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Monday, June 25, 2007

mothering the (clumsy) woman

It was a "ten thousand things had to be done today, and had to be done *NOW*... every task is urgent, really urgent, or immediately needed... no time to plan, no time to prepare... Time's a-wasting, can't you speed this up?" kind of a week at work and I was at the ebb of my energy and patience. Two good reasons to just sit back when I reach home, maybe order some pizza, and retire early to bed.

Two good reasons ignored and consequences suffered...

Frazzled from a strenuous work day, I attempted to cook a meal for the family - afterall,
Baby needs proteins and such,
dinner is the only meal we manage to eat together,
what kind of a mother and wife would I be if I didn't even do this for my loved ones...

so went my many rationalizations, none of which included,
put your oxygen mask on first before you help put others' on.

Well, what with Ana screaming and running back and forth through the open kitchen, and me trying to unload the clean dishes and reload the dishwasher, I got a little careless, a little clumsy, and let the 1½ cups of 375°F hot oil balanced precariously on a round-bottomed pan over open flame of my gas stove splash on my hand. My right hand, to be precise. All over the back of my right hand and a little on my wrist.

I screamed just as if I was about to birth my next baby. D, out gardening, didn't hear the first few shrieks. But, Ana did. Rooted to her spot not 5 feet away, in the nook by the open kitchen.

Common Sense and Instinct took possession of my faculties for the next few minutes, somehow the stove was turned off and the water was running in the kitchen sink rinsing the sizzling oil off my seared skin by the time D hurried in to assess the damage.

I could hear his thoughts: Baby is safe. Good. Not a sign of injury on the wee tot. Good. Let's look at your hand now... hmmm... seems bad. You'll probably just blister and regrow your skin. Nothing permanent, maybe a dull scar. Leave it under running water while I figure out how best to help you...

All he said was, "It's OK, perhaps a shot of berry vodka would take the edge off, let me bring you some..." and he was off to the bar downstairs leaving me with my straying thoughts about how much worse it could have been... and my rapturous heart kissing God's feet, grateful that my ineptitude did not scar my precious...

When I slowly resurfaced and my shrieks had died down to stifled moans, I spotted Ana still transfixed, watching intently. The minute we established eye-contact, she came running straight into my leg, hugged it with her chubby baby arms and repeated soothingly, "Amma's OK.. Amma's OK..."

Yes, indeed, Amma's OK, my ministering baby doll, because *you* are OK.



At 6:16 AM, Blogger Kay said...

Ouch! That must have hurt. :(

At 7:01 AM, Blogger B o o said...

Glad you are okay. That was one scary post. After a bad fall trying to catch Ashu falling down the steps, I broke my jaw and even while I was bleeding like hell, my only thought was "shes ok" and later "what if it was her"! And you are so right. We have to take care of ourselves first to take care of them. Get well soon.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Nicole said...

I'm so sorry you got burned, and SO glad you are okay and so is the precious little doll. I hope it feels better soon, though I know with burns it takes FOREVER.

Your daughter is precious and how sweet were her darling little words!

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

Kay,it did :-(

boo, thank you - how long ago was your fall? how did you manage? it sounds terrible...

nicole, thank you for your kind words... and through the stinging burn, all i could really focus on was "what if it had been my baby? she was right at the height where it would have hit her face!" and feeling relieved and grateful that it was just my hand...

At 10:48 AM, Blogger Poppins said...

Ouch ! Parenting sure has us put the kids first, who would have thought it?

Hope it's healing well now.

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Kowsalya Subramanian said...

Hope its healing faster.
True, that we always put our babies first. 3 years back I had an accident and mothers instinct or whatever I just changed my daughter's position on my lap and that saved her when another speeding auto hit me on the head. I still think "Had it been her".. Gosh.. that always brings a jolt..

At 1:57 AM, Blogger Gauri said...

Gee - that sure was scary. How's your hand now ?
Hope its better now.
Last year my daughter almost fell off a wall and was coming downwards headfirst when I stuck my hand in the way to brace her and ended up with a tear in the shoulder/upper arm muscle and a bad bad sprain. All through, despite the agony, I was numbed by the fact that she almost took such a bad fall.
Ah !! Sweet Motherhood !!

Get well soon Sheela !!

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Tharini said...

Omg. I had my breath drawn in reading thru this. Poor you Sheela. Something similar on a much smaller scale happened 2 weeks back, when I was trying ot get a congested Akhil to take in some steam from the vaporiser and some boiling scalding water fell on my leg, peeling some skin off. Those moments of agony and of course the huge huge relief that Akhil,m tho nearby was untouched.

I am just so glad that Ana was nowehere near. I hope you are feeling better and its healing nicely.

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

poppins, you know, next time i try to be sharp with my mom, i will remember the many things she must've done to protect me... Nature's way of sustaining the species :-)

kowsalya, wow! what a relief - good that you had the instinct...

gauri, ouch! sweet motherhood, indeed

tharini, i can her you: "thank God, it was not Akhil"

and our convenient memories simply tuck these away in some corner so we can convince ourselves that we aren't doing much for our babies... and worry and fret over big things when these little things are the ones that should matter...


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