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Monday, August 31, 2009

Strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart...

A mother's work is never done...

Kids will be kids.

And along the way, they give meaning to their mother's life - an immeasurable sense of fulfillment that only compounds as they get older.

Meanwhile, the mother discovers new reserves of strength, patience, and courage driven by her fierce need to foster and defend her cubs...

I know, I know... it is l-a-t-e for me. Ana and Og are in bed. But, my mind is rewinding and playing back little accidents in the last few days since we got home... Ana being a baby herself doesn't realize when she is playing rough with Oggie and accidents seem to be happening all at once these past few days. Mostly, these accidents seem to happen when my x-ray vision fails to kick in - when I am in the kitchen getting a meal ready, or in the bathroom getting the job done as fast as possible...

Being on guard at all times is draining me fast...

But, such is the price of parenthood whether we like it or not, and we scoop it by the handfuls, smiling, begging for more.

Learning not to panic when seeing blood should be a required training for mommies. Blood oozing from their children, I mean... we all know mommies are worse than zombies and can drag themselves up from the depths of nowhere for their kids.

I admit I fall apart just a bit when I see Ana or Og really hurt, physically hurt - just the first few minutes when the stunned mind races to make sense of how it happened and exactly what happened... Usually, a sensible part of my brain somehow directs my limbs to get ice and place it carefully, apply pressure and stop bleeding, check eyes for uncharacteristic dilation, reach for the neosporin, fill out the right dosage of Ibuprofen at the sight of inflammation, and even give some arnica or bella donna as needed...

But somehow, I fear that presence of mind might desert me and I might do the wrong thing and jeopardize their safety by not giving proper first aid.

Oggie fell hard the other day and cut his lip with his teeth bleeding all over his chin and shirt. Ana started trembling. She just happened to trip him. By accident, I am sure. And today, he hurt the back of his head on a sharp corner and has a ½ cm gash on the back of his head. All that blood got me so terrified. Possibly because it happened on my watch, when I am alone and solely responsible for the kids' safety. Ana had too much energy and she didn't back off when I asked her to, riling Oggie up enough for it to get to unsafe levels...

I know, I know... I also grew up with a sibling and things are not going to be sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice all the time, but, under no circumstances should a mother be expected to remain collected, cool and smiling when she sees her kid spurting blood.

So, I naturally reprimanded Ana right away for not heeding my words and allowing for this to happen. I hope I caught myself just in time before my words could inflict a sense of guilt in her tender mind. As I went about trying to administer first aid as best as my muddled mind allowed, I remained oblivious to my poor little darling. Catching her pale and quivering little body, I managed to calm down soon enough to assure her that I knew she didn't mean for Oggie to get hurt, and that I am not mad at her and that there are no consequences to worry about, and that I would be shattered if she got hurt again like she did before... but, she can try to help make Oggie feel better by distracting him while I hold the ice against his head.

At this point, CS, if you are reading this, thank you so much for your call - for letting me know I don't have to feel alone, and that I can call upon your generosity 24/7 till D gets back. You know I am not a phone person, not because I am impersonal, I prefer face-to-face... I've had many sour experiences with words on the phone taken out-of-context and misinterpreted as the other person could not see my face when I said it, so I've shied away from phone chats with people who haven't had a chance to know me intimately...

I bow low before the mighty moms who tackle their kids 24/7, keep them owwie-free, present nutritious meals, find stimulating activities and remain calm and collected at all times. They must be truly gifted.

Haunting the Bloomington Park and Memory Garden is all we do for outings these days... surprisingly, kids just seem so happy and comfortable staying home, rediscovering their bookshelves and toys, and all that space, that I don't feel the need to drag them places just to prove I can *do* stuff with them all the time...

Ana has been to the Children's Museum a few times in the past, she enjoys it, but, at this juncture, finding herself back in her lair, given a choice between staying home and keeping herself happy and heading out to the Zoo/Museum/<insert stereotypical kid's :fun: place>, she has consistently voted for staying home. And that just suits me fine as I know when D gets back, being an outdoors person, it could be his bonding ritual with the kids - *if* he can spare the time...

Am rambling, aren't I? Time to hit the sack, I suppose... But, these few lines, which I remember repeating in school when I was young, kept ringing in my head for some reason and urged me to ask for strength and grace as I grow with my children in this lifetime:
rabindranath tagore gitanjaliThis is my prayer to thee, my Lord -- strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart.
Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.
Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.
Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might.
Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.

And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.

--From the Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore

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At 4:35 AM, Blogger Lavs said...

Oh dear. Poor you, Oggie and Ana. I know how you feel, having been in that position 2 months ago. LB tripped over a book and fell and his teeth caused a gash inside his lower lip. He was crying so bad that it took some time for us to figureout where he got hurt. A gash in the head is even more frightening!!

Hugs to you..take care and prayers for fast healing.

At 4:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear sheela,

I am so happy and relieved og is fine. I was so panicky when you said the blood is coming out of his head. Your post reflects my emotions word by word line by line. I admire the moms who are calm , cool, collected dressed so well raising more than one kid. I bow to them ; ).

And thanks for medical new thing I've learnt how to handle such incidents without panicking much. BTW, what is arnica and bella..?

NR does this marathan crawling all the time and slipped oneday . He cut his lips and I gave him some sugar to suck. Just that day my friend (since 4th grade) called me to share her same experience with her 22 month baby and gave me tips on handling the situation.
Lo behold , it happenned the same evening and NR did his I don't want to breathe cry. Thanks to her I calmy handled the situation and thanks to sudden sugar dosage he was back to his hyper boy mode within minutes.

Give tight hug to ana and og.


At 12:53 AM, Blogger Poppins said...

"I bow low before the mighty moms who tackle their kids 24/7, keep them owwie-free, present nutritious meals, find stimulating activities and remain calm and collected at all times."

Who exactly are these mothers and where are they? There's no one like that Sheela, unless they are on tranquilizers. And neither do children need to see us like that at all times!

It's scary what you just wrote about and all mothers would do the same thing if they were alone with the kids.

Take care of yourself, try to stay calm and hope for the best. The good Lord is watching over your kids so you are never exactly alone.

P.S I am humming away to that Tagore song now, remember singing it at school as well but had forgotten the lyrics

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

:Lavs: It was soooo good to talk to you on the phone! It was as if we were old friends just out of touch somehow... it was reassuring to hear your challenges with LB at home are not that different from mine... thank you for your kind words and support!

:CS: You have so much to offer, I must make time for our long-pending 'girls evening out'... maybe after D gets back.

I guess just writing about the things that bother me makes it seem like I spend my time and life in constant agitated state. Au Contraire, au all-the-way contraire...

It is a by-product of having to handle it all alone, and not getting as much involvement from D in first-hand raising as I would like... C'est la vie.

p.s:Arnica and Bella Donna are homeopathic remedies - will email you links about them later.

:Poppy: I know what you mean - but, my SIL seems so cool - almost imperturbable... almost as if she is on tranquilizers...

Indeed you are right... Thanks for reminding me that I am never alone...

especially when Ana belts out "Once upon a time in the geese... Once upon a time in the geese..." from the Shiva DVD we bought recently in India. (p.s: Once upon a time in the East is how the song goes, but, who cares?!) :)

It just feels lonely not having another adult in the house, but, it is also nice to just lick the kids' plate clean and call it a meal rather than having to cook a decent spread :)

At 9:26 PM, Blogger mnamma said...

Thats really frightening Sheela - and kudos to you for handling the situation well. Like Poppy said, it is ultimately "dheivame thunai" in this situation. Hugs to you, Anna and Og.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

Thanks, mnamma! I remember tucking away the fact that you are possibly in Portland, OR... if so, we should plan to hook up sometime :)

And, between your twins and my Ana and Og, we'd be lucky if we manage to meet before they graduate from college!


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