"What is that in your nose?!?" I yelled as I rushed my 5 year old outside where my mother-in-law was sitting. Well turns out it was a bell. I couldn't believe what I was seeing, how in the world did my son get a bell to fit in those tiny little nostrils...and more importantly how didn't I know.
As we were driving to the E.R. (and for anybody that knows me I panic when my kids get hurt...I blow things totally out of proportion but I've accepted this), I asked him why he stuck a bell in his nose, he said it "accidentally" got stuck in his nose. Now, as a mom of all boys, I know that it went something like "hey, I wonder if my nose would jingle if I stuck a bell in it?" So, the fact that he thought that this was somehow a good idea was not as shocking as what I was about to find out. As we kept talking, I recalled that two days prior he had complained of his nose hurting, and I just gave him some nasal spray just thinking it was just dry. Then it dawned on me...this kid has been jingling for three days!! Now my panic went into overdrive. I was thinking tetanus and blood poisoning, and rabies (yes I know you catch this from animals but at this point I was panicking okay, so cut me some slack). How could someone walk around with a bell in their nose for three days!
So, I asked him, "why didn't you tell me!?!", he told me it was because he was afraid, too afraid to come to me, in fear that he would get in trouble. If you are a parent I'm sure you have had those times when you just feel like you failed your child, and in that moment that's exactly how I felt. How could he be that afraid to tell me something so important? Am I just this tyrant that doesn't care about his feelings? My husband said I was completely over exaggerating, and maybe I was but us moms tend to carry the guilt factor. When something happens to our children we automatically blame ourselves, or think of a million ways that we could have, and should have prevented it. So, I was on guilt trip road doing 100 mph. I just couldn't believe that he felt like he couldn't come to me.
As I sat in the E.R. waiting room for like three hours (the standard E.R. wait time unless you have something highly contagious...and then your wait might be shortened to two and a half), I was reflecting on how I could be a better listener. A mom that can be firm enough to keep order, but soft enough to provide a shoulder to cry on, or a hug at the right moment. I've never been a super affectionate person so having kids has been an adjustment.
What our trip to the E.R. taught me is that I still have some adjusting to do. Kids need to feel that warm, cozy, comfy feeling sometimes, and I was like that decade old La-z-boy that just doesn't give the same comfort it used to. So, now I try to give more hugs, more kisses, and more words of affirmation and love. Have I mastered this; no not quite, and I can admit that, I still have a ways to go, but being a good mom is not about being perfect but recognizing that you aren't, and never will be.