it over and over. We turn the light off and start to head back out to the living room. "I love you Mommy, thank you..." Aidan whispers through the dark.
A crisis just narrowly averted.
And, I'm happy to report that the patient made it through the night and is resting comfortably this morning, clutched in the tiny hands of a happy sleeping boy.