Monday, August 31, 2009

Tomorrow's the day!

I found the shapes puzzle I wanted - Dollar General, two bucks. They have awesome preschool puzzles there, or at least they do at the Spfld ones. We're going back next payday to replace all the puzzles that are missing pieces. This particular shapes puzzle includes heart, crescent, and star.
Today's task is a schedule - not so much for him as for me. I love, love, love the idea of unschooling, but wouldn't trust myself to recognize every possible learning opportunity. From Kittyboy's perspective, this will be half-hour chunks of semi-structured play - I, the scheduling and time-tabling freak, will know that "hey, we hit *these* subjects today, we're good!" Therapy comes in hour-long chunks, so half an hour shouldn't be unpleasant, and if it is, we'll shorten it further. And of course drop the activity if it ceases to be fun for him. That's also where having a whole drawer per subject will be great, because if matching color flashcards gets frustrating, we have a book to read, and he loves being read to regardless. I'm going to add bead-stringing to that drawer - there's a bead stringing kit I'm going to order from Discovery Toys. So if one way of working on a topic gets to be more work than it's worth, we can drop it and do something else.
Speech therapy is sooo going by the wayside next IFSP - this morning he greeted me before I said anything, with "HI, Mommy!" Ooooo so cute!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Preparing to Homeschool

Despite the number of days that I wish I could send Kittyboy somewhere ELSE, I'm still stuck on this homeschool "thang". And it is possible that conflict would be more easily avoided if our days had more structure.
So. September 1st, next Tuesdsay, is the first day of the new church year. That's going to be our first day of "school", and the plan is to go year-round, with breaks of course. I haven't found all the puzzles I want, but I'm getting there, and I've got the weekend to hit up all the dollar stores. Last week, Ginny had some really neat, simple, basic puzzles for colors, shapes and numbers, that she said she'd gotten at one of the dollar stores here in town, so I have to go shopping.
And since joining an Orthodox Homeschool group on Yahoo, and reading more blogs about homeschooling, I keep running into more and more reasons to do so. I think it was Conservative Scalawag who posted a video from Leno's show where three high school graduates had no idea on what date the Declaration of Independence was signed, or who FDR was. Jasmine at Joyfully Home shares posts from her father's blog from time to time, one of which asked (my paraphrase), "If our children are gifts from God, why do we render them unto Caeser?" They're our responsibility, not the State's. And there was a wonderful thread on the Orthodox Homeschool group, discussing how we can answer the inevitable question, "But how do your children get socialized?" One mom pointed out there's a difference between socialized and sociable - one who is sociable is polite and courteous and able to carry on a conversation with people of varied ages and backgrounds. One who is socialized has learned social mimicry and to follow the strongest personality in the room. We would prefer our children be sociable than socialized. Another said her answer was, "Oh, we homeschool FOR social reasons." Another, "Oh, by socialized, you mean assimilated?" My own answer, from the end of my first post on why I'm doing this - "Gradeschool children learning social interaction from each other is like fifteen-year-olds teaching Driver's Ed."
Kittyboy gets regular social interaction with Puppygirl, age 8, and Squee, age 11, as well as children ages 1-14 at church during coffee hour. He is absolutely "color blind", and has never been anxious or frightened of anyone because of accent, skin color, or appearance - one of the distinct advantages of being the only Orthodox church in town, so he has seen every shade and hears many different accents each week (Greeks, Russians, Egyptians, Ethiopians, everyone comes to St. Anthony's). He will lift up his arms to any friendly looking stranger (which is worrisome for other reasons...) and interacts happily with everyone. He is even learning (shock shock) not to take things out of other toddlers' hands just because he wants them. And he's not learning that from the other toddlers, but from the older children who tell him no. (Meanwhile, he is helping his best buds, the alterboys, exercise their paternal instincts as they follow him around the church basement. But more on the Kittyboy Roadies in another post.) Social skills are best learned from interaction with a variety of age levels, not only from others the same age.
I've seen a t-shirt that says "Warning! Unsocialized Homeschooler!" He needs one.
So I've got six little plastic drawers in the living room with construction paper, homemade flash cards for colors and shapes, matching games, and the most wonderful books, the Britannica Discovery Library (thanks, Freecycle!). "The Me Book" and "The Me and You Book" are in the drawer with all his "church" stuff, because it seems to me that the next step from how we relate to ourselves and each other is how we relate to God. There's a book on colors, a book on shapes, a book on numbers, one for sounds, people and places, outdoors, animals, words, and time (both the telling of, and progression of, with calendars), and they're all full of beautiful, bright illustrations. His godfather is getting him the Guardian Angel Prayer Book, to be added to the church education drawer.
Four days to go...

Monday, August 24, 2009

I can't say I wasn't warned

My grandparents visited yesterday and my grandmother left a book of all my Kittyboy e-mails - from his exciting birth onward - that she had printed off the computer. I was enjoying flipping through and reading them all again, and I found one that I thought everyone would appreciate. I wrote this on Feb 22 '06, he was still in NICU and still "negative-1 months" in age.

"[Kittyboy] is trying to wean himself off his oxygen, which we're all in agreement is a good thing. He'll get the canula out, or partially out, and do fine for more than a few minutes without it, so it's agreed that when we see it out, we let it stay that way as long as his O2 is good. Anyhow, I was holding him tonight and his canula was out and his thumb was hooked through it, and he WAS doing fine for a good ten minutes or so, and then his O2 slowly dipped into the 80s and wasn't going back up, and when it got down to 80 I figured I'd better get the canula back in before [the monitor] went from yellow dinging to RED dinging, which it does below 80. I tried putting it back in, but because of his thumb being through it, he just pulled it out again and held it away from his face. Set him down so I'd have both hands, tried to slide his thumb out, and he curled it around the tube so I couldn't. By the time I got his thumb out, he was MAD and waving his arms and wailing. I'd get the canula back in, but he'd wave his arms and pull at it and twist around so it'd come out completely and get pulled to the side. So I caught both of his arms with one hand, held them down away from his face, and was trying to fix (and tighten) the tubes with my free hand. After all, his oxygen wasn't coming back up, so the tubes really had to go back in somehow. "Now you listen here, young man..." At the same time though, his heartrate and breathing were going up and up and up, because of course he was moving around and angry and fighting me with all his might. Finally I figured if he didn't calm down, he'd have a tachycardia episode and it'd be a bigger deal than just low oxygen, so I let go and stepped back and told him if he wanted them out that badly, he had to bring his oxygen up, end of discussion. And would you believe, after he stopped yelling and rolling around, his O2 level went right back up into the 90s. And stayed there. Maybe it has to do with the deep breathing you do when you've worn yourself out, because I'm sure he was exhausted. Or maybe he'd decided to do whatever it took to make Mommy leave the tubes out. Either way, we both won - the tubes stayed out and the O2 came up to where it was supposed to be.
The toddler years should be INTERESTING..." (emphasis added)


It's just so fascinating to me how a baby's personality is all right there even before birth. I remember my grandma telling me, way back when I was still pregnant, that the personality in the womb is the personality out of it, that my mother was content to sit in one spot and kick in one spot for nine long months, and then as a child she was perfectly happy to sit in one place and play with one toy for long lengths of time as well. I laughed and told her that the baby then known as "Popcorn" was happily bopping all around my innards exactly as if I had popping popcorn in my tummy, so what was I in for? Grandma's advice was practical and to the point - "Fence your yard."
Many a time have I wished for a fenced yard - complete with gated driveway.
A month before he was supposed to be due, we were fighting over oxygen tubes and I blithely, naively wrote that "the toddler years should be interesting." Interesting IS one word for it. And his temper and will were already there at -1 months.

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Our State Fair is a Great State Fair..."

Today, Kittyboy...
1. petted goats, pigs, and a donkey
2. walked on a leash for the first time ever
3. stayed up three hours past his naptime (we weren't wearing watches)
4. got a straw cowboy hat
5. rode a horse - not a pony, this was a full-size horse!
6. saw monkeys
7. danced a polka with mommy
8. got a farmer's burn - forearms and face
and 9. milked a cow!

We went to the Illinois State Fair today with his Auntie Sten, my little sister. She's been with us since Sunday, working on some room decor (of which I will post a picture when it's all done). All pictures are from my cell phone, as the REAL camera was not cooperating.
Word to the wise, if your child is young enough that horsies are cool, the pony ride is the best three bucks you can spend at the fair. It's not one circuit of the little tent, it's several laps around, and at a decent pace. Three out of four of the equines were ponies, but the one on which they sat Kittyboy was a full-sized horse, I'm sure. Kittyboy's got good balance, so long as he's focusing, but when he's not focusing, it's anybody's guess in what direction he'll fall, so I jogged alongside just in case. I really didn't have to, though - he rides like a seasoned horseman. He was focused in and paying attention and aware and it was just awesome. I was amazed! He didn't slump or lean at all. Next spring, we are going to try and get him riding lessons, because that would be great for toning his trunk, further improving his balance, maybe get him to pay more attention in general to where his body is and where it's going even when he's NOT five feet off the ground on the back of an animal. (Come to think of it, that is one of the purposes of hippotherapy!)
The petting zoo's free, we went in twice, and he found out that animals aren't ticklish. He tried, very earnestly, to tickle the goats, and they just didn't respond. Neither did the pigs or the donkey. Darn. So he just petted them all, a LOT, and every time another child came in, he ran around with them "showing" them all the animals and how you pet nicely.
We went and milked a very patient cow, and he was very excited to see where milk comes from, and he loved seeing many horses walk past pulling carts, with their fancy harnesses jangling and their manes all in ribbons. We danced a polka after lunch, in the Ethnic Village where a polka band was playing. Polka-ing with thirty pounds in your arms is quite the workout!
Pictures of my little cowboy, and of him with the goats!
Oh, and he saw a show with baboons - he loved the "muckys", and it wasn't one of those "it's a chimp wearing clothing and holding a telephone, isn't that hilarious?" shows, the handler was having the baboon demonstrate "tricks" that baboons do in the wild, and explaining why they have those behaviors, which was really cool.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Bouquet for the Theotokos

Last night, I was pouting that NOTHING in my flower garden was blooming. It's all perennials, too, but the bulbs are all long gone and the mums are still tightly buds. No flowering weeds, even. Well, this morning I went out looking for anything and everything with a flower. Lo and behold, we apparently still have more sunflowers coming up! I had thought they were all into the big, ugly, seed-producing stage, but there was a second crop in amongst their stems. Rose of Sharon is also blooming - I resisted the temptation to pick from the Baptist church's bushes, but some bird helpfully planted one lonely Rose of Sharon on our side of the drive. For greenery, I put in some wild grape leaves and a chunk of Spanish needles - a loathsome, horrid plant, but quite pretty and ferny before it sprouts "needles". Think, poor man's wild-growing floral filler.
Next year, I'll plan on having sunflowers that are still small and pretty in August - I'll do a planting once a month, starting as soon as it's warm enough, and I should have a variety from which to choose. And I'll get a tall, slender vase instead of a short, squat one, so as to show them off better.
I hope everyone is having a blessed Feast of the Dormition!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pigs are flying...

And the next Winter Olympics could be held on the frozen ponds of Perdition... Hillary Rodham Clinton once said something with which I agree.
"I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration."
— Hillary Clinton
HAAAhahahahahahaha..... found that on, verified it at
The evidence would suggest the Democrats can't take their own medicine.
But we already knew that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Meeting a Myth

This post is a while in coming, since we met the relative in question Sunday, but I've been busy - among other things, sewing the outfit I want to wear for my tenth high school reunion Saturday.
My Uncle T is my dad's baby brother, and you could call him the family eccentric. He fell off the face of the earth many years back, I hadn't seen him since I was seven, but in college I somehow got his e-mail address. He changed it often, along with his job and location - and by location, I don't mean changing states, I mean changing coasts and countries. San Francisco - Miami - San Francisco - Brazil - you get the picture. But we exchanged e-mails now and then, which was kind of like having an imaginary pen pal. Then I got a call from my Grandpa Ron (Grandma Sandy's husband) wishing me a happy birthday, and mentioning that Uncle T was with him in Missouri going through Grandma's things for him. And I got to talk to him!!! Which was extremely surreal, as you can imagine. And then he said he was flying to Chicago, and wanted to get together with the family!!
The whole drive to Chicago Sunday, I was nervous. When someone's just words on a screen, or even just a voice on the phone, it's like they're not real in a way, and I kept thinking, what if I don't like him when I actually meet him in person? When you've barely ever met someone, you can kind of build them up in your mind to larger than life, and what if the human being they actually are turns out to be a disappointment?
Turns out, Uncle T is cool. I told him it was like meeting the Loch Ness Monster, and he laughed. And we've gone from having only an e-mail address that might change at any moment, to having multiple Brazillian phone numbers and a physical mailing address. (Resisting the temptation to call Brazil, of course!).
Kittyboy enjoyed meeting his Great-Uncle, as well as playing with his camera, and Uncle T loved meeting him as well. A grand and glorious time was had by all, and Uncle T swears it will NOT have been 21 years the next time he sees us!
My mythical uncle is very real now, and it is AWESOME.

Kittyboy being "helpful" in church!

We went to church for Paraclesis last night (finally, I got to go!), and we arrived a few minutes early, the only ones. I knew at least our friends Rick and Susan were coming, but Father likes to start as soon as someone who can read shows up, which last night was me. Before I could say, "Well, I know Susan's coming, so he can sit with her," Father told Kittyboy to help Mommy chant, and carried him up and set him on the chair next to mine, with his baby doll and his cup of milk. Hahaha, okay, we can give this a try... we started the service, Kittyboy sitting there looking all attentive and solemn and chanter-y (oh for a camera!). Rick and Susan came in, and I thought "Oh good, if he gets unhappy, I can send him to them." He didn't get unhappy, but he's two, he started fidgeting, and he likes to thump his head on things. Thump - thump - thump - thump - thump on the back of the chair. I already get very giggly when nervous, which I was from having him right next to me, and that nonchalant, blank-expression thumping was just too much. It's impossible to chant while giggling. I told him, "Go sit with Baba Susan! Go on, take baby, go keep Baba Susan company!" So he walked slowly across the front of the church, looking back at me every few feet, and I'd motion for him to keep going, and he slowly went down to the pew I'd put my purse and everything down in, and I thought "Okay, that's good, he has cheerios there, he's got his milk, and Susan's just across the aisle, that's fine." He turned and looked at me, I gave him the biggest smile, thumbs up, "Good boy! Good boy!" He put down his doll and his milk and came running back up. After all, FATHER told him to help Mommy! And Father wears the robes, so of course he outranks me!
So then he was walking around the music stand, in and out of the chair, being cute and distracting, and Father came out because obviously his chanter was distracted. Father picked him up and said, "You come with me, sit in the bishop's chair!" and whisked him away behind the iconostasis! Oh my GOSH. Nooooooo...! All was perfectly normal for a bit, then when Father stopped for a second, you heard the talky-talkiness start. SOMEONE should be talking, so the toddler was filling in! So then we were ALL giggling, at the very audible babbling from about the area of St. John the Baptist. My son was happily contributing to the service! Well, I'm sure God understood him.
So then we had Father reading petitions and then pausing... and chanting and then pausing... and I'm thinking, "Oh my gosh, what on earth is my son getting into?" Then Rick smiled and waved and pointed, I leaned around the music stand, and there was a precious little face poking out around the Royal Doors. Oh my GOSH. Father paused again. Babbling relocated to St. John the Baptist. Then babbling started to include the word Mommy, and moved to behind the St. Gabriel door, the knob of which started rattling. Father paused again, babbling relocated. Frequently what would happen throughout this was that Father would pause, and then LOSE HIS PLACE, which lost MY place, because I had to hunt down where he'd jumped to in Greek. Then right before the last section of hymns, Father opened the Gabriel door for Kittyboy, who RAN out, all happy and loudly talking, about him and Father and Mommy and the fact that he was UP Mommy UP and Father UP and ME UP! And then the service was over.
And Father gave him a little icon necklace of St. Nektarios the Wonderworker, for having been such a good big boy!
I told Husband, "Hey, if Father ever needs both an acolyte AND a chanter, obviously our son is not THAT disruptive back there!" He didn't get into anything, he didn't knock anything over, Father said he mostly sat in the chair and looked around at things (of course, there's a lot to look at back there! Lots of icons, his shiny picture friends!), and said he was good! Father's talked before about taking Kittyboy back with him so I can chant, but I've always found a reason for him not to, because I imagine the boy climbing things, knocking things over, drinking holy water, starting fires, etc, and I can't imagine our stiff and elderly priest being able to move fast enough to prevent disaster.
But if Father says it went well... who am I to say it didn't?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ideas for a 6th anniversary gift for a husband who doesn't know what he wants???

I know what I want, and have sent him several links to such (a Gadsden t-shirt) but Husband is stubbornly, irritatingly, persistently vague in terms of what HE wants. "I don't know." "I don't know." "I don't know."
Well, neither do I.
Ideas? Any and all. He likes computers - I can't afford one and know nothing about them. Would a new keyboard be considered romantic? He likes his iPhone - I call him an iBot. I would buy him a CD he likes, except he would have already bought what he wants through iTunes. I draw the line at any gift with that ridiculous affectatious "i" at the beginning. This poses a problem.
If you're reading this on my blog, suggestions are extremely welcome in the comments section. On Facebook, just send me a message. He can read my notes, but he already knows I'm stumped.

Friday, August 7, 2009

So much for the holiday season...

Halfway through the Dormition Fast, and I just realized we haven't made it to one service yet except for Sunday morning. We've been on our way to or from a hospital or doctor's appointment on top of the regular two therapy appointments each week, and now it's Saturday the eighth of August already!!
Well, we have managed to add one habit in honor of the Dormition of the Theotokos - we are listening to the daily readings every morning at breakfast, courtesy of some church in Akron OH, and my husband's iPhone (to quote the commercial of which the whole universe is thoroughly sick and tired: "Yes, there's an app for that!"). It's Kittyboy's favorite part of breakfast, known in his dialect as "Sheshuh!!!" (Jesus). It's the Sheshuh part of breakfast. They're beautiful recordings, with the Trisagion hymn in English in the background (the Slavonic arrangement, I believe), the reading about the saint or feast of the day, the Epistle and Gospel, and with an icon of Christ Pantocrator as the background on the phone. Kittyboy sits and holds the phone and doesn't touch anything, because he doesn't want to make the picture of his Jesus disappear. When it's done, he bounces in his seat saying "Sheshuh more Sheshuh!" Husband says, "How do you ask?" "Sheshuh peas." And so we play the readings of yesterday, or the day before, or a week ago, so he can hear the music and see his Jesus. He's so sweet! We will definitely keep doing this after the 15th.
The 15th, we are making it to church, regardless. "No, Kittyboy, you cannot fling yourself from the roof now, today is the Feast of the Dormition, and WE ARE GOING TO CHURCH!! You'll just have to injure yourself some other time, we don't have time for this today!" I'm upset, though, that I missed the Paraclesis this week.

"O You Apostles from far off, being gathered together in the village of Gethsemane, lay my body in burial, and You, my Son, and my God, receive now my spirit from me." - hymn from the Paraclesis

I love those hymns!!!
Icon above is from the site, where they have an icon gallery. We've got a copy here that I'm going to show Kittyboy and talk about next week in preparation for Saturday, assuming he does nothing dramatic in the meantime. I remember the first time I showed it to Kittyboy, actually, back in early spring when he was getting REALLY good at pointing out "his Mary" in icons, pictures, etc. We both were curious whether he was figuring it out based on her robes (pretty red and blue robes = Mary), or the fact that she held a baby, or a combination of both, and I saw the Dormition icon in the insert of an Eikona CD and thought here was our chance to find out. He'd never seen that icon before. He was a little over two years old. The icon has the Theotokos lying down on a bed, fallen asleep, and Christ upright holding the small swaddled figure of her soul. Would he point to pretty lady in robes, though out of context, infant-less, and laying down, or would he point to the figure holding a "baby"? I put him on my lap, handed him the icon, and said, "Where's Mary? Find Mary!" His finger went momentarily towards Christ (ah ha, it's the context of holding a baby! we thought) - then he stopped, moved his finger to the side, and pointed firmly to the wrapped, infant-like soul of the Theotokos. "Mehw!" he stated authoritatively. HUH? And off he went with his icon to play. As I tried to figure out by what equation he totally bypassed pretty-lady-in-robes AND person-holding-baby and instead pointed at... her soul.
Is it irreverent of me to pronounce him occasionally creepy?

The 16th, the day after Dormition, is our anniversary (six years!). I forget why it was we didn't want to get married as soon as July, but because of the fast we couldn't get married in August until the 16th. We decided on the Theotokos as our family patroness, fittingly enough, and the day before our wedding were surprised by non-Orthodox friends of ours with a BEAUTIFUL icon of the Theotokos. They didn't know about us choosing her for our family saint, they just knew we liked icons, and hey, this was a big, beautiful icon! Awesomest wedding gift ever. I'll get a picture of it to post next week.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And still dealing with the head injury

Kittyboy was fine all of yesterday, then woke from his nap crying and upset. Worse, pointing to his head and saying, "Me bonk. Me hurt." At a little more than a year old, the boy dove from my arms in a parking lot, landed on his head, and cried for maybe five minutes at the most before deciding he was FINE, so when he's still feeling something 24 hours after the incident, that's when I freak. And freak I did. Back to the ER, trying very hard to stay calm and not panic but feeling QUITE panicked inside. Being the panicky freaking-out mom is a totally new role for me.
Much better time to go to the ER, we were in a room within half an hour of checking in, and had a wonderful nurse who has a daughter the same age as Kittyboy. He said he would be a bit worried too, we could certainly schedule a CAT scan and check things out. First, though, he asked if I'd given Kittyboy any Tylenol for the headache. I said no, every nurse I've ever called because the boy bumped his head has said NO TYLENOL. Well, every nurse at the ER thought that was the silliest advice they'd ever heard. Give the poor baby Tylenol! I suppose a doctor's office, not being an ER, wants to stay on the veryveryveryvery safe side, which is why they say go straight to the ER if he has any headache, and not to give pain reliever so you know if he has one. From the perspective of the ER staff, though, the headache for which THEY would be looking cannot be eliminated with Tylenol. They're not looking for cranky, fussy, Mommy-my-head-hurts. They're looking for crying and crying and crying, which is also ALMOST always accompanied by other symptoms. Crying and projectile vomiting, crying and not walking straight, crying and pupils different sizes, crying and bleeding from ears. Of course his head hurts, he whacked it pretty hard. Give him Tylenol. If the Tylenol works, then the headache is just a headache.
Naturally, fifteen to twenty minutes after getting said pain reliever, Kittyboy reverted to his normal, happy, whirling-dervish self. The nurse came back to say that a trauma case had just arrived and it would be QUITE a wait for a scan, and I pointed at Kittyboy and said, "I really doubt we need one - I feel so silly now!" and he said not to feel silly, he's a trauma nurse and brings HIS daughter in whenever he thinks something's not normal, because when it's Your Kid, you just want to be sure.
So it turned out to be a trip to the ER for something in my own medicine cabinet. Discharge orders said to make a followup app with Dr. Hendricks, and I've got that set for tomorrow, so we're good. He's NOT NAPPING, despite having had Tylenol, but that can also just be him.
Tired of hospital trips, I posted on the SPD (sensory processing dysfunction) Yahoo group the question of how it is the boy climbs things skillfully but can bounce off a bookcase walking down the hall - or turn around and walk right into the corner of the fridge - or trip on the carpet crossing a room. Is it that when he wants something, he focuses and pays attention, but just walking around he doesn't bother? Is it that since most bumps don't bother him in the slightest, he just doesn't feel the need TO bother? Should I have his vision checked? And heard back, reassuringly, from moms whose own kids walk into instead of around things all the time, and one member of the group who grew up with SPD said that he has excellent coordination when he really, really focuses on where his body is in relation to what's around him, but bumps into stuff a lot when he's just relaxed and focusing on other things. If you have sensory processing problems, your brain isn't doing all that automatically, it takes a little more work. So it's exactly what it looks like - when Kittyboy wants something, he focuses and pays attention, but when he's just walking around the house, he's not paying as much attention, and so he trips, walks into stuff, bounces off of stuff, all that. Just like when he started crawling and crawled into chair legs, table legs, the coffee table, walls, etc.
His guardian angel works overtime.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I could drive to St. John's ER in my sleep.

So here's the full story on Kittyboy's LATEST trip to the ER.
About six-thirty last night, I was working towards bedtime (normally about seven), he brought me a videotape, and I told him no, take it back, as I headed towards his room. Shortly after, there was crying in the living room - I came in and he had bumped his head. I don't know how, and can only assume on what - the coffee table. He managed to find the one corner not covered by two afghans, is my theory. When he is paying attention, he is a mountain goat - when not, he can trip over a carpet. And there was nothing but carpet over which he could trip!!!! Gah!
While changing his diaper, I watched a lump grow on his temple, the size of my thumb and about half an inch thick. Oooh drat. That was more impressive, thickness-wise, than I'd seen before, and it was purple. Checked eyes, watched him walk, he was all symmetrical and normal and eyes tracking together and all, and talking normally. I know not to give Tylenol and to take him in if he had a headache, but wasn't sure if I should let him sleep, so I called the nurse. The nurse asked me about all the stuff I had checked, eyes, walking, speech, told me not to give Tylenol, he could go to sleep but had to be woken up every four hours. And call back if he seemed to have a headache. So I put him down for the night about seven. Half an hour later, back up crying. He wanted me in bed, so I laid down with him, he laid quietly but wasn't inclined to sleep. So after twenty minutes or so, I told him Mommy would go nightnight in her own bed, and he would go nightnight in his bed, tucked him in again and left. About quarter after 8, he was crying again, so we rocked some more. After ten minutes or so of him being perfectly content to JUST rock (no reading or anything, just sitting still and quiet which is Not Him), I called the nurse back and said there was SOMETHING upsetting him, maybe a headache that he didn't mind when he was distracted but was too much for him to sleep, and she asked if he would normally be asleep by then, and I said OH yes. Jack-in-the-box is not typical for him when he's in his own bed with his music and his Ock (dragon) or Ted Bear or someone tucked in with him and the light off and everything. Yeah, something's not right. She said go to the ER - any headache lingering after head injury should be checked out. So to the ER we went, after putting a diaper in my purse and grabbing Ted Bear and Ock and my ipod. Been here, done this, can you tell?
By the time Husband got there after work, we'd been there forty five minutes, his vitals had been taken and he was checked in, but it was going to be a looong wait for a doctor. At check-in, they'd said three hours - people were in the hallway, it LOOKED like three hours. This was not a good night for an ER trip. He had no new symptoms, other than being very, very tired. Bump was still there, but nothing was worse, he was still acting fine. He told his daddy in detail all about it - "Me bonk! Me dock-tor!" We asked the nurse who took his vitals, after explaining the situation, "Is it okay if we go home and just follow the plan of waking every four hours, or does he HAVE to be seen now because he's been checked in?" and she said from how he was acting, we SHOULD be fine waking him every four hours, but come back immediately if he did anything odd or if anything changed, and we said yes, of course, and went home. Every four hours during the night - he didn't care for being woken up, but hey, if you'd pay more attention and not trip over invisible bumps and hit your head, you wouldn't have to be woken up and made to talk and walk throughout the night. That's the lesson to learn here, kiddo.
The boy is a hassle, have you noticed? Oh, and as soon as we got out of the car in the parking garage - "Dock-tor! Dock-tor! Me dock-tor!" He knows what the parking garage of St. John's means. Oh, and he helpfully told the nurse when we were checking in, "Me bonk!" and pointed to his head. "Yup, that would be why we are here. He bonk."
My mother was saying, I have had EXPERIENCE with these things! She said in an enthused-Mommy voice, because she said I sounded like the weary, veteran mother of several - all this from one toddler! Isn't that efficient of him, to give me all this experience just by his little lonesome in the first two and a half years of life?? Dryly, sounding less than thrilled, "Yes Mother. He's very efficient." I guess it's useful being able to triage your toddler, how many first time moms do that? After multiple doctor or ER visits for head bonks, or time on the phone with nurses answering questions, I know what they look for and ask first. Pupils, same size, symmetrical, eyes tracking together, both sides of body moving symmetrically, speech normal and not hunting for words he knows. All of the above, yep - headache, yeeeah, I'd guess that, which is what sends you to the ER unfortunately in spite of all the rest, just to be safe.