Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Babysitter Nightmare

When I was pregnant with Karate Kid, I refused to believe that I would have to go back to work. In fact, I didn't start looking for child care until two weeks before my maternity leave was over! A friend of ours at church watched a little girl but I knew she wasn't wanting to keep doing child care anymore. Someone mentioned her watching K.K. while we were all standing around talking after church. I told them that she didn't want any more children and she said that she would take him, no problem.

No problem except that she was leaving and going to a weight loss center in another town and leaving my child with another lady from church without telling me. No problem except that she threw a huge fit when I asked for her social security number so I could file my taxes. Apparently she hadn't turned in any of her child care money EVER.

But the biggest issue with her was a HUGE problem. I was at work one day and got a call from her. Actually her son talked to the receptionist because she was too hysterical to talk. She was on the phone by the time I picked up. She asked if she could take Karate Kid to the doctor, but the rest was unintelligible because she was so worked up. I caught something about potpourri. I asked if I should come home then but she told me he was more scared than hurt.

After we hung up I started thinking. What about potpourri? Did he eat some? Did he pull a dish of it down and split his head open (my brother did that with an ash tray at our babysitter's house)? I was still pretty much in the dark, so I was waiting for her to call me back.

The next call from her was while she was at the doctor's office. Again with the babbling. She mentioned something about going back to the doctor's to have the bandage changed every day. That finally clued me in.

Me: So he cut his head?
Her: No. He got burned.
Nurse: Ohhh, Momma didn't know he was burned.
Me: I'll be right there!

I'm frantically driving and thinking. Where was he burned? How bad is it? It has to be bad because he has to have bandages changed. No matter what I thought, I wasn't prepared when I walked in the door. My baby, my 6-month-old baby, had his head and one arm completely wrapped in gauze. My heart stopped for a few seconds. It turns out that his babysitter had a large popcorn tin sitting in her living room floor, the ones that all the stores sell at Christmas. Apparently she saw nothing wrong with setting a simmering potpourri pot on top of the tin in the floor! With young children around. Karate Kid, who had just learned to crawl, had made his way over there and yanked on the cord, spilling the hot potpourri on his head, down his face, and onto his arm. It had just missed his eye. Everywhere that it hit him, he had second degree burns. That's when my anger began to boil.

Then the fun began. K.K. didn't like the bandages and spent most of his time pulling them off. We had to keep them covered to keep out any germs that could cause an infection. The Hubster was working nights at this time, so I called the babysitter to come over and help me. I figured if she could let him get burned, she could come help me bandage him up again. Even though he was so little, it took two people to get the job done--one to hold him down and one to wrap him up.

Amazingly, two weeks later you couldn't even see that he had been burned. For the next couple of years we tried to be very careful when he was out in the sun. Once that side of his face got really red again. I thought that we hadn't used enough sunscreen, so I kept slathering it on. It took a few days for me to realize that K.K.'s allergies were bothering him, causing him to have a runny nose. Instead of using a tissue, he was doing the typical swipe with the back of his hand. What I thought were remants of his burn was really chapped skin from wiping snot across his cheek over and over!

That was the biggest scare from Karate Kid. His sister, on the other hand...

Posted @ 7:15 AM ~ 1 comments

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