This morning I had to take a trip to A&E with the middle child. I wouldn’t consider myself a neurotic or panicky mum as I can normally take a step back from the scene of an incident and assess whether or not it can be sorted with either a) a hug and a biscuit, b) by applying a Disney plaster, or c) if we need to seek the opinion of an expert. But after this mornings incident, my thoughts were not about what method of soothing I was going to choose or when the ‘please stop crying’ bribery biscuit was going to be administered, but I was overwhelmed by thoughts about what people were going to think. I was 99% certain that this would be an A&E visit but I was too busy stressing over how people would view me to consider what was best for my boy. My judgement was clouded.
We were all ready to go to nannies for the morning, when said incident occurred and despite a nasty little gash to his head he seemed ok. So we carried on and continued as planned; the usual chaotic manner. I’ll pop to the chemist and get some steri-strips, I mutter to myself, all will be well. *hangs head in shame*
Hold on a second. Get a f*cking grip and go and get him checked out, the most important thing here was for the boys well-being, not about how you feel. Pull yourself together woman and deal with the rest later. Yes, on the drive to nannies I get over myself and decide it is ALWAYS best to be safer and not sorry-er. You know what I mean.
So we drop the other two of at nannies and proceed to A&E, armed with mini cookies and a fruit shoot.
We arrive at A&E minus cookies which are now mostly mashed around his pale face, half a fruit shoot down and a small wee patch on his trousers which occurred in the car park where he missed the car tyre a little. With no change of clothes I walk my bloody, biscuit faced, p*ss stained child into reception. I exchange pleasantries with the receptionist and give her our details to which we get to the details of why we are there.
‘What seems to be the problem’ receptionist asks
‘Cut to head’ I quietly respond
‘Where did the incident occur’ receptionist asks a little louder this time
‘Kitchen’ I reply even quieter
‘Sorry I can’t hear you, how did it happen’
‘In the kitchen’ I clear my throat and responds a little louder. ‘The iron fell on his head’. I hang my head like a complete and utter failure as receptionist crunches her face and replies ‘Ouch bless him’
Yes the ultimate home safety fail. The basic iron-cord-hanging-over-the-kitchen-work-top hazard caught me out. Distracted by something with the baby and in a split second the damage was done. Utter fail.
As I watched Oscar have a whale of a time playing with the toys whilst waiting to be assessed I sat and wondered why I was so hesitant to bring him here. He didn’t have a care in the world but I was mithered to death. Why on earth would I ponder over whether or not to bring my child to A&E after a nasty head injury like this. I’d made a cock-up, I was ashamed and in my anxious state I was actually terrified that I would be labelled incompetent and classed as unfit to be a mother. You hear of some horrifying stories of good people being falsely accused of harming their children, all due to judgemental A&E staff. How many other parents out there feel like this? So much so that it actually prevents them from bringing their children in to be checked out?
As it turns out the staff at the George Elliot Hospital Children’s A&E were amazing and we were in and out of there in an hour. Not once did they make me feel rubbish about my moment of distraction. To be honest if they had have made me feel uncomfortable I wouldn’t have minded as at least they were doing their job – helping to identify the real vulnerable children out there and keep them safe.
Anyways as I finish off my ‘wow this was a crap day’ glass of wine, I am not going go to bed riddled with guilt.
I have a one year old, a two-year old and a three-year old; there are going to be moments when I am distracted.
There are moments when I am rushed and accidents will happen.
But I am damn sure that I will do my best to keep these kids safe. ALWAYS.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has some great advice on safety around the home. It’s worth a read, if you’re like me and need a ‘refresher’.