Hyper-vigilant Overreactor, party of me…

Posted on | June 2, 2010 | 16 Comments

I might be a *bit* of a worry wart. And by “bit” I mean massively terrible, horrifyingly overprotective, and maybe a tad bit squeamish over all things painful and or scary. And that’s just when they involve me.

When they involve my son? I’m out. of. control.
Take yesterday, for example.

I went to see J at daycare and he was just getting over a crying fit when I got there. His teacher said she’d been struggling with him to get him to take a bottle and he was upset. He seemed a little clingy when he saw me and he didn’t want me to put him down at all. I didn’t think much of it except the usual “aw, how sweet” until I picked him up and got him home. When we were about two seconds from home, I realized I didn’t have my cell phone with me. Normally? Not a huge deal. And it wasn’t a HUGE deal yesterday either. But it presented… a challenge.

I got home and J wouldn’t let me put him down. I took him back to the nursery to change his diaper and when I got him all fastened up, I saw something horrible. On the back of his little, itty, bitty, chunky leg, there was a giant bruise. And I mean… it was UGLY. I sort of freaked a bit. And then I looked at the front of his leg… another giant bruise. The one on the back is just above the knee and the one of the front, just below. It sort of looked like someone might have grabbed him too tightly from behind. You know, like if a crawler starts to crawl towards something he’s not supposed to go to and you grab the leg to stop them? Sort of like that. Only so, so ugly.

I flipped. my. shit. I started babbling about how 40+ hours a week there was someone else watching my kid and what did I really know about them, anyway? And did I want him to grow up to be a psychopath because some mean teacher hurt him at daycare? And oh God what if he dislocated his knee or OMG doesn’t leukemia cause bruises??? yadda yadda yadda. I was slowly spinning out of control. And to top it all off, J is crying and I have no cell phone. All I can think is that I need to call the doctor and fast. I can’t decide which horrible thing to focus on… someone being mean to my son or some terrible disease attacking his leg and making it bruise up. (Yeah, I know. I’m nutso.)

So I grab J and we head over to my 80 something year old neighbor’s house because I can hear her outside. She lets me in to use the phone and I show her the bruise and ask if I’m overreacting. She says what I always say, which is “Better safe than sorry.” So I call the after hours doctor and leave a message for a nurse to call … who? OH CRAP. I give them Husband’s number because, oh yeah, I don’t have my cell. It’ll have to do because I love my neighbor and all but she’s sort of old and her house is OMG so hot. Like I’m sweating to death just standing in there to use the phone! There was no way I was giving them her number and then staying over there until they called.

She’s being so very sweet and helpful and I am apologizing profusely to her for barging into her house all crazy-eyed and babbling about bruises. Then she says something profound. Something that made me realize that ALL mothers are a little nutso about their kids. (or at least the good ones!) She smiled and said “Honey, don’t you ever feel bad about calling the doctor. That’s what they are there for. Did I ever tell you about the time I called the doctor when my kids were little?” I shook my head.

“I was terrified. My son came in with a giant grey tick on him. I had never seen anything like it and I couldn’t get it off. I called the doctor and he said to bring him right in.” At this point she paused and laughed a little. I shifted J from one hip to the other and smiled, expectantly.

“Honey… It was chewing gum.”

The two of us laughed and J sort of did his fake laugh where he looks from one to the other as though in the middle of a tennis match and then bursts out with a “HA!” When I left her house, I felt much better about life in general. Did I mention that I love her? Honest. Not only did she make me feel like less of an idiot at that point, but I held on to her story so that when Husband finally came home and told me I was overreacting and that maybe, just maybe, J had fallen down on a toy at daycare… I felt less like an idiot and more like, well, a mother. There is gonna be a time that I call the doctor over something stupid. I hope it’s not a piece of gum, but if it is? If it is, then I’ll make a big old humble pie, take it over to my neighbor and we’ll have a good laugh together.


16 Responses to “Hyper-vigilant Overreactor, party of me…”

  1. Anne
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

    Haha, I love your neighbor now too. Chewing gum, that is awesome.

  2. Kim
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 1:00 pm

    If you didn't worry, you wouldn't be a mom! Way to protect your boy. And chewing gum- I love it 🙂

  3. Erika - MommyBurgh
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 1:59 pm

    Oh my gosh I would have reacted the same way! I almost prefer that I don't see what goes on at daycare. K comes home with scratches, bruises, her hair clearly not brushed, and stains all over her clothes from god knows what…. but I take it as a sign that she was just having fun.

    Lord knows that when *I* am around and see kids start to play rough with her, I do the "do not step within 10 feet of my child" thing and start freaking out thinking all these kids are out to hurt my child and take her limbs off one by one.

    My husband always laughs at me and says that she needs to go through this to toughen up. But as a mom, we will overreact. Its natural. Its in our blood.

    Also, we have neighbors on either side of us who are over the age of 80… and their houses are SOOOOOOOOOOO HOT! how do people live like that????

  4. KLZ
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 2:28 pm

    Oh, what I wouldn't give for a neighbor like that. Right now even her too hot house sounds nice since it is FREEZING in this office. Brrrr.

  5. ARob
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

    what a great story! Gotta love the older, wiser sort! I really do hope that nothing is going on at daycare!

  6. ~*Jess*~
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

    Oh daycare………yes it is scary that these people are probably with your kid more waking hours than you are. Gulp, did I just say that? Crap that sucks. Anyway, did you ask about it at daycare today? He probably fell though. Because think about it, a bruise takes a day or two to appear. He wasn't at school Monday right? Maybe he just bumped himself this weekend?????

  7. JillyB
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

    I hope nothing is wrong at daycare, but you wouldn't be a mom if you didn't go to the ends of the earth to make sure J was ok! I once called the doctor because Big Time threw peas at me from his high chair. He was about 9-months old and I was convinced he had some sort of serious behavior disorder. The doctor was polite, my mother laughed so hard I think she peed in her pants and I sobbed while googling child psychologists! Motherhood…

  8. Nikki
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

    I love old neighbors. We just got two new neighbors who are a) old and b) from the north, which is even better because they think that everything we "southern people" do is just amazing. But I can't tell you how many times I have freaked out over little black fuzz balls in the middle of the night thinking they are bugs on my baby. It's just the momma in us.

  9. Alena
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 3:26 pm

    Did you talk to the dr? The day care? I need an update so I can feel better about poor little J's bruises!!

  10. Emmie Bee
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

    I still need answers. Any daycare should give YOU an accident report. My daycare in the 80's did that! I'd be upset and justifiably. Even if it was an accident they should be giving you the explanation- not you having to ask for it.

  11. Steph
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

    I would have flipped too and my daughter is a WALKING BRUISE. Not kidding here, she is forever hurting herself. Also? She's my 2nd and I am way more chill with her than I was with her brother. Still I would have flipped.

    I hope he got hurt by another kid or a toy and not because an adult grabbed him.

    You are not alone in your mama bear behavior. We are ALL like that. I hated when Joey was in daycare. HATED.IT. So many things ran through my mind all day long.

    I will tell you it gets easier with the 2nd. I always joke about how overprotective I was with Joey and now I would let Elizabeth play in the street. I'm not even sure when it happened but at some point I just realized he's gonna get bumps and bruises.

    Once when I took him in for a well baby it was right about the time he was learning to run and play. It was Summer and he had bruises all over his legs. I was so afraid they were going to think I beat him!! She took one look at his legs and said "oh, he's a healthy boy". I was like "What??!!" She told me bruises are just a part of being a little boy at that age and if he hadn't had banged up knees she would have actually wondered why not! I will never forget that! Elizabeth is about the same age now and the same pediatrician laughs at how banged up she always is. She is so rough and tumble.

    Anyway, sorry it got so long! Your neighbor sounds wonderful and you're the best mommy I know!!

  12. Janelle
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

    Moments like yours make me want to get us a darn land line – I hate being alone with the kids without a phone, I always worry something will happen.

    You didn't freak out any more than the typical mom – I bet most Dr.'s could write a loooong book with stories like "chewing gum tick."

  13. WTH am I Doing?
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

    It's hard not to freak out over something happening to someone you love so much. I have never loved anyone the way I love my son. Ever. And I am lightening up a little with time (mostly because I don't want him to hate me for being embarrassingly overprotective), but it is still really hard. And I don't want to be that mom that ignored something serious. Better to be cautious.

  14. Michelle
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 7:34 pm

    Your neighbor sounds like one awesome old lady, even if she does keep her house at 900 degrees.

    And we all have those days. Did you ever ask at the daycare where the bruise came from?

  15. karma-dee
    June 2nd, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

    That's awful! You're perfectly normal for flipping out, it's what we do best as moms and all out of love.

    My little one was bitten yesterday at DC and it made me feel like a giant sack of crap seeing the bite marks on his arm. I realize stuff happens but still there's that voice saying it wouldn't have happened on MY watch. Really though, it could have.

    However, I think your Spidey senses are right on here – bruises on the front OR back of the leg are easily explained, both are a little more suspicious. I hope you get some satisfactory answers!

  16. Jayme
    June 3rd, 2010 @ 4:48 am

    We all get like that- it's a sign of being a good mom- at least that's what I tell myself.
    When my oldest was a few weeks old I brought him in for a giant spider bite on his shoulder… only it turned out to be a strawberry hemangioma.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
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