My son is two years old. Yet, in these two short years, he’s visited the emergency room more times already than I can count.
The kid is accident prone.
Our last little adventure was after he ran face first into a table and cut his lip. The cut was deep enough that we were worried that he needed stitches. So I rushed him to the children’s ER and crossed my fingers.
We sat in the waiting room for nearly two hours.
Neither one of us had eaten dinner. It was past his bed time. Let me repeat: TWO HOURS. It might as well have been an eternity.
45 minutes into our our wait, my stomach growled. And if sitting in a waiting room with a toddler while you’re worried doesn’t drive you insane, turning into Joe Pesci with hunger could certainly push you over the edge.
I rarely carry cash–I pretty much live off my credit card. In the panic of getting to the ER, I forgot to pack food. I dig in my purse and felt like I hit the lottery when I found a single dollar bill–just enough to buy a bag of Chex Mix for my son and I to devour. Yep, mother of the year right here.
On the bright side, luckily my little guy didn’t need stitches for his lip.
However, the time before that we weren’t as lucky. After chasing his sister at full speed, he slipped and again managed to cut his face. This time, after another two hour late night ER field trip, we ended up leaving with eight stitches across his eye brow.
(I feel like I need to add a disclaimer here before going on…in both of these instances, my son was well supervised…adults were literally standing within arm’s reach and watching him. He just plays so hard and moves that fast!)
As a parent, when I think my child is hurt, I go into full panic mode…and I know I’m not alone here. I don’t think about making sure I have cash or snacks packed–all I care about is making sure my kid is OK.
So tonight, I wanted to try and help out a fellow parent–one who is likely stuck in the waiting room for hours, worrying about their little one, trying to keep them entertained and happy. One that may have forgotten to bring money or snacks.
With a pocket full of quarters ready, I loaded up the vending machines in the children’s ER waiting room. I put an envelope with change on the front of one and a stack of quarters in the dispenser of another.
Before leaving I happen to glance over at the check-in station and saw the sign next to registration–“Approximate wait: 2 hours.” It was going to be a long night for some parents and kids–I hope I was able to help it be just a little less stressful for some of them.