As a parent, your first priority is to keep your child safe and healthy. Sure, you may make the bath water a little too warm and cut their fingernails too close once in a while, but you try.
When I was little, I used to ride my bike with no hands. Coming down Fernwood Drive, behind my house, I would ride with no hands, and even manage to turn the corner onto Crystal Lane. When I fell off of my bike, it didn’t hurt until I saw the blood. I ran into the house, crying like the small child that I was, in search of some pampering. My mom was there for me. After she finished Salem cigarette #34.
“What’s wrong, Vickie?……………………Quit crying so I can hear what’s wrong with you?……..Well, you really did a number on your knee….Well, let me get the Metholade……Well, of course it is going to burn, it is Metholade, Vickie……..Well, God punished you. You must have been doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing.”
God was always punishing me. I don’t know why she always said that, she wasn’t religious. She was a kook, but she wasn’t religious. The metholade was a red liquid she used for everything. It did seem to work. It burned the hell out of any infection. Why red, I don’t know, but the kids on the block always had metholade on their body somewhere. I hear it had mercury in it. That explains a lot.
So, when I became a mother, I vowed to be there when my children got bumps and bruises. That meant to never smoke. My mom had to finish her cigarette before “attending” to us. Can you imagine a child looking up at you, crying, with those big tears streaming down their cute little face, and you tell them to wait until you finish your cigarette? There were ashtrays all over the house, Mom.
Anyways, parents do make mistakes. I felt horrible when I put Adam in be with my husband when I went to a doctor’s appointment. He was wide awake, but must have fallen back asleep and Adam crawled right off of the bed. Of course I was blamed. Although he knew I was leaving at a certain time and he was supposed to be up, ready to baby-sit. My husband had dreams about that for months. I would wake up and he would have his hand on my face, searching for Adam. Well, that or he was trying to strangle me.
When my daughter was approaching her one year birthday, she started walking and it was a huge milestone. One day, when I was in the kitchen, I heard her crying in the dining room. Adam was in there with her. He had his matchbox cars strewn all over the carpet. She looked ok. Adam was sneaky and I thought that maybe he threw one of his cars at her.
I noticed, soon afterwards, that she would not try to walk. When I would try to stand her up, she would cry. I thought something happened to her hip. I took her to our family doctor and he couldn’t find anything wrong with her.
I took her to the emergency room a couple of days later because I knew there was something wrong with her. I was right. Her leg above her ankle, was broken. It was a small break, but she would have to wear a cast. Are you kidding me? Her leg was broken? I thought that maybe she did a crazy leg and turned her poor little foot.
Of course they sent someone in from child services or something like that to rule out child abuse. In walked my college roommate, Kathy. She just smiled and told me that she already wrote down on the form that I abuse my kids. I was so glad to see her and not someone who would look suspiciously at me. I worshipped the ground my children walked on. Well, Alex couldn’t walk on the ground. Not a great saying, I guess. You know what I mean.
She had to wear the cast for a long time. She hobbled, but was able to walk fine with it. She missed going to the beach that summer. Grandma Georgie and Grandpa Elwood asked to watch her. My mom had quit smoking by then, because she had a goiter the size of a
beach ball in her neck that scared her. She wasn’t scared to give her children second hand smoke up their lungs all day long, but I knew that Alex was cigarette-safe while we were gone.
The worst part of this whole situation is that Alex sucked her thumb. I know you are wondering, “Where ya goin with this, Vickie?” Well, one night, she woke up, crying. She somehow scratched her eye. I took her to the emergency room, where they told me she had to wear a patch on her eye for a few days. I just stared at him. “She has a cast on her leg…….” He smiled at me. I knew he wanted to laugh. I mean, how many 1 year old children wear a cast on their leg AND and eye patch? Shit.
So, PegLeg the Pirate and I drove home. I couldn’t even take a picture of it. I kept her in the house until the patch could come off. I mean, picture it.
Thank God it wasn’t Halloween time. Or wait. That would have been perfect.