As I stepped down the stairs of the creche, I felt her tiny fingers clutch mine tightly. I wish I could understand the pain that they expressed.
It was late by the time I noticed the scratches, bites and nail marks on her baby thighs. Her blank eyes seemed to whisper ‘I told you, Mom’.
This post is written in response to The Daily Post’s one-word prompt; tiny.
Kids. They keep you on your toes. No matter what their age is.
When you have young infants, you believe life is full of danger. They run mindlessly even before they learn to balance their bodies. They crawl to inaccessible corners and pick up only things that they are not supposed to. They find the most unhealthy ways of eating and the most unhygienic items they put their hands on. As they grow up you heave a sigh of relief. Only to realize that the danger levels just keep on increasing. It’s like that game of Temple Run. Run. Run. And just keep running.
The girls were home on Thursday as they were both unwell. Changing weather brings in unwarranted health issues. After doing her revisions for the examinations scheduled to begin in the first week of November, the firstborn started playing with the younger sister. As usual a squabble broke out and they fell apart. The ever-yelling Mommy told them to sit quietly in opposite corners and not to talk to each other. They sat quietly for a few minutes and then started their own things.
I was there in the kitchen preparing lunch when I heard the loud popping of a balloon that the firstborn was blowing. I went up to her and scolded her and snatched the packet of balloons. When I returned back with their food I saw the firstborn in this condition.
Just one change. She was hurt on the left eye. I screamed. I yelled. I scolded. I lectured. And then I hastily ate the food. I did not imagine what impact the blasting balloon could have had. She did not complain because I guess she was already tired of my shouting. By evening her eye had completely swollen up and was continuously watering. That’s when I panicked. Usually the first thing I do in such a situation is to call up the man. But since I knew he had a very important conference to attend I decided not to trouble him. Moreover I was still under the impression that the injury is only external. Calling my parents meant more panic-stricken faces.
As I sat there at the medical centre murmuring with the girls, I received a message from their Dad that he was leaving office for the conference. I couldn’t hold it anymore. I messaged him about the accident and asked him to return immediately. Something inside me told me it was not as simple as it looked to be. We finally got into the ophthalmologist’s room. And what he said made me skip a few beats.
The force with which the bursting balloon had hit the eye-ball has left a few scratches on her cornea. Don’t worry. It’ll heal.
I sat down on the chair feeling totally numb. How on earth was I supposed to believe that a bursting balloon could do so much damage. I have myself played a million times with balloons as a child. I guess I was more worried because a boy in the younger one’s class was absent since two months because of an eye surgery owing to another accident caused by a mosquito repellent band. I remember his parents had to rush him to Chennai for the surgery and he still hasn’t recovered fully. They are taking him to Chennai again this week.
The doctor applied medicines and put a bandage on her eye and advised rest for 2-3 days. He said she should be fine in about a week’s time and all we had to do was to let the eye rest and apply medicines. I felt so helpless and I regretted having scolded her. She is just a child. And everyone loves playing with a balloon. Why would someone hurt themselves knowingly? It was a just an accident and I had chosen to blame her instead of checking if it had hurt her badly. I hugged her tight. I continuously cursed myself as we walked back home.
She is much better now. The pain is gone. The redness is gone. Watering has stopped. And she says she is able to see normally. She has gone to school because she doesn’t want to miss her classes. And I can’t wait to pick her up and ask her if everything was fine.
I decided to share it here, because this was a simple fun activity that had turned out to be so dangerous. Please do share it with all children and parents to let them be mindful while playing. Diwali is round the corner and I request all of you to play safe. Be safe rather than sorry. Try and avoid crackers as much as you can. What we burn, burns our lungs.
My intention in sharing the below articles is not to spread fear but to alert parents and children about possible dangers. You can imagine my condition when I read these articles that night. I can’t thank God enough because this could have been worse.