Today started like any other day. Rex woke just after 7am, I fed him before we ventured downstairs to see what Piers and Susanna were up to this morning. We do love a bit of Good Morning Britain, the boy and I. 😉 Rex is very quickly settling into a pattern of feeding then spending about an hour awake, cooing and chatting away, before falling asleep for an hour or so before his next feed. Today, again, was no different.
I led him on his play mat this morning while I had my breakfast and when I’d finished, went to sit next to and play with him. It was at this point, I decided to take my cup of tea with me. You can see where this is going, right?
After 10 minutes or so, I could see he was starting to tire so I grabbed his bouncer to help get him to sleep. As I turned, my hand caught the tea-cup and knocked it all over the play mat and yep, you guessed it, the baby.
It’s difficult to put into the words how I felt in the moment that I realised potentially hot tea had covered a large percentage of his body. Horrified, panic, distraught are a few and I was absolutely beside myself.
I don’t know whether it was the shock or the heat of the tea that made Rex scream – probably both. I don’t think I’ve ever undressed him as quickly as I did in that moment, after which I picked him up to comfort him, went to the kitchen and got a cold flannel ready.
The tea had covered the whole left side of his back, from his neck right down to his nappy and his skin was red. By this point, he was quiet in my arms, ready to fall asleep again, so while in the back of my mind I knew he was okay, I did not know how to respond to what had just happened. Do I call the doctors? Call an ambulance? Drive him to the doctors? Call 111?
I didn’t do any of those first. I called Eamo. I was worried that he’d be angry with me for being so stupid, for which I believed he had every right, but I needed to speak to him and see what he wanted me to do. He was, as you can imagine, good as gold. Very calm, understanding and reassuring. Everything I wasn’t, basically. Told me to call the doctors, explain what happened and go from there.
All smiles after teagate. I, however, was not so smiley!
I decided to call 111 as I know it’s almost impossible to speak to a doctor at your local surgery. Being completely honest, I was scared, worried and embarrassed to call them. So many things went through my mind, ‘they’ll think I’m incapable, they’ll want to take him off me, they’ll think I’m a rubbish mum’. But I knew I had to put all that aside as Rex’s health was the absolute priority. I spoke to two ladies, the initial phone operator and a nurse, both of whom couldn’t have been nicer. I’m not entirely sure how they managed to work out what the hell I was saying I was crying so much, but they did and were both very supportive. Their priority was clearly that Rex was ok, but they were both very understanding that accidents happen.
After answering all of their questions and the nurse also consulting a pediatrician, she said that they both thought a trip to the doctors was not necessary but any change in Rex’s health or behaviour and I should either call back or take him straight to the hospital.
The phone call put my mind at rest that he was ok. And to be honest, my gut had already told me he was alright because he was so calm and happy not five minutes after it happened. But I was still really upset regardless. I couldn’t believe I’d done that to him. It’s no excuse but it really is amazing how forgetful, careless and downright bloody stupid a person can be when they’re tired. Today is a prime example of that.
There have been times over the past seven weeks that I’ve cursed my son because I’ve gone to drink my tea only to find it’s cold where I’ve been attending to him and forgotten about it. Needless to say I won’t be doing that again. I’ve learnt a lot from my mistakes since Rex was born, that’s just how being a new mum works. I know I’m being a bit hard on myself and that accidents are inevitably going to happen, but today’s lesson was a bit too close to the mark for me. Here’s to ice tea and coffee from now on…