Monthly Archives: April 2011

Another Shining Moment as a Parent….NOT!

You know that cute as a bug kid you see at the top of the page?  That’s my Nick.  And the outfit you see him in?  A police uniform I pulled together on Ebay.  What in the world did we do before Ebay?? That was a Christmas present at least four Christmases ago.

Nick, for as long as I can remember, has been fascinated with police.  “Cops” is his favorite show.  We DVR it…and use it as leverage.   He will watch anything having to do with police and their job.  He says he wants to be a “cop” when he grows up.  *sigh*

Along with that cute outfit, we have a friend who gave him a “real” police belt, along with handcuff pocket, etc.  And we had already gone through about 3 pairs of toy handcuffs.  So we decided to buy him the real things.  They would last, right?  And they came with two keys which my husband and I held onto.  What could be the harm?

Well, he LOVED the handcuffs, and he used them to “arrest” his dad, along with anybody else who would cooperate.  Well, our lives being what they are–hectic–he lost the handcuffs…and we lost the keys.  No biggie.

Until…

He found the handcuffs again.  Great.  Just what I needed to worry about.  So I tell Nick very clearly he can’t play with them until we can find the handcuff keys.  And he gives me that look.  And he begs me, “Mommy, please.  Please. Mommy, PLEASE!” And I, having absolutely no will against that face..relent.

And I give him the rules…NO handcuffing your brother…NO handcuffing the dog…No handcuffing the cat…NO handcuffing anybody until we find the keys.  Got it?  “Yes….I PROMISE!!”

And things were fine, for a few days.  And then, one Friday night, after an exhausting day, I am winding down watching a little TV.  I hear the metallic clinging of the handcuffs, and then I hear…silence.  I am so tired it didn’t register right away.  It was eerily quiet for about ten minutes, and then it dawned on me…that is NOT good.  Silence in a house of boys means only two things..either they are all asleep at the same time(rarely the case) or they are up to something.

I investigate, and I see Nick frantically trying to get his own ankle out of the handcuffs.  And I freak.  I said, “Are you kidding me, Nick?” Well…more accurately…I yelled that.

And he sits there in the chair..looking so pitiful..any sane person would have melted and figured out a solution.

But I was not sane in that moment.

So I ranted a bit…kept asking stupid questions like, “What were you thinking?” He is a boy.  They don’t think…they ACT.

Finally, after searching for about 45 minutes in every place I could think of for the elusive handcuff key, I hopped online and researched it.  How many times have I witnessed people escaping from handcuffs on TV…often within seconds?  Despite what I learned on the ‘net…it was not happening.

I was in a quandary.  If I called 911 what would they think?  How could a sane person allow her son to play with a set of very real handcuffs?  Would they wonder if I was lying and the handcuffs were really mine?  Ewwwww….

And then it hit me.  How could I not have thought about it before?  We are friends with not one, but two police officers…police officers who know about Nick and his love of all things cop-related.  So I called.  Thankfully one was going to be home shortly.  So, about an hour later we arrive at their house…and Nick’s ankle is freed.

The bonus?

He gave us a spare key we could keep in a safe place in case this ever happens again.  Now if I could just remember where that safe place is….hmmmm…..

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“Could be cataracts…or a tumor.”

Those were the doctor’s words to me.  I stood there, holding my beautiful little boy, trying not to fall completely apart.  I didn’t do all that well, truth be told.

It had been a rough month.

After years of struggles, we had been blessed with our youngest son, Isaac Lee, through adoption.  He wasn’t legally ours yet…but he was our boy, just as surely as if he had grown in my own womb.  And we were thrilled with him.   He brought new life to our household, and we were all still loving every minute of it.

Then, just a short while after he came into our lives, I found out I was pregnant.  We were surprised…and heartbroken when we lost that baby almost four months into the pregnancy.

So there I stood, just about a month later, in my pediatrician’s office, hearing those words…” Could be cataracts…or a tumor.”

My husband had noticed Isaac’s pupil looking a “little blue” that morning.  We had never noticed it before.  His eyes are so big and beautifully dark that I am sure we would have noticed it if it had been there before.  He had been seen by countless doctors, social workers, etc. since his birth, and no one else had ever seen anything amiss with his beautiful eyes.

I asked the doctor, “So, you are referring us to a specialist?”  He didn’t say anything for a minute.  It felt like an eternity.  He looked at me and said, “No….you need to go to the ER immediately and have him examined.  We will call ahead for you.”

That’s when I lost it.  I immediately started bawling, holding him tightly against me.  I felt like if I held him tightly enough, and until we knew what was going on, he was still this perfect little angel…not disabled or diseased in any way.

The next few hours went agonizingly slow.  Because he was still a foster child, and not on our insurance, we had to take him to the county hospital.  Oh, what a special joy that was.  Lucky us, we got to share the ER that day with drug addicts, convicts (not exaggerating…across the hall from our space was a woman dressed in an orange jumpsuit, handcuffed to her gurney, escorted by a policeman.) and an assortment of other characters odd, sad, and all a little depressing.

Finally, THE doctor came to see us.  After a brief exam, and waiting for the correct equipment to check his eyes with…the result:  severe cataracts in both eyes.  His one eye was already blind.  No sight at all.  That was the “blue” eye my husband noticed.  The other eye, though severe, still had sight.  The prognosis?  Debatable.

But, I was happy as a lark.  He may be partially blind, but no tumor.  His sight may get better.  There was hope…something I felt I had run plumb out of by that point.  Besides, this was something they might be able to fix.

And then it hit me…I forgot to call the social worker.  My first time as a “foster” mother, and I completely forgot one of the major rules.  Any time there is a medical emergency I was supposed to call them as soon as possible.  For some reason, it just never occurred to me during all of those hours in the ER.

So, I finally made the call.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was taken aback by the response.  “You know that there is nothing saying you have to adopt him still, right?”

“What?!?”

“You haven’t signed the final papers yet.  You can still change your mind.”

“Are you kidding me?!?!  He is my boy.  This changes nothing!”

“I knew you would say that.  Just wanted to make sure you knew.”

I was almost speechless.  To think that was what was first on her mind..to let me know the contract hadn’t been finalized yet…unbelievable.

Within two months, Isaac endured two separate surgeries.  He grew to hate going to the doctor.  They operated on the “bad eye” first.  It wasn’t instantaneously, but two weeks after surgery, he regained 100 percent of his sight for the bad eye.  He had to wear glasses for a while, and due to another injury later, his right eye is super sensitive to light so he looks a little like a pirate when he first wakes up or goes outside in bright sunlight.

But…he is perfect to US….we have much to be thankful for.

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