I tell my students that I am their teacher, but I am also a mother, a daughter, and a wife. This is to explain sometimes why Mrs. B has to leave early because her toddler is throwing up, or why I need to be out to care for my husband after knee surgery, or why I'm exhausted one morning because the 6yro had nightmares all night. Sometimes, it's hard to be an equestrian (or anything else) when those other roles take center stage.
This brings me back to yesterday. Oof. Our poor toddler. He's going to be three in December, so he's at that age where he's mobile, curious, vocal, opinionated, completely lacking self awareness, and only cognizant of rudimentary cause and effect phenomenon. A few days before, he had seen a funky Halloween nik-nak that I can't adequately describe or categorize--a dense plastic shadowbox-like scene (minus the box), I guess, of ghouls making some sort of nightmarish dinner with appropriate gross-out names on the menu--on the mantle. (I won it in a costume contest at work the year I was big pregnant with him--I had a chef outfit on labeled "Bun in the Oven Bakery.") It was one second of "What's this?" followed a half second later by it falling and breaking into a dozen pieces on the floor, followed a millisecond later by T breaking down into sobs before completely losing it. Now, T is my stoic one, and he isn't one to cry for long (ironically enough, as he was my colicky baby), so when his screams hit banshee pitch (seriously, banshee pitch), you know something is genuinely, seriously wrong. That weird nik-nak must have landed corner-first on his big toenail, which was almost instantly turning dark purple from pooling blood. Good times.
Purple toe goodness (badness?). This was immediately after it happened--it was much more of a swollen, puffy rainbow a few days later.
The offending, uh, thing (and the pieces that came off of it) with a pencil for scale. Yeah, I'm not exactly heartbroken to lose it.
Well, by Saturday, the nail was many colors and was beginning to swell at the cuticle (ew), so I decided to be The Overly Worried Mom and take him to urgent care just in case. While we were in the waiting room, T was happily playing with the (grungy, beat up, likely alternately layered in viruses and bacteria) bead rollercoaster then suddenly stopped, started crying "My penis!" before doubling over in painful sobs. WTF? Again, he's my stoic one, so something was definitely wrong. At least he had good timing. Turns out he has a very painful yeast infection in verrrrrrry delicate territory. (I'm guessing related to his holding it ALL DAY at daycare for a few weeks--changing him to the class with his older friends, who had just graduated up, seemed to solve that problem.) Now, on top of THAT fiasco, involving him wearing a plastic pee-catcher bag and trying to encourage him to pee when he's screaming bloody murder from a single drop--he had to get his toe x-rayed (fine, as I expected), then get it cauterized with a big hot fountain-pen-looking-needle thing to drain the pooling blood causing the massive swelling. (Incidentally, that was both fascinating and completely disgusting. Those two typically are synonymous to me.)
Yeah, fun day for everyone. Nothing worse than your child is horrific pain and not being able to do a damn thing beyond hold them. But he was a trooper, got his red lollipop, and then while running errands Mommy bought him a Thomas the Train Trackmaster set. He won't connect the one thing with the other, but I sure felt better getting something that made him happy after watching him endure a wide variety of painful pokings and proddings...especially since now every diaper change is a banshee shriekfest because we have to apply medication to horrifyingly painful looking tender places. Oof.
Hubby surprised me and offered drop me off at the barn in the afternoon while he took both boys (God help him) to a local old car celebration thingy called Thunderfest. Thunder THUNDER THUNDER! Sounds appropriate enough for the all-male portion of the household. Anyway--I get to ride my horse? Two days in a row?
Yeah, I did, but it was evident from the moment I took him out of the stall, Tril wasn't having a great day either. His back seemed a bit sore--long story, but there seems to be an old injury to his back and/or hips that makes him do things like stumble behind on the lungeline (nonhorsey folk, that's where the horse is on a long rope going in circles around you), or--and here's my new equestrian vocabulary word of the week--"crossfiring." This is apparently when a horse is cantering and the front legs are on one lead, and the back legs are on another, which I noticed him doing the day before (for just a few strides; it was correctable). Horses--ever the education.
Now, Tril is an easygoing guy, and isn't remotely aggressive. He, like T, is very honest and will only complain when he damn well has reason. He did NOT like me even putting the girth on him (I noticed some spasm in that area behind his elbow--just a little twitchy, but he didn't react if I was slow and light with my touch). Tightening it wasn't too bad on one side, though, so I carried on with tacking him up. I walked around the front of him to tighten the girth on his left side, and either he was not paying attention, or he has vision problems, or something, because he was COMPLETELY caught off guard when I touched him in the area just behind his elbow. I only lightly touched him, but he jumped out of his skin and cow-kicked out at me (yikes) as he went sideways. What the FUCK, Tril?! It's just me! Out of instinct, I swung the reins of the bridle I was carrying at his butt as he kicked out, but realized later that he was more complaining than anything--he didn't reach me or come within two feet of me, though he could have. It was more his own "What the FUCK?!" reaction. After that, he just sort of stood there and snorted, and I stood in my place trying to analyze what the hell had just happened. My conclusion is that area was spasmy-sore, and by not touching him higher up first, it spooked him. Still...chill the fuck out. Mama is a mama and has priorities above dealing with your twitchy ass.
The ride itself wasn't too bad; he didn't seem lame, but he was uneven. He was less happy to do his job that day, so I called it quits early, making mental notes that he is due for both the farrier and equine chiropractor (hush up, it works, and there's no placebo effect in horses!). Still, the whole thing just didn't feel right--not bad, just not right--and so, bleh.
It's always nice, though, to end with a pleasant walk along the private road and visit the neighbors (ha! Neigh-bors).
I turned my attention to our mini Firefly before hubby returned with two overtired and overexcited boys that we took home, attempted to bathe (difficult with all of T's owies), and put to bed past their bedtimes. Then we went to bed well before ours.