Ethan (16 months)

Dear Ethan,

You turned 16 months old 2 days ago. I seriously hope it was your worst month in your life.

Let me tell you something. In modern days, people do not use cell phones to make contact, instead they text, MSN, Facebook or Tweet. Email is considered the most humane channel. People in our generation simply refuse to talk over the phone. If you receive a call from someone who does actually push the buttons on the phone trying to talk to you with their lips, there must be something life or death. In the context of your father and me, it’s something important about you.


Over the past two weeks, I received two calls from your father while I was at work.

The first one came on the day your father was driving you to your wonderland, aka, your grand parents’ house.

“I had my car CRASHED!”

“Was Ethan in the car?”

“Yes. But he’s fine.”

“How can you be sure?”

“I called the ambulance, and they examined him thoroughly, made sure he’s not shaken at all.”

“What happened?”

“I braked urgently when the green light turned yellow, and the car was hit from behind. The bumper was damaged. I got a neck strain from the pressure of the seat belt. Ethan did yap a little bit, but I had him checked.”

Having been awarded the freaking “Road Star” for his over 10 freaking years of freaking safe driving, your father is that kind of driver who always reminds me to prepare to stop 400 blocks before the stop sign. And he knows EXACTLY WHEN THE TRAFFIC LIGHT TURNS COLORS!

“You got your freaking unsafe tiny Mini hit from behind. You got yourself hurt as the driver sitting at the front, and you are telling me Ethan is fine though he was put at the back where the first contact point of the hitting was? Let me talk to one of those paramedics!”

“I drove Ethan to grandma’s already. He’s all normal and smiley.”

“You do know your son acts ecstatic when he sees strangers, don’t you? Not to mention a whole bunch of uniformed dudes rushed out from a siren sounding ambulance. Party was on for him!”

“HE IS FINE. TRUST ME! I’m the one who was injured.”

“Now, you know which wife of yours is more reliable.”


 A week later, I called your father after I realized I had missed SEVEN of his calls when I was in a conference meeting one afternoon. He told me to stay calm first before telling me YOU BROKE YOUR ARM! I tried to collect my disconnected and shattered ear and disassociate with millions of worst scenarios that came to my mind within that second, “You didn’t mean he actually broke his arm?” But, yes, you fell from the side of the couch on the hardwood floor and had your left lower arm fractured when your stupid father, left you unattended in the living room, was fixing your breakfast in the kitchen believing to fill up your stomach is more important than protecting your from killing yourself with your countless attempts. AND HE DID NOT REALIZE YOUR INJURY UNTIL NOON though you were groaning the whole morning!!!!!!

Now, don’t tell me to prepare to stop 400 blocks before the stop sign, and I don’t care when the traffic light turns colors. I rushed to my car and drove to the hospital as if I knew how to drive with tearing and blurred eye vision.

There in the hospital, you lay in the arms of your father with your little arm wrapped with stiff foam. You looked so tiny, fragile and helpless. I held you gingerly worrying that I might hurt your arm. You snuggled close to my chest, your body so still. That was the moment the mama bear inside of me protecting her little cub from being bullied by other animals. Then I heard a voice telling me we were transferring to another hospital as you needed a surgery, THEY NEED TO CUT YOUR ARM OPEN AND PLACE A CHIP IN TO JOIN BACK THE BROKEN BONES. There were barely words to describe the feeling I had at that news. It felt like a thunderstorm shooting through my heart, and had it razed open. I have never had any surgery in my whole life, and you are just over 1 year old, how could I possibly let anybody put my little baby on the cold operation table treating you like a piece of meat. I held you tighter figuring how I could put you back into my belly and escape from the hospital.

On the way to another hospital, you were so calm, so quiet even though you had not been eating since that morning for the sedative. But I were not. Not the mama bear! I’ve seen on TV about children with various kinds of disease in wheelchairs or with tubes in their ears and noses. Still, nothing can really keep my heart from destroying further to only picture how they point a sharp knife to my own child’s arm. I completely broke down refusing to speak a word to your father whom I thought I would divorce very soon.

After we checked you in, we waited to have you examined by an orthopedist. And I have to tell you about that 4-HOUR WAIT.

During the first hour, you were a little grumpy as it hit your nap time. Both me and your father were holding and rocking you to sleep alternately. Though my arms were soar and numb, I wasn’t willing to let go of you to any family member cause I knew what you would be going through was way more painful. And I wanted to share and feel it with you. Then a nurse approached us like an angel trying to mend a little bit of my heart, telling us it might not be necessary for you to have the surgery though it’d all depend on the orthopedist examination. But I took it. I completely trusted her advice as she definitely knows more than I do.

The good new woke you up too. And you became extremely cranky as you were almost 10 hours without eating. We spent our utmost afford distracting you from the fact that you were hungry, and we did that by letting you tear off your father’s ear, bite off my finger, or singing you the Texas Chainsaw Massacre theme song over and over again. By the time another two nurses were ready to give you IV which was AFTER ANOTHER 2 HOURS,  I was about to split your father’s head off from his neck to show you what a human nerve system looks like.

And those two nurses!  As if they still remember they were trained to take care of babies IN A GENTLE WAY, not torturing them! They asked us to hold you tight on bed so they could put a needle into a vein in your hand. Right after you were away from my arms, you started to cry. When the nurses put pressure on your hand and put the needle in, you struggled and screamed with tears puddled underneath your head on the white cloth lining the bed. Ethan, I have not seen you so upset before, upset because you were let go of my arms and put under the hands of those completely dumb strangers who were jabbing a humongous needle into your tiny hand. I hugged your arm and held your head in my hands as I let go of my own emotion and cried in rhythm with your tears. Deep down in my heart, I felt like they were picking on you and I wanted to punch them in the nose. After a full sweaty 5-minute attempt, those two dummy dumbs took out the needle from your hand sighing IT DIDN’T WORK ON YOUR HAND AND THEY NEED TO TRY YOUR FOOT. I almost lost my breakfast and lunch on the floor, and that’s the moment mama bear roared and wanted to claw out their eyeballs. You continued screaming for another 3 minutes until the IV was successful injected.

After ANOTHER 45 MINUTES, an Olympian-looking lady with her biking gear came into our room. The long awaited orthopedist arrived. And the first question she asked was if Team Canada has won! Listen, bike lady, I have my baby here with broken bones in his arm, not eating for 10 hours, done being tortured by two moronic witches, waiting for you for almost 4 hours, and now what you care is the freaking Olympic hockey game? Someone please give me a gun, I would gun her down after she treats you. Then, she explained to us that she viewed your x-ray. And she’s going to put you to sleep and kind of push back your bones into the right position. NO SURGERY IS NEEDED!!!!!! NO GUN IS NEEDED.

When it came time for the sedative to take effect, I cuddled you as you went under. You didn’t cry, you just made that adorable siren sound until you became very limp and very DRUNK, drunk as a 13-year-old secretly sips your father’s brandy on an empty stomach with your eyes half open denying how drunk you are.

Then they took you from my arm, and asked us to stay out of the room. And I couldn’t argue with them at that point, I had to leave you for them to BRUTALLY HUSTLE YOUR ARM. And I’ve never felt so helpless. Every of your gagging sound that I heard from outside just drove my tear pouring more severely. After 15 minutes, it’s done, it’s over. We stormed in the room and saw you, our little drunk baby, still giggling and bobbing your head, and having your arm wrapped in a heavy cast, lying on bed peacefully. I simply could not believe all along the operation you stayed in head-bobbing state,  seemed like you were enjoying a massage. You didn’t completely pass out until you had your final x-ray.

Now, you are home. Though it’s heartbreaking for me to see you not able to use your arm as you used to, most of the time you are in great mood. The discomfort doesn’t seem to bother you. And you probably has no recollection of being tortured by those two brainless dumbs. However, I will always remember those few hours, and the days of worry leading up to those few hours, and the years and years leading up to those days when I didn’t know what it was like to have my soul wrapped inside your tiny palm.


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