Thursday, May 29, 2008

When did I become the expert??

This morning as I was running my ass off chasing children (too bad it doesn't appear enough to keep the junk in my trunk at bay) the phone rang. I weaved through my children to answer it.


"Jaime? Oh my god, Justice just fell out of the bed what do I do??" I recognize my sisters voice.

"Where is she?"

"She's right here," she answers. "I'm holding her."

"She's not crying??"

"No, she did when it happened."

"When did it happen?"

"Maybe 30 minutes ago. I was sleeping with her on the bed and she rolled out of it. She fell between the dresser and the bed. She's got a tiny bump about the size of a dime on the side of her head. Do you think she's ok? Should I call the doctor? Can I drive up there and let you take a look at her?"

"You didn't call the doctor??"

"No...her pupils are fine..."

"Why?" I'm beyond myself. "If she fell and you are worried why not call the doctor??"

"Can't they take her away from me?" I hear the fear in her voice and remind myself she's not new to this but her oldest child is now 8 and it's been awhile for her.

"Listen to me. They won't take her from you. It was an accident. You fell asleep and this kind of thing happens all the time. But if you think she could be hurt, NEVER...EVER...wait to call the doctor. In fact, call him now. I'm sure she is fine, if it happened 30 minutes ago but you can never be to sure."

"Ok, I'll call him now," she promises.

"Call me and let me know what's going on when you can please. Ok?"


We hang up.

10:30pm The phone rings.


In the background I hear Justice screaming like crazy.

"Jaime? Justice just threw up and she won't stop crying. Do you think it's from hitting her head earlier?"

"Did you call the doctor?"

"Yes I did, the nurse said to keep an eye on her. But should we take her to the hospital?" The baby is still squalling.

"Call the doctor again."

"I just did," I hear the baby settling down. "She threw up on me, I don't know what is wrong. I know she doesn't feel that great because she has that ear infection. We made sure to go and get a bed guard so she won't fall out again and she was fine but now she's crying."

"She has an ear infection?" My sister is a pack a day smoker, her fiance smokes 2 packs per day.

"Yeah, they gave her an antibiotic and she was on it a week and it didn't clear it up so they put her on a new one."

"Please tell me you and Craig are not smoking around her. If you are smoking you have to change your clothing, smoke causes ear infections in babies."

"We do not smoke around her." Her voice is harsh and I can tell I've pissed her off. They probably already got this from the pediatrician.

"Ok, well...maybe the new antibiotic is upsetting her tummy..."

"But we gave that to her early this morning!"

This conversation goes on for several minutes before I convince her that she needs to call her doctor. We hang up the phone and as I type this she never did call me back.

This is one of the more frustrating things about my relationship with my sister. I love my nieces and I worry about them. I used to make myself sick with worry over Zoe when I had to stop babysitting her. But I learned to distance myself because there was nothing I could do and all the worrying in the world wouldn't change anything.

I know bad things happen to the best of people. I also know that Justice falling off the bed was an accident. But hearing that baby scream from her throbbing ears full of infection and knowing they've been told (by me repeatedly) that cigarette smoke causes pisses me off.

On a positive note, after today I'm finally on the summer scoreboard!

Summer Scoreboard:



Lawfrog said...

It's both a little funny and a lot sad that your sister can't seem to figure out the basics of child rearing. It's a real shame that her child being so ill with ear infections hasn't made her stop smoking. I assume she smoked through the pregnancy as well? Forgive me if I'm wrong about that, but if she did, that could explain some of the chronic ear infections as well.

Jaime said...

Hey Lawfrog,

Yes she did. In fact, when my niece was born and I arrived to the hospital to see her the first time, I bumped into my sister sitting in a wheelchair...smoking.

I was a smoker for 5 years. I know how hard it is to put down. I've cold turkey'd on the stuff when I became pregnant with my first child. So I have sympathy but there comes a point and time when it has to be about someone else and not YOU. If you know what I mean?

Lawfrog said...


I absolutely know what you mean. I tend to think that when you become a parent, you lose the right to practice self-destructive behaviors.

When it's just you at stake, do what you want, that's your right as an adult. But, once you bring another life into this world, there's an obligation to let go of self-serving behaviors.

It's almost appalling that she smoked right after giving birth.