Guilty as charged.Sunday, March 26, 2006
For my first year of teaching, I was given the unique position of Primary Program Teacher. This allowed me the opportunity to teach several "fun" subjects such as Visual Arts, Music, Drama/Dance and Physical Education. I especially loved teaching the latter, mainly because I got a good workout warming up with my students as well as escorting them up and down three levels of stairs, but also because I got to wear comfortable gym clothes two days out of five. As a firm promoter of the "safety first" protocol, I would always teach my students about proper apparel as well as prevention of accidents by seeking out potential dangers, such as loose shoelaces. So it is with great dismay that I report the calamitous events of Tuesday past.
I went to my mother-in-law's house to take her to her doctor's appointment that afternoon. Before we left, Madeleine had dirtied her diaper and required a good bum bath. So my mother-in-law took her into the washroom to clean her up. As she was doing so, I noticed that I had left the car seat on the floor next to the bathroom door and thought for a split second that it could be a potential trip hazard. I quickly turned it sideways and pushed it tight against the wall, thinking nothing more of it. I returned to the kitchen to prepare Madeleine's formula only to freeze dead in my tracks as I heard a loud clatter followed by a thunderous bang. My father-in-law, also in the kitchen, jumped out of his chair. I waited for the crying. There was none. Horrific visions instantly entered my mind and I quickly ran to the next room. I was shaking. Was Madeleine alright? Yes, thank God! Was grandma alright? That remains to be seen.
It turns out she tripped over the car seat, which I had left on the floor in a high traffic area. Seeing the buffet table in front of her, she chose not to steady herself on it because she thought in those mere split-seconds that Madeleine might hit it. So she sacrificed her knee by falling directly on it and managing to keep my precious child scratch-free. After the initial shock, grandma carefully sat herself in a chair and rolled up her pant leg. She thought she crushed her knee. She felt instant swelling and immeasurable pain. Thankfully, she was able to walk on it. She went to the hospital later that week. X-rays confirmed that she did suffer a minor fraction but that her lower back pain may have been due to degenerative causes.
My mother-in-law now has to wear a brace in order to immobilize her knee. She is having an MRI done tomorrow. The bruising has spread. And I feel AWFUL. If only I had listened to my instincts and moved the car seat entirely out of the way... Then maybe my mother-in-law's leg wouldn't look like this: