Call of the Wild

Today started like many others: get Jackson to school so I can run down south to the pediatrician for Archer’s well visit (6 months!), go to the store to buy staples, pick up Jackson, etc.

Archer’s well visit was successful and he is a healthy little cuddle bug despite being on the

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A hair-raising experience

short side, though I have faith his legs with catch up to his belly any time now. He got two vaccines and he cried, but recovered pretty well with a quick meal. He recovered so quickly that I was able to meet Nana for tacos and he sat with us calmly as we ate like the little angel he always tends to be. Afterwards we drove home and I fed him again and attempted to initiate the nap sequence, which is only slightly more intricate than that of a nuclear launch. He wasn’t having it. We decided to lay quietly for a bit and revisit the idea while I struggled to remain conscious. I had just started to feel some pressure above my right eye and suspected a sinus migraine was brewing, as they sometimes accompany spring allergies.

Archer started to cry, which is somewhat unusual for him (hate me if you must). He will whine and squeal if he wants something, but a real sustained cry is rare. So I attempted to soothe and feed him, and his crying intensified. After a few minutes he is hysterical gulp-crying and nothing will calm him; not walking, not patting, not the boob. He remained hysterical for AN HOUR. This is just the nudge my sinus migraine needs to go full-tilt. I know it has something to do with the shots, so I give him Tylenol about 15 minutes in and he still wails for another 45 minutes. After that, he slows down to regular crying, and my phone rings.

Seeing the name of Jackson’s school on my phone is pretty terrifying. The school is totally nut-free, but still, why would they call me? Does he have a fever? Did he throw up? IS HE MISSING?? A mom’s brain is a dangerous place in the 0.3 seconds it takes to answer her phone. The principal clearly knows about the horror of Mom Brain, because she starts with “Hello, this is NOT an emergency!” for which I was immediately grateful.

She was calling to say Jackson had a bite on his face, and it left a big mark. She had iced it

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Those lashes, though.

and snuggled with him and he said he was OK, and he didn’t antagonize the other child…”wait, a HUMAN bite?” (my actual words. Really.) Apparently there was a personal space dispute, and some child bit my angel’s face. “Oh wow, OK, well I guess kids bite sometimes, so I’ll be right there to pick him up.” It was time to pick him up anyway, and I didn’t want to make the principal feel bad because it clearly wasn’t her fault and I could hear in her voice she was distraught. Knowing he was being taken care of and snuggled made me feel better, and I also know my son is tough and finds injuries to be, at most, a hindrance to play time.

As soon as I took the call, Archer finally stopped crying and we quickly jumped in the car to pick up Big Brother from his harrowing day of school. My head is throbbing and I am considering jamming a spike through my forehead just to relieve the pressure, which is making me nauseous. Through blasting the AC and slow breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth I managed to make it to school without hurling, and Archie slept the whole way. Special thanks to my children, who seem to have an internal awareness that Mommy can only handle one emergency at a time.

In the time it took us to get to school, Jackson was bitten on his arm. The principal met us

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in the classroom and apologized profusely, telling me it was a different child and this bite was also iced and it didn’t break the skin. Jackson, meanwhile, is all smiles and kisses for baby brother, showing him off to his “fwends” as usual.

After inspecting my son’s wounds and determining that no skin was broken and he seemed fine, I noticed the principal had a wild look in her eyes and her expression was clearly shouting “What. The. Actual. F&#@.” and the phone in her hand rings. She excuses herself, and I overhear her explaining to ANOTHER parent that their child (not in Jack’s class) was bitten today and she is so sorry, and they iced it, etc. She gets off the phone and I raise my eyebrows at our usually unflappable fearless leader as she says “yea. It’s been a Monday, all right.” Jackson’s teacher has a young daughter in another class who, in a separate incident, bit a classmate today. For some reason, there was a rash of biting at the school in three different classrooms all on the same day.

I have always suspected there was a high-pitched signal my children exchanged once in a while to gang up on me. Their rooms are on opposite sides of the house and they don’t ever wake each other, but a couple times they have both started crying at the same time in the middle of the night for seemingly no reason at all. This has always baffled me, and today my theory was confirmed when several children in different classrooms suddenly took bites out of their classmates for no apparent reason. The Call of the Wild.



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