Friday, January 20, 2012

Stinky McStinkerson

It's been a really long three weeks. And we are all so very glad it's over. Especially Jacob, who seems to be surprised at the sight of his own hand after having his cast removed this morning.

Three weeks is a long time to go without use of your left arm. It's a long time to go without sucking your thumb. It's a long time to go without a bath.
(We'll pause now for a brief intermission while we sing "My Little Stinker" to the tune of "You Are My Sunshine.")

You are my stinker
My little stinker
A nice warm bath would do you well
We haven't bathed you
In three long weeks now
And you're really starting to smell

We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging...
Three weeks of learning to walk with all that extra weight on one side was just enough time to bring Jacob's crawling days to a screeching halt. It's impossible to crawl when your arm is fixed at a 90-degree angle.

Three weeks was just enough time for me to start viewing all the gray dents in my floors and walls as household scars of a childhood that will go by much too quickly.

Three weeks was just enough time for Abby and Caleb to learn to dart, duck and step aside quickly lest they be broadsided by the weaponized arm of an angry and frustrated little brother. Jacob has overcome his handicap tremendously in the time his cast has been with us, but the things he could not do--pick up and play with more than one truck at a time, or drive the big Mack truck, or catch himself when he fell--were nothing short of infuriating. It has been three long weeks of flailing, screaming, angry baby madness around here. My only solace has been naptime and bedtime.

And while we're on the topic of naps, I should note that three weeks was just enough time for Jacob to bid farewell to his morning nap altogether. The first few days post-injury, he struggled to fall asleep. For the next week and a half, he simply screamed his head off whenever I put him down for his morning nap. This past week, I've given up entirely, and spent the morning helping a very tired, cranky baby push through his exhaustion to make it to lunch. If I was clunking myself in the head with a big heavy cast every time I rolled over and couldn't even snuggle my blankie the way I'm used to, I might have trouble sleeping also.

But, it seems, three weeks was just the amount of time Jacob needed to begin healing. The cast came off to the tune of much screaming today, but the reports from the doctor are good. He said, once again, that Jacob's finger looks great. (And once again, I thought to myself that his finger actually looks horrific, but apparently it looks just the way it should at this stage of the growing-back-together process.) He told us to expect the fingernail itself to pop off in the next week or so, and to look for it to grow back in the next two months. In the interim, we'll have a chance to get a really good look at where the finger was severed and reattached through the nail bed. He told us a bandage was unnecessary, unless I couldn't stand to look at it. (This doctor seems to have me pretty well figured out.)

In short, he said the two things I most wanted to hear today: my baby is going to be fine, and I can bathe him now.

This is good news. The images burned in my mind of my son's mangled finger no longer ruin my appetite, and they don't keep me up at night anymore.

But the smell of a kid who hasn't been bathed in three weeks is enough to turn even the strongest of stomachs.

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