One of those Phone Calls Every Parent Dreads

I saw the daycare phone number on my phone and sighed. It was 8:30 and I had only dropped them off 40 minutes earlier, how was one of them sick? As soon as I answered I could hear him screaming in the background and the voice of the women on the line was unsteady. Hot water had spilled on him and I needed to come get him. My first thought was confusion, why did I need to come get him if he was wet. And then I asked if he had been burned. Yes, his arm was burned and the skin was peeling; please hurry.

I ran to tell Scott what was happening, put my shoes on, grabbed a bag with an extra diaper and a change of clothes for Ru and ran to the van while calling the pediatrician’s office – they told me to bring him there and they would see him immediately. Scott was walking out the door when I reached the top of the driveway and we headed to daycare. Since I was driving Scott ran into daycare and brought him out. Ru was screaming uncontrollably. I looked at his bright red left arm and instantly felt sick to my stomach. I sat in the backseat with him as he spent the drive to the pediatrician’s office screaming and fighting to get out of his car seat.


I ran into the Dr’s office with him and they took us back right away. There were no pleasantries with the Dr, she made a quick assessment and got him some medicine. We waited with cold compresses on his arm for 10 minutes hoping that the Motrin to kick in and the screaming would subside. The worst part was the helpless feeling – I knew he was in pain and there was nothing that I could do to make it stop. He was scared and he kept grabbing me so tight and screaming – trying to figure out why my holding him wasn’t making everything better. It was awful and I would have done anything to take that pain away from him.

After giving the medicine some time to work, the Dr. took a closer look while I held Ru down and a nurse held his arm steady. Ru continued to scream while she applied layers of burn cream and bandages and finally wrapped his arm in gauze. The worst area is on the inside of his arm, directly above and below his elbow so she was able to leave his wrist and hand open – even though they are burned as well. He sucks his left thumb, I hate to think about how we would be coping at this point is he couldn’t suck his thumb.

We left with a prescription for burn cream and a stronger pain killer and we have a follow-up appointment for Monday. I managed to remain calm through everything up until that moment. I stood at the window making the appointment with tears streaming down my face, I realized that I was shaking and I held Ru a little bit tighter. He started to calm down for the first time as we left the Drs office – he had been screaming for over an hour straight at this point and I think the combination of the medicine, the exhaustion, going outside, and being close to me was finally starting to help. He continued to relax more on the way home as he was able to suck his thumb and his eyes even closed at one point.

We arrived home and Ru and I settled down on the couch with his blankie and a favorite stuffed animal while Scott headed to the pharmacy for medicine and bandages. My parents arrived a few minutes later and Ru was happy to sit with Nonni for a few minutes. They sat by the front door watching a crew work on the yard across the street and eventually they moved to a chair outside for a closer look. He was distracted and started to talk and even smile and my dad convinced him to jump up and down at one point, but it was difficult for me to relax seeing his red swollen wrist and hand. He ate a little bit and then I gave him the stronger pain medication and put him in his crib for a nap. He feel asleep immediately and didn’t move for 2 hours. He had good and bad moments for the remainder of the day pointing at his arm and saying “boo-boo hurt” and crying one moment and playing with cars the next. I anticipate much of the same tomorrow. 

We go back to the Drs on Monday and in the meantime we will be changing his bandages twice a day and applying lots of cream to help his arm heal. We are optimistic that there will be no long-term issues. I’m not going to say a lot about what happened at daycare – someone left a cup of microwaved water where it shouldn’t have been and it spilled on his arm. Obviously this could have been prevented.

I am grateful that Scott and I were both nearby and we were able to have him at the Drs so quickly. I didn’t need another reason to love our pediatric practice because they have been a great fit for us since Juliana was born and today was no different. Everyone there from the nurse who answered the phone when I called to the women who scheduled our follow-up appointment was concerned about Ruslan and their efficiency helped me stay calm in a difficult situation.

8 comments to One of those Phone Calls Every Parent Dreads

  • Jen

    argh this whole story just gives me chills :( So so sorry for Ru! And for you- I can’t imagine how scary it all was. I hope he heals quickly.

  • Oh, this is so sad. I feel so bad for Ruslan! Such a horrible thing to happen. I hope he heals quickly and forgets it in time. So sorry for you all to have to go through this. Take care.

  • TwinMamaTeb

    I said it before but its worth repeating, poor poor baby!

  • pghrugbyangel

    OMG. I saw your first tweet earlier while I was studying, but then had class & forgot my phone when I went into work, so I didn’t see any updates. Until now. I feel awful that Ru has to go through this, and that you have to watch him do so. Hopefully he will heal quickly. I can’t even begin to imagine how I’d feel if my niece or nephew went through this. I’m glad your peds office was so great while working with you in this situation!! Sending Ru some super positive thoughts. :-)

  • Oh Jen, I have no idea how you held it together. Poor Ru! I am glad his prognosis is good and hope he makes a quick recovery. And you are so right about the pediatrician’s office. They are wonderful. Every time we are there, I silently thank you for recommending them. I’m glad that they were so wonderful with Ru yesterday.

  • I would be *so* pissed off. OMG.

  • Gr. Grama Julie Oldach

    Dear Jen – I guess I’m reading these backwards – I didn’t start with this one. I wasn’t with you during all this but I’m crying with you now. I’m so glad you have such a wonderful support with their doctor & nurses. You’re such a good mommy.