Last week, I fell down the stairs while holding the baby.
We’re okay, except now I have a weak right leg to go with my useless, weak left arm.
I don’t even know what happened. I’m always very careful. We have ten thousand stairs in our house, and I slid down five of them. My knee stopped us from going further and is paying for it now. It could’ve been so much worse.
I woke up that morning thinking, maybe this week would be normal. I have no idea what that really means except that it’d be nice to have a week without doctor visits, without several wake ups a night, no car breakdowns, no 5yo nightmares, and free from bullying incidents at school. Smooth knackered parenting, I call it, where we just go about our daily routines with no glitches yet in a zombie-like state. The thought itself feels like a vacation.
But no, I had to fall down the stairs. I had clutched my baby tight on instinct. He cried, but only because he was scared. I was scared, too. I had started to go into shock; my leg was tucked under me, and I could feel the pain vibrate the entire length of my leg. I wasn’t in searing pain, so I knew it wasn’t a break. I scanned over the baby quickly to be sure he was okay, and he was, still tucked in my arms.
My knee was bleeding and throbbing, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to put any weight on it. When I tried, I felt like I was going to pass out or vomit. I called my husband. He had just arrived at work and would catch an uber home. I rang my friend to come while I waited, knowing I couldn’t take care of my eight-month-old like this. Wincing, I had to hobble down fifteen stairs to unlock the door. It was excruciating.
The shock began to wear off when my friend arrived. I was useless the entire week. Even now, as I look at the rug burn on my kneecap, every so often there’s a sharp shooting pain around it. The scab keeps breaking open every time I sit. I should’ve gone to the doctor to get it bandaged properly, but it’s healing now.
Moments like this make me so homesick. I wish I lived closer to my parents. It would help so much if I could ring them to ask for help with the baby so I could keep my leg elevated. Or to ask them to pick up 5yo from school. Or to take the boys for the weekend so my husband and I could binge watch Stranger Things (no spoilers!). But we chose this lifestyle… we chose to live here and to do this on our own, so I can’t complain. But it’s moments like this that remind me of how hard it is. It’s even harder now with two children. That’s the knackered truth.
I don’t know how we do it, or how anyone does it who lives far away from family or doesn’t have family. I’ll gladly take any advice offered. This week won’t be a smooth parenting week either, with new challenges we’ll have to conquer in our sleep-deprived state. Next week probably won’t be a merry-go-round, either. In fact, I’m not sure smooth knackered parenting even exists.
But the thought is nice.