The Burn.

Wednesday mornings are volunteer mornings.  I look forward to going into to Toots’ class and helping with reading groups.  I’ve learned how they love to answer questions without being called upon to do so.  The little typical children who used to fill me full of dread and give me a heavy heart, now make me laugh.  I see the joy and innocence of each of them.  And Toots was looking forward to Mommy being there. So Wednesday morning, after dropping Tootles off, I got back in the car, expecting to return in an hour.  That didn’t happen.

My car battery was dead.

I called for a tow.  I could have complained. (I may have done so on Facebook…just a little).  But, if I looked at it another way, I should have been grateful.  The battery did not die until after I dropped Tootles off.   I was worried he might be upset when he found out I wasn’t coming but apparently, I’m not in that high of a demand.  He was fine.

After I called for a tow, I tried the key again, and the car started. I drove to the shop and got the battery replaced, in time to pick Tootles up after school, but I had to take it back the next day for more major repairs.

Some of you may remember, that from time to time, I do this little side job practicing law.  Wednesday night I had homework.  I was preparing to take testimony from a forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy.  Words like contra coup, Klebsiella pneumonia, subarachnoid hemorrhage needed review and context.  So, I figured Tootles’ daddy could watch him for a mere 60 minutes while I finished preparing.  Five minutes into that 60, I heard Tootles’ scream.  I heard the words “train” and “dinosaur”.

Funny how it is around my house but “dinosaur” didn’t really concern me much.  If I was an interpreter, I guess I would tell you that “dinosaur” is only a “code yellow” around our house.  It could be a precursor to a huge storm but, just as likely, it could be a minor dispute that would go no further.  “Train” on the other hand, hasn’t been uttered in quite some time in these parts.  It was being used as a cuss word and it did cause me concern.  “Train” meant there was a significant amount of pain or injury to me.

Sure enough, Tootles came running in to me.  He ran to my lap, looked at me and began to wail with tears.  Apparently, he’d decided that our living room gas fireplace glass should receive his handprint.  My husband had turned it on about an hour before. Tootles decided it would be a good idea to touch the glass.  With his right palm.  Tootles got to learn what a burn is.  His dad failed to stop him in time.

Burns hurt.  It was a mild burn for sure.  But Tootles had nothing to compare it against and he is highly sensitive to temperatures above lukewarm.  His meltdown was spectacular, filled with screams, yelling, tears, wide-eyed shock and general freak out, and the grand finale of wet pants.  The screams and tears went off and on from about 6:45 to 9:15 p.m.  I’d say the majority of it, full-on, “volcano style” was about two hours.  He calmed down around 8:30.

He wanted nothing to do with his dad.  He only wanted me.  It’s nice to be loved. Certainly, any other day of 2012 would’ve been less stressful than Wednesday night while I had widespread cerebral contusions on my mind.

I fully absorbed Tootles’ melting and shot it at my husband like a nuclear explosion.  Yes, it was one of my finer moments.  He was sent to the store for burn spray.  I think he may have needed to spray some in his ears before he returned.

The bed around Toots was wet in spots where the ice cubes he was holding melted and seeped into the sheets.  That was the least of my worries.  I had given him melatonin around 7:15 (about an hour earlier than normal) hoping he would be able to fall asleep.  The pain must’ve been too much because he did not get sleepy at all.  Finally, after Motrin and a 1/2 tab of muscle relaxant, he fell asleep.The skin around his right palm was red about the size of a silver dollar, just a little blistering.

Little blister on the left of the photo, taken Thursday night, 24 hours later…

As you might imagine, I did not get to prepare any further.  The next morning, I decided I’d head straight to the location where the testimony would be taken after dropping Toots off to school.  I got there an hour early. The door was locked.  I was carrying a box filled with nearly 700 pages of medical records, reports, a binder of other records of nearly 300 pages, my laptop, and my purse.

I put it all down, sat on the floor and called the reporting service.  Oddly, they answered.  I told them I was sitting outside the door.  It was then that I learned they are a remote phone answering system and would have to dispatch a court reporter to where I was.   I had just driven 85 miles and paid the pathologist  for his expert witness fee, which was hourly.  I had two separate opposing counsel also driving to this location.  A reporter was sent but she would be late.

My goal was to complete this task and get back in time to pick up my car from the shop (I had the hubs’ car) and pick up Tootles so his routine would not be disrupted.  Now, with the reporting service telling me they would not arrive for 45 additional minutes at the earliest, this was out of the question.

I gave up.  While I sat on the floor, about five people passed me by, either saying hello or asking if I was okay.  If only I could have answered truthfully.  Someone in the building called maintenance who let me in the office.  I did not prepare any further.  I got in.  I got the testimony.

The hubs picked up Toots, without injury this time, in the fully repaired car.  I arrived about 30 minutes later.  Tootles was fine.  He gave me a big kiss and hug.  He danced the cha cha slide for me.

All I can say as I finish this post is I’m glad it’s Friday.  Oh yes, and the hubs will not be using that fireplace without “adult” supervision.  Ever.  again.


About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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2 Responses to The Burn.

  1. Teresa says:

    I knew we were in trouble at “Train”! TGIF!

  2. Oh, Karen. What a day(s) you had. I hope you are finding time to breathe this weekend and rest. You anticipated as best as you could and sometimes stuff just hits the fan. Glad that T and Hubs made up – and the he is feeling better. {{hugs}}

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