Monday, February 18, 2013

Dear Niece: You Are Not Peter Pan

   Today I am babysitting my niece and nephew. I love them dearly, but the things that they get up to can be hair-raising, to say the least. They are very active and curious kids who like to get into everything possible. Adventures in babysitting bring to mind another time with my niece and nephew.
   My sister and I were settled in to watch some adult TV, (not funky p-word stuff, get your minds out of the gutter!! Just, stuff like Walking Dead or Weeds or such) something we can only do at the kiddos bedtimes. She had put her kids to bed upstairs, they didn't have to sleep yet, but they were supposed to be settling down and maybe watch a little TV. My daughter was in her room downstairs; my sister was making brownies, something that she now refuses to do because she is convinced that brownies make bad things happen. (Don't even get her started on the number 13 or 666. And yeah, she now places brownie-making right up there with those.) We weren't expecting a knock on the door because it was late, but we heard this soft little knock. So my sister went to look out the peephole, all ninja-like, just in case the person at the door had x-ray vision and could see her through the wall and happened to be an ax murderer.
  I wasn't expecting her to open the door. I really wasn't expecting her to yell, "Oh my god, how did you get outside!"
  So I got up to look and see, and sure enough, there stood her daughter, a little scratched up, but not looking like you would expect someone to look when they had just fallen out of a second-story window. We demanded to know how she fell and she told us she just fell while my sister frantically pulled off my niece's clothes to see if we could determine more injuries. She had two scratches on her chest, and a few on her back and face, but we couldn't find any bruising or broken bones, or swollen anythings. She couldn't really have fallen out the window. We rushed upstairs to check, because she must have just stealthily popped out the door and knocked to fool us. Except the door was locked, but a person who fell out the window would be smashed. They would not get  up and come knock on the door.
   However, inspection of her bedroom window did provide proof that she had fallen out of it. The window was wide open and the screen was missing. I stuck my head out, and the screen was in a bush. She had fell out of the window with the screen underneath her and landed in a bush.
   We turned to my wide-eyed niece, who watched all of our frantic scurrying about with little reaction. "Why didn't you scream? Did you scream? We didn't hear."
   "I didn't scream, I shutted my eyes so I wouldn't see," she calmly replied. Oh, the reasoning of a five year old. If you can't see it, it can't hurt you.
   "And then what did you do?" we asked.
   "I gotted up and knocked on the door to come in." she replied. But no matter how we asked, she wouldn't tell us how she fell out, and we didn't question long. Our priority was to get her to the ER; just because we couldn't see an injury didn't mean that there wasn't an internal one or something of that sort. So I stayed home with my nephew and my daughter while my sister rushed to the hospital, her daughter in tow.
   I fretted and worried, because that is what I do best, but they were actually home a lot sooner than I expected, and this is the story as my sister tells it.
   Once they arrived at the ER, and the accident was made known to the nurses and doctors, my niece was seen right away. My sister says that all the nurses and doctors crowded into the tiny cubical room that patients are given and that when the primary doctor ordered a chest x-ray, that you could hear the order being echoed all the way down the hall. They examined her, and questioned her, but could find no severe injuries. The x-rays showed no internal injuries, she didn't seem to have hit her head, she was doing okay. When the doctor asked her why she had fallen out of the window, she told him (although she wouldn't tell us a thing) that she had got up on the window sill to open it because she thought that her plant needed fresh air. Then the screen fell out of the window, and she lost her balance and fell with it.
  We had to keep her under watch for a while just in case there was an internal injury, but in the end, she was free and clear of any real injuries, just some scratches and some mild bruising. A nurse told my sister that kids fall out of windows all the time and usually they are not hurt at all, which is amazing to me, because if I fell out of a second story window, I'm sure I would have something broken. But regardless, I am no longer comfortable when I see my niece near a window. Truthfully, I freak. This is yet another reason living on the first floor is better than living on the second: if my niece falls out of the window, I can just be pissed. I don't have to experience terror beyond all belief.

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