Fateful Judgement Calls
As parents we make judgement calls all the time. Not just decisions and choices, but judgements. Some of those we wind up patting ourselves on the back for, and others we wind up kicking ourselves in the pants for.
Take this weekend for example. I had plans to drive two hours from our home in mid-Missouri with my kids so we could go to my niece's first-birthday party and celebrate Hanukkah dinner with a very good friend of mine. Also, Mom and I were looking forward to just hanging out and chatting since we really didn't get to do that at Thanksgiving.
Well, with winter weather all around us and more on the way, The Mr. suggested I stay home. I checked the Missouri Highway Patrol web site's road conditions page, looked outside and obsessively checked the weather. I decided that I was a smart driver and that if conditions were too bad or got too bad that I could simply turn around.
Judgement call number one. And The Mr. was none too happy with me. At. All.
Saturday night, after a wonderful evening with friends, the kids and I were congregated near the backdoor. Somehow, No. 3 fell down the flight of basement steps that were immediately facing the backdoor. I didn't hear a tumble and didn't see a little diaper butt going down. In fact, No. 2 saw her at the bottom of the stairs. Actually, she saw her light-up shoes at the bottom of the stairs.
I ran down the stairs and No. 3 stopped crying almost as soon as I picked her up. I checked her over and there was no blood, no cuts, no bumps, no bruises, no abrasions. And she had stopped the frantic crying. I brought her upstairs and we all looked her over again. She seemed fine. I mean, except for the tumble. She did seem a little confused--wanting me to pick her up and then immediately put her down and then pick her up. But she was walking fine and had full movement of her arms. She wasn't lethargic and wasn't throwing up. Again, I thought she was fine.
I drove to Mom and Dad's where Mom and I watched her and discussed her condition. I thought about calling the doctor, but my momsense told me that the doctor would tell me what I already knew...as long as she's awake, not throwing up, not lethargic, not bleeding, etc., that she was fine. She slept fitfully that night, but who wouldn't after falling down a flight of stairs? I called The Mr. who was two hours away working. He was mad that I hadn't taken the baby to the hospital. I explained my reasons, but I don't think it helped.
Judgement call number two.
Sunday night when I returned home, I called the doctor mostly to appease The Mr. She confirmed my mom-diagnosis.
Sunday No. 3 was cranky, but reasonably so. Monday she seemed better, but I noticed that she was favoring her right arm and that her right shoulder was swollen. Thankfully she had a well-baby checkup scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m. I was concerned enough that I moved it up to 10a.m.
Her pediatrician took one look at her shoulder and said, "I think she has a broken collar bone." (And man, oh man did I want to eat my words because not 48 hours ago had I practically yelled at The Mr. (who was still raking me over the coals for not taking No. 3 to the hospital Saturday night), "Oh, come on! She did NOT fracture her collar bone." Yeah, open mouth, insert foot.)
So we went for an x-ray to confirm and consulted with an orthopedic surgeon. (Read about my x-ray experience here.) Turns out, according to the ortho, that what I did was "classic" mom behavior in this situation. I'm just glad The Mr. got to hear it straight from the horse's mouth.
I made more than those two judgement calls over the weekend, but those are the ones that will stick in my mind for some time to come. As a mom and a wife, I have to learn to pick my battles. Sometimes that can be harder than making the decisions in the first place.