A lot of my friends/family have dealt with concussions in their kids. I remember having one of my own. What cannot be conveyed is the ensuing desire to bubble wrap your child. I've been fantasizing about making cool bubble wrap balaclava's for all three for Christmas. Toby fell down a spiral staircase at a friends' house the other night. She lay on the floor with her arms in an odd position, her head hunched into her neck like the Barbie we have who's head won't stay on unless it's pushed way down. Toby's eyes were wide open, and she was neither breathing nor crying. She finally worked up to a dull moan. It was, to date, the worst moment of my life. (Or, at least, it rivaled getting the phone call last month, "Tim is in an ambulance; he's fallen off of a roof; we don't know any more.") I was sure she was paralyzed.
We spent 2 days in the hospital. The doctors/nurses are as professional as can be, but one cannot escape the feeling that her heath was not the reason for the prolonged stay. Was it that we have private insurance? Was it liability? We were told from the first morning that "she'll be getting discharged soon," and yet it didn't happen for another day and a half. Since she's been home, she's been asleep 80% of the time. Is she recuperating from the concussion or from the hospital stay?
At least I don't have to worry as much about Jack Peter. He was born risk-averse. I'll never forget driving by a playground when he was about 2.5. Steel had suffered an egg-allergy episode, our only other ER visit with a kid. Allergic was a big word around our house. At that point Steel had tackled slides and other playground equipment that Jack Peter, 17-months-older, still shied away from. He said quietly, from the back of the car, "Mom, I'm allergic to slides."
Just last week we were going over his EXTENSIVE Christmas list. A Hubble Telescope is on there amidst every over-$200 lego product on Earth. We were looking at pictures of space, and asked him if he wanted to be an astronaut. "NO WAY!" Tim and I looked at each other both thinking, "Dude, You're 6, what could be better than an astronaut?" Eyebrows up Jack Peter looked at us and said, "There can be A LOT of problems with lift-off!" He then went on to tell us about The Challenger.
Steel, meanwhile has no interest in Santa Claus. Does she not want to be beholden to a big guy in a red suit? She's not good at telling me what she wants, in general. Her forte is telling me what she DOESN'T want. It just occurred to me that my ordering instructions on my website are, "tell me what you DON'T like." I suppose I'm wanting them to tell me what they don't like before I make them a cup they don't like. Steel waits until afterwards to tell me that she didn't want what I put in her lunch. She asked me for a Ken doll this morning. I told her Santa might get her one. She, said, "NO! I want US to buy it." My brother makes sure that Santa only gets the mediocre toys for his kids. Mom and dad need the credit for the big ones. Who should I say got Ken?
Speaking of mediocre, we got our first report card from JP's new school. Jack Peter is reading with the fluency of a 6th grader in 1st grade. I wasn't thrilled to see less-than-stellar grades from him. We've had a parent/teacher conference about it. Apparently he just can't sit still and pay attention. We now greet him with, "How many times did you raise your hand today?" when he comes home from school. She has given him a little sheet on his desk. It has a grid, and there are two teams, "team Jack Peter" and "team not paying attention" He fills out the squares throughout the day when one of the teams prevails. There were quite a few contenders for the opposing team name: Team talking in class, Team going and getting a book while Mrs. Murphy is teaching, Team standing up and leaving your desk. Who knows if it's working? I'm a little concerned because he's been wanting one of those grids to fill out. He was jealous of the kids who had them. He had the same feeling last year about the kids who got pulled out for speech class. I know one kid has to fight against "team putting your fingers in your mouth" and another kid battles "team calling out." At least Jack Peter's not fighting "team eating your own boogers."
Team NPA won the night we weren't watching as Toby fell down the stairs. We do have health care, but the bill for that lapse in attention was over $27,000...unbelievable.