Witch Hazel and Other Tales of the World’s Most Negligent Mom

In the 45 seconds that it took to get some routine bloodwork done this morning at the doctor’s office, Miles managed to inflict bodily damage to the area of his forehead when the space he wanted to occupy was found to be previously occupied by a door frame.

Not half a second after the phlebotomist poked her head out into the hallway to check on him, a resounding thud had me up out of the chair, into the hallway and scooping up my son who was belly down crying in pain (it was a good thing she had just removed the needle!). He had seen some of the staff coming around the corner and, wanting to play chase with them, had quickly darted…but into, alas, a doorframe right outside where I was sitting.

There I was holding a gasping, crying, keening Miles, with blood dripping down my arm from where the needle had stuck me, the phlebotemist trying to bandage me, me trying to asses the damage and being a bit horror-struck by the indentation left in his little forehead from the impact and the staff running hither and thither for cold packs, which we tried to apply but to no avail even as I nursed him.

After about 5 minutes, Miles had calmed and Dr. Singh (no idea who he is but he was on call) came and, after observing Miles wiggling and wriggling about and wanting down, decided that the worst damage would be a big goose egg on his noggin.

After he left, the nurse said “you amazingly stupid woman who is unfit to parent a child next time you should come get a staff member to watch your child, you idiot.”

Those may not have been her exact words.

During the ride home, I spoke with my mom who reassured me that, if the Tiny Tyrant is anything like his uncle was when his uncle was a Tiny Tyrant, this injury will be only one of many cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains, strains, breaks and trips to the emergency room.

She also advised me on the healing properties of witch hazel which, in her childhood home, was used for everything from bruises to hemorrhoids.

At the local drugstore, as I was picking up some witch hazel, I decided to ask the pharmacist exactly WHY witch hazel would work on bruises. Upon doing so, he looked at me as though I had sprouted and extra head and told me in no uncertain terms that while it wouldn’t HURT anything to apply witch hazel, witch hazel is only an astringent and so would have no effect.  Upon pressing him as to whether he had actually heard of witch hazel being used for bruises, he grudgingly admitted that he had, but was quick to add that it was a long time ago, the inference being that therefore it was a voodoo (because “witch” = “voodoo”) folkloric panacea of no value whatsoever (ie, it wasn’t a PILL that cost $30.95).

But, to make a long story EVEN LONGER, a quick Google search about witch hazel revealed that that silly man knew next to nothing about witch hazel, which has been used on this continent for forever for a VAST ASSORTMENT of skin ills.

And, not to say that it was the witch hazel per se, but, despite my overwhelming incompetence as a guardian watchdog of toddlers, the Tiny Tyrant’s bruise did not get nearly as bad as I thought it would.


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cari
    Mar 26, 2009 @ 08:41:11

    I came across your blog via Facebook not too long ago. Just read today – I SO feel your pain. My son, Ian, had about 3 goose eggs in the SAME spot on his forehead within about 6 months. Then, last year, got 3 stitches on his nose after a fall. Boys!! Also, let me tell you about worst mother of the year…locking my 1 year-old daughter in the car (perched on a seat, not in a car seat) with the keys AND the spare set of keys in the middle of our Good Friday service. Sigh.


    • ~m
      Mar 26, 2009 @ 17:05:37

      Cari, your story about locking your daughter in made me laugh but I am sure that it was not funny at the time…and poor little Ian! (btw, I’m glad his testing came out fine for his heart recently). It’s amazing children survive their parents’ bumbling!


  2. The Mom
    Mar 27, 2009 @ 09:10:40

    Hooray for Witch Hazel!


  3. The Mom
    Mar 27, 2009 @ 09:11:23

    P.S. – I think Mama needs to put some on her wounded ego, too.


  4. Olivia
    Mar 30, 2009 @ 20:30:35

    witch hazel rocked my world right after childbirth. But the smell makes me gag. I still love it as a “facial tonic” though!


  5. Sharon
    Mar 31, 2009 @ 12:10:15

    I’d like to give that nurse a piece of my mind. that way she might actually have some grey matter by the time I’m done.


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