My beautiful boy is absolutely,
and without question,
the most precious and important thing in my entire world.
I would do absolutely anything to protect him from fear and pain.
But we live in a world
where it is completely impossible to avoid those two nasties.
They lurk around every corner,
including on nice, fun little shopping trips
that end in A&E.
It's never an easy thing for a parent to see their child upset.
When you can't make that upset better with a cuddle
then it's even worse.
Today, while he was walking along holding hands with his Nanny
my little guy tripped and fell.
He didn't cry but he did let out a little moan
so I scooped him up for a cuddle
and he immediately leant into my shoulder.
I diagnosed sleepiness.
So I squidged him a bit tighter and wandered back to the car.
As he was put back into his car seat,
he moaned again.
A sad little whimper.
So I made big smiles and offered him a drink
thinking he would just nod off in the car and then feel lots better.
He looked at his drink and said "Please"
but didn't reach out for the cup.
Unusual, but then he does like to be a lazy monkey when he's tired
and like all boys, he'll put in the minimum effort he can get away with.
So I gave him some drink
and we drove to a nearby shopping area.
He didn't fall asleep in the car,
in fact he continued to whimper at intervals.
And at the other end as he was lifted out of the car by my mum,
he started to really cry.
When she passed him to me he leant in for another cuddle
and my mummy instincts started to wonder what was wrong with my normally so content little boy.
I got out some snacks
which is generally guaranteed to raise a smile
and offered him to two crackers.
He likes to have one for each hand.
And it was then that I realised;
he took a cracker in his left hand
but his right arm lay still.
It didn't take long for me to start putting two and two together.
He'd fallen suddenly while holding hands,
he wouldn't grab his drink,
he didn't want a second cracker
and he was obviously upset about something.
The signs all sounded rather familiar to me,
from a post I had read by Jenny at Mummy Mishaps.
Her little boy Jenson had ended up with a pulled elbow
as a result of playing with his brother.
I'd never heard of a pulled elbow before reading that post.
And I can only imagine it was because of that fact that I remembered it,
that and the fact that it had happened so easily, so quickly
and that Jenny had written an emotional post about how tough it was to see her little guy in pain.
It had stuck in my mind for some reason,
probably the paranoid, scared mummy bit of my mind.
But I'm so thankful that it did.
So off we headed to A&E.
And as soon as I explained his symptoms at the reception desk
I was met with a knowing nod.
We were pointed in the direction of the children's waiting room
where my little guy remained sad and sullen.
He just wanted cuddles
and showed absolutely no interest in the other children in the waiting room
who were busy playing with the toys.
He didn't really cry,
but he was definitely not himself at all.
He whimpered whenever he was moved
and was very unhappy about having his arm touched.
It felt floppy and he refused to use it.
Luckily we were seen really quickly by the triage nurse,
who again smiled knowingly
and said it was almost definitely a pulled elbow
and that it was really common with little people.
He was given a dose of calpol and a dose of ibuprofen
and sent back out to the waiting room for the painkillers to start working and to wait for the doctor.
The doctor took one look at my son's floppy arm
and explained that it was definitely a pulled elbow
and that it was really common.
Until I read Jenny's post a couple of months back
I'd never heard of this supposedly common ailment.
I can see how it would be common,
as it happened so quickly and easily.
I'd never heard of it.
The doctor manipulated the little man's arm in what looked like a chinese burn
and it was the first time in the whole thing that the little guy actually cried.
Then I heard a pop.
. . . And it was all over.
And we were back out of the treatment room again.
And the doctor was complimenting my beautiful boy for being so incredibly brave
as he walked us back to the waiting room.
And he was telling us to stay until he came back to see us
just to check that everything was okay.
Within in seconds of being back in the waiting room
my little boy was grabbing toys out of the toy box,
with both hands,
and was quite clearly magically mended.
He was his normal self as quickly as that.
There isn't a relief quite like it.
Until I saw him sitting in the waiting room toy box,
laughing at my mum
and banging both his hands on the side;
I hadn't realised just how stressed I was.
Just how horrible and painful it had been for me
to see my little man in pain.
Just how helpless I had felt,
because on this occasion,
while a cuddle had helped him feel comforted,
it hadn't made it all better.
When we got home from the hospital he was exhausted.
I was exhausted.
I put him in bed for a nap
and then I watched him sleeping.
Watched his mouth open and close in silent conversation.
Watched his eyelids flicker at the dreams running through his head.
Watched him snuggle his right arm, the one that had been unusable just hours before, up to his face.
We spent what was left of the afternoon cuddling
and playing with the new toys I had bought him before the drama happened.
I snuggled him a bit closer.
I breathed him in.
And when he didn't really want to go to bed at bedtime
I didn't mind,
because I got to have a few more minutes of holding him safe in my arms.
I needed it
and I think he did too.
I am realistic
and I do know that I can't protect him from everything.
I also know that if he's anything like his daddy
then sports will play a big part in his life
and therefore trips to A&E won't be the rare occurrence that I would like them to be.
He's a little boy after all,
he's super active,
he wants to have a piece of the world
and he isn't going to miss out on anything.
So getting hurt is an inevitability.
And I will hate it,
every. single. time.
but that's life I guess.
And that's being a mum.