I like that song. It’s sweet. Lately there were two separate incidents that I handled well enough that I thought “damn, I’m a good mom.”
Like the other week, we had a cold snap. It was a hard freeze morning. I insisted on heavy jackets before we left school in a rush. We arrived at school on time with a few minutes for Tornado E to play. But when he got out of the car, I saw that he forgot something.
Me: Where is your coat?
Tornado E: I don’t know. At home?
I looked at my phone. Ooo, it warmed up some. It was 42 degrees and not 38. But it was still 42 degrees.
It looked like it was finally warm enough to have assembly outside.
I looked in the car for a sweatshirt, a sweatshirt jacket, a sweater, any thing.
I looked at him. Ah crap. I pulled off my vintage pea coat jacket.
Me: Here. Put this on.
I was wearing a shirt with 3/4 sleeves. At least it was something. I grabbed my gloves and headband out of the pockets of the jacket as soon as it was on Tornado E. It was bulky, and he struggled to keep his hands out of the sleeves. I laughed.
I picked up Tornado A. Maybe body warmth would keep me warm.
Me: Come on.
We trudged through the parking lot and playground, arriving on the basketball courts just in time for assembly. Then I heard the words I was so looking forward too.
The principal: Good morning, everyone! (The kids roar back because their mountian cubs.) We have quite a few announcements before we get to the pledge.
Tornado E’s teacher: (wanders over, keeping an eye on her line of students and whispers) Aren’t you cold?
Freezing! I’m a cold wimp! It’s why I dropped out of swimming in college! The idea of swimming outdoors in the winter, even in Southern California, made me want to cry. I hate the cold! I hate winter!
I smiled and nodded towards Tornado E. She patted my arm and gave me a look of sympathy.
Teacher: You’re such a good mom. And I’m pretty sure he left his sweatshirt in the classroom yesterday.
Oh, thank you, Mother of God.
I walked Tornado E and his class to their classroom. I saw his sweatshirt hanging on the back of his chair.
Me: Ok, give me my jacket back.
Tornado E smiled.
Tornado E: Thanks, Mommy! I looked cool and funny!
Yeah, I know.
Not so many days after that, I was wrestling on my bed with Tornado S and Tornado A. Tickling and pillow fighting and wrestling. It’s the thing I did with all babysitting charges when I was so much younger. It was how I won over an ex-boyfriend’s little brother and little cousins. I’m very careful.
But that day, Tornado S fell backwards on top of me, and his head got me squarely on the bridge of my nose. I saw stars and little birds flying around my head. I gently pushed Tornado S off me.
Me: Hold on. Hold on. Time out. I need a moment.
Crap. That hurts. Tornado S looked horrified.
Me: It’s ok. I’m fine.
My eyes were tearing up. I held my nose. I felt the sensation of when you breathe in water up your nose, followed by the sensation that snot was about to pour out. (Oh, come on. We’ve all sneezed and realized to our horror that we’ve spewed snot into our hand.) My allergies were kicking in. Perhaps he knocked something loose.
I got up and ran to the bathroom to get a tissue. Just as I reached for a tissue, I looked down at my hand, expecting to see something white, green, and gross.
Um, no. My hand was covered in blood.
I grabbed the tissue and wiped my nose. Blood was streaming out.
Ok. Ok. Not forward any more. Not backward any more. Just stand normally. Yea first aid training!
I switched tissues. I wiped up my other hand as best as I could.
Tornado S: Mommy?
Me: I’m coming, Tornado S.
I switched tissues.
Ok, how much blood is too much blood? Funny, the pain and stars have faded. That’s good.
I switched tissues and washed my hands. I looked at my face. There didn’t seem to be a bruised. My nose wasn’t squashed flat, not that I expected that. But it’s hard to shake TV images from your childhood. My nose seemed straight and as big as it always was. Maybe I should wipe that blood off before Tornado S sees.
I grabbed another tissues.
Tornado S: Mommy?
I turned and looked at him. He still looked horrified, waiting to be punished. My heart broke. Why would he look like he was in huge trou- oh. That’s right. He’s been exposed to a jerk.
Me: It’s ok, Tornado S. I got a little hurt. It was all an accident, and I’ll be fine in just a moment or two.
Tornado S: (tears in his eyes) I’m really sorry, Mommy.
I gave him a one-handed hug.
Me: I know, baby. Thank you. It’s good that you apologized even when you do something by accident. I promise I’m not badly hurt. Let’s just not wrestle any more until I’m better, ok?
So Tornado S and Tornado A decided to bounce around on my bed as I held my nose, wondering when the bleeding should stop. After ten minutes, I called my dad.
Me: Dad? If I had a bloody nose, how long before it stops bleeding?
My dad: Well, first you should stop picking it. And I rightly don’t know.
Me: Ha. “And the doctor said I wouldn’t get any more nose bleeds if I stopped picking my nose.” No, Tornado S clocked me with his head just at the right place.
My dad: Do you think it’s broken?
Me: I assume it would hurt more if it was.
My dad: Then it’ll stop soon. Call if it doesn’t.
Me: Thanks, Dad. Love you.
My dad: I love you too. Bye.
Two minutes later, my phone rang.
My mom: Hi, Fae. You’re dad just told me. You need to put in some drops in your nose.
Me: Um, Mom. I don’t know if that you’ll-
My mom: Hold on. Your dad is talking to me. (pause) Oh. I didn’t realize there was an altercation.
Me: It was an accident. Tornado S and I were wrestling.
My mom: Do you think it’s broken? Do you want us to come over and look at it?
Me: I think it would hurt more if it was broken. It feels like a bruise. Dad didn’t sound to concerned.
My mom: It’s your father.
Oh right, the cop. Who just wanted to put ice on my brother’s hand when he fell into white-hot coals and turned out he needed to be rushed down the mountain to the nearest emergency room. Who wanted just to put a butterfly bandage on my brother’s chin but my mom insisted on a medical opinion who insisted on stitches. Ah, my father, the cop.
I looked in the mirror. The blood wa stopping.
Me: No, I think I’m fine.
My mom: Ok, well, call if you need anything.
Me: I will. I love you.
My mom: I love you too. Bye.
I put down the phone and looked in the mirror again.
Tornado E: Are you ok, Mommy?
Me: I’m fine. Tornado S just gave me a bloody nose. We should be more careful wrestling.
Tornado E: I have an idea. Why don’t you read us my new book?
Me: That sounds awesome.