The Day I Almost Died
Photo Credit: Denis Savard
Yesterday morning I was still up because our little meatball didn’t feel like sleeping much that night. He just ate, and ate, and ate.
Husband got up and got off to work, and we just laid in bed – eating and fussing and changing diapers and staring at each other. As we laid there – me trying to sleep through his quiet moments and him staring longingly at the ceiling fan – he started to squirm. Then he started to fuss. Then he squirmed faster.
Then, laying flat on his back with his button nose aimed straight up at the light, he opened wide and an absolute torrent of spit-up erupted from his face. This was not a trickle down the side of the face. It was not a mouth-full that spilled over. This was a geyser – a natural wonder, of sorts. It rose – majestically, almost – several inches above his little visage before crashing down all over his cheek, his left ear, the side of his head, and the bed sheets in a six-inch radius of the epicenter.
“Dear Lord!” I reached for the nearest burp cloth and started wiping his head and chest, and cleaning out his ear. One burp cloth expired, I grabbed another one (there are two by the bed every night) and started sopping up the puddles around us.
Deft as a ninja, I slid one arm under him to move him over, onto a bath towel, and just as I started dabbing at the sheets once beneath him, he opened wide and met-or-exceeded his previous effort! This time, by virtue of being slightly elevated and positioned at an angle, he managed to bathe a greater area, not even sparing my pillow.
“Gah!” I plopped him on a dry patch of bed and reached for a second bath towel that was near the bed due to my being a horrible housewife these days. “The power of Christ compels you!” I gasped, as I dabbed and wiped and sopped. He laid aside and watched me, evidently very pleased with himself. I stripped the linens off the bed shortly thereafter.
The day was like the evening that preceded it: lots of eating and pooping, and next to no sleeping. He was fine if I held him, but heaven and earth forbid I try to put him down. Clingy little meatball. But there were errands to run and dinner to get in the slow cooker. We must move.
By early afternoon I’d stolen enough time to get myself dressed. What I thought was going to be a nap turned out to be a cruel trick, and as I laced my second Converse he was already whimpering on the bed.
“Mommy’s going to run out and start the van, and I’ll be right back,” I whispered. The threat was enough to rouse him, and he started to squirm. “One minute!” I begged, as I dashed out the back door, coat-less.
I took three steps out of the house before I remembered:
A. The minivan was out front because Husband needed to move it to get his car out of the driveway that morning.
B. The back side walk is a sheet of ice.
Too late. I don’t know if it was my haste, or the little dance I did trying to decide if I should go around or through the house to get to the vengeful minivan, but my feet betrayed me. My butt hit the concrete, followed quickly by my elbows and back. Awesome.
I waddled back into the house, freezing cold, slightly humiliated, and a little sore; and dashed through to the front door – Meatball screaming me on from the bedroom. The minivan slid up the driveway, and I left it to warm up as I cautiously scooted through the back door to rescue my baby from whatever impending doom was threatening him now.
It was starvation this time (it is about every two hours), so we settled on the bare mattress for a little lunch while the minivan warmed up outside the bedroom window.
Mid-meal, Gollum (the van) started squeaking. It does that. Because it hates me. I didn’t think much of it until it got unusually loud and then suddenly stopped. “Did it just die? No. Couldn’t have. It just stopped squeaking.”
Ten minutes later we were done with our afternoon snack and packing the mini-man in the car seat when his butt squished. “Dude, you’re waiting on that one and if that makes me a bad mommy then I’ll pay for therapy later.” (It was a little squish.) Diaper bag over the shoulder, car seat in one hand, bank deposit and envelopes in the other hand, shopping list saved on the phone, we headed out the door.
The van had died. Whatever. Cold car ride. It would warm up quickly. Safely across the ice rink, I leaned in the driver’s door to start the van again and it just coughed at me. “Shut. Up.” Tried it again. Cough. Again. Cough. I may or may not have cussed. I think I blacked out just then. We may never know.
Fine. The bills will wait one more day and Husband will have to make dinner. Fine. Whatever. Fine. I gathered myself up, crossed the frozen tundra one last time, and reached into my coat pocket for the keys.
The van keys
Because we lost one set of van keys, so now when Husband needs the van he takes the keys off my set. And I didn’t reattach them, I just took the van keys. And left the rest of my keys in the box on the counter in the kitchen.
I stood there and surveyed the scene briefly. Dead minivan. Murderous sidewalk, and I had locked myself and my four-week-old infant son out of the house in twelve degree weather. I whimpered as I called Husband.
“I need you to come home.” I explained part of the situation, crying. He was coming. I called my neighbor. She was home. I went across the street and pretended like it was all hilarious and this kind of thing happens to people sometimes and I’m not actually a complete wreck. Husband showed up 20 minutes later.
“Did you kick the back door?” he asked as we walked home.
“No,” I answered, wishing I could be indignant at such an assessment of my anger management capabilities, but well aware that the question was completely founded.
“The back door wasn’t locked.”
“It was locked, but it wasn’t latched. It didn’t close all the way. It pushed right open.”
I made chocolate chip cookies for dinner last night.