Thursday, July 7, 2011

Oxygen masks on the adults first

Goose Lake Prairie pollinator


Airline attendants tell you - oxygen masks go on adults first, then the child next to you. That can be difficult to do. I never understood why parents seemed to do nonsense things until I became a parent.

First reason - lack of sleep.
Second - instinct.
Third - lack of sense.

Months ago I took my son to the Dutch market. His pacifier popped out of his mouth just before we reached the sidewalk. I continued pushing the stroller until I reached the sidewalk. I then stopped, looked about to see if I was blocking anyone's way, and fussed over my child.

No, not at all. What I actually did was: I stopped in the middle of the thoroughfare, looked at my son, and began to fuss over him. Problem solved, baby and mother were happy. Mother realized she had stopped in the middle of the lane and was repentant.

***

Today, I was stung by a bee twice. Got into my sandals, wanted out rather than a crushing blow from a sweaty, gritty Croc strap. My son in my arms, I began to search the house for the homeopathic remedy, Apis. The change dish on the junk table - Ledum and Nux, no. My field backpack - Arnica, no. Medicine cabinet - more Ledum, no. My purse - nothing.

By this time, I was riled up. Several thoughts rushed through my head: my doctor's recommendation to get the adrenalin going by running, where's the Apis?, oxygen masks on the adult first, my husband has my car - I'm stranded, where's the Apis?, this baby is tired, oxygen masks on the adult first, this baby is hungry, oxygen masks on the adult first, I really have to pee.

Oxygen masks on the adults first. Baby goes into the playpen. Mother heeds nature's call and begins calm search for Apis. Baby cries. Remember how an old co-worker told how she was stung - she made into the house, wanted to call 911 but also wanted to sleep and began drifting, drifting, drifting, and then thought of her children, made it to the phone, called, and passed out. Mother searches faster. Apis located. Remember to RUN. Do I feel ok? Dizzy? Puffy? Tingly? Remember to RUN. Baby cries. Remember to RUN.

Mother picks up hungry tired baby and runs. Baby latches on. Mother runs. Baby bounces up and down. Mother looks at baby. Baby begins to laugh and laugh. Mother firmly holds the baby and runs. Baby laughs. Baby's eyes blink sleepily. Mother realizes her jaw is clamped. Baby laughs. Mother laughs. Baby and mother laugh and laugh, run and bounce. Mother takes another Apis. Baby and mother laugh and laugh. Mother pauses and baby nuzzles and drifts to sleep. Mother runs, sweat soaking her clothes on a hot, humid, Jersey summer day.

Oxygen masks on the adults first. Kind of.

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