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my nirvana was short-lived

Monday, September 7, 2009

Alek was holding on to the front of the bike and Maddie was now screaming and grabbing onto her leg.

had and the kids had no sooner walked back in the door this afternoon when near disaster struck.
First, a little background.

Alek has been riding Nick's bike alot this summer. His bike has seen better days (although its not that old) and half the time when he rides it the chain comes off or something else befalls it.
Sooo...Nick has been nice enough to share. His newest bike is still a little big for him and he's been grounded from riding it for the last few weeks because he was caught riding it a few blocks away (definitely not allowed).
However, Alek wasn't supposed to be riding the bike today. He had left it in the driveway earlier in the day, right behind the van and if it weren't for the backup beeper thingy on the mom-mobile, Nick's bike would have bit the dust.
Shad reminded Alek of this when they got back. He was to ride his own bike, or nothing at all. Somehow in the minutes that followed, Alek forgot the instructions.
Maddie asked Alek to take her for a bike ride. Alek agreed and unbeknownst to us (we were in the house putting away a few groceries) gave Maddie a ride up and down the street (thankfully on the sidewalk).
That's when it happened.
All of a sudden we heard one of the kids crying. Its not unusual. With four kids, someone falls and bangs a knee almost every day...but after a few seconds we realized it wasn't your typical 'ow, I've banged my knee up' kind of cry.
It sounded much more serious.
We went hurried out the front door, down the steps and around the house.
Shad saw it first and sprinted across the street.
Alek was holding on to the front of the bike and Maddie was now screaming and grabbing onto her leg. It wasn't until we got closer that we saw she had somehow managed to get her leg pinned in between the wheel spokes and the bar that's supposed to keep your leg from getting anywhere near those spokes.
And it wasn't coming out.
Her leg was completely scraped from knee to ankle, the ankle was already turning purple and one of the spokes was gruesomely digging into her ankle.
I just about fainted.
Two neighbors came out to help, trying to pull the wheel back far enough for her to slip her leg back through the tiny opening. Shad pulling on one end, the guy on the other.
It didn't work.
They tried turning her leg just a bit to slip it out.
Meanwhile, Alek is as white as a ghost. He has a death grip on the handlebars with a look of absolute fear on his face.
I'm at the back of the bike, holding Maddie up as still as I possible can, stroking her hair, murmuring comforting words into her hearing aid while she continues to scream.
Several cars drive by and I look to see one woman openly staring with her mouth gaped open.
She didn't stop.
By now, Alek is openly crying, Maddie is inconsolable and I'm am seriously considering losing my lunch.
After what seemed like an eternity, but couldn't have been much more than a minute after we first arrived, someone got the brilliant idea to either get a wrench or a wire cutter - whichever they could find first.

Shad runs in one direction...the guy in the other.
Shad made it back first.
He quickly put those wire cutters to work, cutting the two spokes holding her leg prisoner, and gently pulled her leg out.
Maddie collapsed into my arms.
I collapsed onto the ground.
It was over.
This is when I am so incredibly thankful for a doctor for a husband. I don't care that he's an animal doctor - having him at my disposal puts so many of my mommy fears to rest.
He took her from my shaky arms, walked her back across the street, in the house and into the bathroom. He cleaned her up and did a quick assessment.
He doesn't think its broken and the spokes that looked like they had gored her, didn't even break the skin.
Thankfully, it seems Alek has learned a HUGE lesson. He adores his little sister.
Adores. Her. So having her injured...and being responsible for it...hit him REALLY hard.
My big guy who is so tough and brave was inconsolable for quite awhile - terrified that Maddie was horribly hurt. Unfortunately for him, I wasn't able to be much comfort until Maddie was cleaned up and resting comfortably on the couch.

Then I went and held my son.
I murmured comfort to him as well, letting him know Maddie would be alright and that we knew it was an accident.

And then he said something that astounded me.

'But Mom, if I wouldn't have been riding that bike, Maddie wouldn't have gotten hurt!'

He got it.

He's finally learning that lesson.
Whew. This parenting stuff is hard.

P.S. - I have to tell you that as tough as this afternoon was for all of us, I was so impressed with Alek. He took absolute responsibility for the accident and after our little talk, he went downstairs and took care of Maddie for most of the rest of the afternoon. He shared his gummy worms with her, set her up to watch her favorite DVD, got her a blanket and an extra pillow and just generally hovered. Have I mentioned that he ADORES her and would do ANYTHING for her? It just makes my mommy-heart get all weapy.

11 salty messages:

Milena September 8, 2009 at 3:05 AM  

I'm wiping tears from my eyes too. Really, it's very sad that Maddie's hurt, and I do hope she will recover soon. But what a lesson for Alek! And how sweet of him to take care of her so gently afterwards!

Dianne September 8, 2009 at 7:56 AM  

WOW! What an incredible story that could have ended so much worse than it did. I'm so glad that Maddie wasn't seriously injured! What a way for Alek to learn this lesson .. one I'm sure he won't soon forget!

Elaine September 8, 2009 at 9:20 AM  

Eeeek!! Glad it all turned out okay and a lesson was learned in the process.

Living Life Happy September 8, 2009 at 9:30 AM  

I am so incredibility happy that it wasn't worse. I had chills reading this to find out if she was okay. Hope she continues to do well.

Barb,  September 8, 2009 at 8:20 PM  

So glad everything is ok. What a great big brother! I agree, parenting is tough stuff!

Tina in CT September 9, 2009 at 7:47 AM  

Poor kids (and Mom too). Thankfully Maddie wasn't hurt and it sure did teach big brother a lesson albeit a scary one.

Anonymous,  September 10, 2009 at 1:04 PM  

Oh. My. Gosh!! That would have freaked me out SO bad. What a relief that it wasn't nearly as bad as it looked!! And how great that something good came from that experience too - I bet Alex will remember that for a long time to come.

Nancy Jones September 11, 2009 at 6:15 PM  

That whole story made this longtime lurker get all weepy too. Glad everyone is OK. Wow.

SLColman September 11, 2009 at 8:16 PM  

Crying as I read this one. I am so glad that everyone is OK. It sounds so scary though! What a lesson for Alek though!!

Troy and Rachel September 15, 2009 at 12:18 PM  

Oh my - I was almost in tears with you - wonderful writing -

I'm so glad Maddie was okay and that Alek accepted responsibility.

You handled everything so well. I'm so glad everything turned out alright.

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