Off the junk for a day–a million little pieces of pollen

I wake up. The room is white. OK, the ceiling is white. The walls are yellow. The sheets are robin’s egg blue. The carpets are deep red. Not really blood red, though. But dark. Like a Radio Flyer wagon. But darker. And a little different. Sort of more red than red.

I hear someone talking in the next room. Down the hall. Behind a door. Except he’s just babbling. He’s probably pissed in his pants while he slept. Maybe crapped. He wants out from behind the bars. I can let him out. But I’m just lying here. White ceiling. Yellow walls. Radio Flyer carpet.

I know him. He’s only got eight teeth in his head. He only eats gruel and small pieces of food. He can’t chew. No molars. He can’t walk, except clutching desperately to a wagon. He never falls, but he’d rather crawl. That way, he can lay down wherever he is when he gets tired.

He hugs the floor. He plays with dolls. He laughs at himself in the mirror. He jumps up and down to the sound of music. He squeals in delight when he sees birds. He needs two naps a day. And he’s got that burn on his leg. That burn that I’m responsible for. That burn from the Harley Davidson, now forever known as the Owwie Davidson.

I shuffle out, to the bottle, shake a pill into my palm. One more pill. One more day. One more day with allergies. With all this pollen, a million pieces of pollen–so many iridescent motes of dust that dance in the wind as if someone were writing about them.

I started reading A Million Little Pieces this weekend–could you tell? I know, it’s fake. Or not. Maybe I would take it more seriously and get more caught up if I didn’t know that, but honestly, it’s all very Less-Than-Zero-in-Rehab, so I feel like I’ve read it before, but set in L.A.

On Sunday, when we went to see Rolling Thunder (video is on the way), I forgot to take my Claritin. By the end of the day, I wanted to rub my eyes and nose off my face. I got back on the junk the next morning, and everything seems right with the world again now.

Except 3B’s burn. When we got home we were going to take some pictures of 3B on Mama’s cousin’s new Harley until 3B’s leg hit something hot on the engine. We got no pictures, but 3B did get a fair-sized burn on the back of his leg, which we’ve been worrying over ever since.

Honestly, once the adrenaline left our systems, I think we realized that this is like a really bad sunburn and that he should be OK, but we’re still keeping it covered with a gauze bandage, which we’re changing twice a day, just to be sure. We’re consulting with our pediatrician friend to make sure that there’s nothing else we can do, but I think that the cure requires nothing more than cleanliness, time, and patience.

Every time I think of it, though, I clench my hands, curl my toes, and grimace. It must have hurt him so badly–although he’s not been aware of it now, and hasn’t been since about 15 minutes after it happened. And it was all for a picture. Agh.

I keep replaying it in my mind, trying to make it go differently this time. Hoping that when I get home, there will be no bandage on his leg, no burn. And then I try to remind myself that he’ll heal. That he’s not even aware of it, much less bothered by it. And then I try to remember to take full breaths. To get to sleep on Sunday night, I had to tell myself to lay still and breathe deeply as we do in yoga class–in through the nose until my ribs expand, out through the mouth until my chest sags–for five minutes. After that, I was finally still enough to go to sleep.

But I still woke up thinking about it.

He will get better. Right?

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  • Yup, he’ll be fine. If it didn’t kill him, it’ll make him stronger. Just what you need: a stronger baby who thinks he’s immune to burns.

    He’s so tiny, all those cells he’s got are dividing a million miles an hour so he keeps growing and developing. I bet a burn on his skin heals faster than it would on yours or mine.

    That’s the third generation in your family that gets excited about riding Harleys.

    –MrJ

  • Remember fun things sometimes hurt. You know it was fun when he wants to do it again before the bandage is off. It still hurts you more than it hurts him. From his point of view, he is better now, his leg is just a little red. At least it is not his face, like my daughter with blisters after a day of skiing.

  • We put him on the bike, and that didn’t last long, so we’ll have to see next time if he’s really excited. Although, he did look pretty happy up there, with all those shiny things around him.

    And CaliforniaGirl–blisters on the face? You win.

  • Anonymous

    Hey the Kings ol man let him sit on a motor bike when he wasnt much older than 3B. Turns out the King was a tad heavey as a kid and flipped the bike over on himself. Turns out I love fast bikes and cars now! Win Win.
    TCB on burnin Rubber with 3B

  • Oh…I know how awful you must feel.

    It doesn’t matter what I say here…you’ll still feel bad & guilty. As parents, it’s what we do.

    🙁

    Sorry that it happened….

  • …of course, now Mama Bradstein is off the hook for any issues that 3B works out in years of therapy in the future.
    Clearly, everything will all come back to you & be your fault. You let him get burned by a Harley.

  • …you know I’m just kidding right?

  • L-P: Don’t feel so bad & guilty about your comments here. Save all that for what you do to your kids.

    I mean with your kids . . . *with* your kids.

    And yes, I know that you’re kidding.

  • I went to my high school reunion last summer. I had a motorcycle back then, too. I ran in to all these girls who were still slightly pissed about the burn marks on the inside of their leg at the calf. I would warn every one of ’em, every time, but they would still burn their legs when they got off…

    But it was a great way to get cute girls to cling to your back and hold on real tight.

  • Right, L.A. Daddy. That’s exactly what I want my 10-month old baby boy to learn–how to get the girls to hold on tight.

    Actually, he’s already got an angle on that: he’s 10-months old and has the cheeks to prove it.

  • oh sweet daddy-B. he’ll get better. sadly, you’ll never forget it.

  • Yeah, he will be fine. I think all these bumps and bruises are way harder on us then them. Says the woman who now obbsessedly checks on her son after he fell off the bed.

  • I am constantly amazed at my kids’ powers of recuperation and healing. All through our vacation Boyo wore a lovely huge scrape across the bridge of his nose from that darned curb that leaped up to meet his face, plus another one on his elbow. 10 days later — all gone.

    I recommend Weleda burn creme…a good homeopathic remedy, very mild and soothing.

  • Oh yeah — I feel your allergy pain. 10 days in So Cal and I forgot I ever had allergies. Then we returned home and I started wheezing immediately. Now the question is: is it the high levels of ozone, or is it the cats?

  • He will! Aww, I’m so sorry I missed this. I know exactly how you feel. Today my little one pushed off of the table and sent her chair flying back into the wall. She put a hole in the wall and banged her head pretty good. I was just too slow grabbing that chair. I just missed it and my reaction everytime I think about that and every other injury is the same as yours. I hope he’s feeling better (and that you are too!)

  • BBM: I hope that her head, and your wall, recover. Yikes. These kids–what will they think of next?

  • DW: I don’t know, I think that the immediate effect on him was much worse than on me, but you’re right that he’ll forget about it, and my anguish over it will linger.