You’ll need your Kleenex for this one.
Splitting them was definately the right thing to do.
Billy had been sleeping in his mommy’s lap for about an hour when Rick and Peter came in the room together. Sharon looked up as they entered.
“How’s he doing?” Rick asked.
“He was frantic a little while ago when I was in the shower. April tended to him, thank heaven, until I could get dried off and out to him.” she told her husband.
“Anything different this morning? Any obvious problems?” Peter asked Sharon.
“No.” Sharon replied, and then added. “Well, he did try to talk this morning. He sounded so precious.” she said with a smile.
“Hmmm…that’s a good sign.” Peter offered. “He hasn’t made any speaking sounds since yesterday, has he?” he asked. He’d looked at the recordings this morning, stopping at anything that looked out of the ordinary, but didn’t have time to review the entire recording.
“No, not one. All he’s done is cry to get my attention.” Sharon answered.
When Peter looked at him, Rick said “Not at all to me.”.
“Excellent. That tells me he’s starting to move in the right direction.” Peter explained. “I hate to wake him up, but I really do need to take a good look at him and see where he’s at.”.
Sharon, hating to have to disturb Billy, reluctantly said “OK.” as she pulled her breast from his sleeping mouth and replaced it with his binky.
“This won’t take long, I promise.” Peter told her with an understanding smile. He liked the fact that she was protective of her little boy and reluctant to disturb his peaceful sleep. He’d seen enough parents that would just hand the child over, relieved to be away from them, even for a little while. And then there were those that dropped the child in the hospital and had to be repeatedly called to come and pick them up. He didn’t understand how any parent could feel this way toward their child.
Sharon stood with Billy cradled in her arms, and moved to the crib, placing him gently on his back. Moving back, she allowed Peter full access to the boy.
Rick and Sharon both watched as Peter took Billy’s left arm in his hands. Moving his fingers until they were just above the inside of Billy’s elbow, he pulled what looked like a small hammer with a triangular shaped rubber head from his pocket. Peter struck his fingers with the hammer, making Billy’s forearm jump. Moving down until he was halfway between elbow and wrist, he repeated the strike, this time Billy’s hand spasmed. Peter repeated the process on his other arm, with the same results.
Moving to his legs, doing each one in turn, striking above the knee this time, and then further down toward Billy’s ankle, first his lower leg jumped, and then his ankle.
“His reflexes are good.” Peter told them as he began moving Billy’s left leg. He moved the leg through the entire range of motion, testing to see what resistance his muscles offered. Doing the same with the other leg, and then his arms, he finally moved to Billy’s neck.
As he lifted Billy’s head, his eyes opened. Waiting to finish that test he quickly pulled a pen light from his pocket, and told Billy softly “Hi little fella, I’m going to shine a light in your eyes.” as he placed his hand on Bill’s forehead and gently forced his left eye lid open, pressed the clip down and pointed the light at the eye, held it there for a second, and moved it away. Seeing the iris of the eye constrict at the bright light, and then get a little bigger when the light was moved away, he repeated it once more and when Billy began to fuss, he quickly moved to the other eye and repeated the procedure.
Billy woke when he felt his head being lifted. Opening his eyes, he saw a doctor, the one he’d talked with before. He knew this doctor was nice. Suddenly Billy saw a bright light and it made his head hurt. Trying to close his eye, he started to fuss. When the light hit his other eye, he started to cry.
Peter told him gently, “It’s OK. We’re all done with that now”. as he moved his hand from Billy’s forehead to gently caress his cheek.
Billy felt better as soon as the light went away, and stopped crying when he felt the doctor gently sooth him. His thoughts came back into focus as the pain receded. He remembered trying to talk to Mommy, and then discovering why his body didn’t work right. It still scared him that he had no control, but the memory of snuggling with Mommy kept the fear from overwhelming him. “Did I really suck on her boobie?” he asked himself. The memory of the sensations came back to him, and his heart swelled with love for his Mommy. He knew then that he wanted to do that again! If she let him, he would do it often.
Peter was watching Billy’s eyes for any sign of neurological trouble when he saw the distracted look fade to be replaced by focused thought. This startled him. Thinking quickly, he said “Billy, can you hear me?”. When there was no response, he tried again, louder this time. Instantly, Billy started flailing his arms and legs. “Hold still now Billy.” he instructed the boy. Just as quickly, all of the flailing stopped.
Understanding what was happening, he picked Billy up, cradling him, saying “You’re OK. I think you’re going to be just fine little boy.”
Sitting down in the rocker, he looked directly into Billy’s eyes and said “I want you to concentrate on what I’m telling you. Can you kick your legs for me?”.
When Billy’s legs kicked, Peter smiled.
“Alright Baby, can you move just your arms for me?”.
Billy spasmodically pushed his arms out.
"OK, listen carefully. I want you to tell me what eight plus four is, by moving your arms and legs. Show me how many tens is in the answer by moving and relaxing your arms. Move once for each set of tens.
Billy moved his arms once.
With a huge smile, Peter then said “Kick your legs and relax them for each of the ones.”.
When Billy kicked his legs once and relaxed them, and repeated the process, Peter laughed out loud and gave the little boy a big hug exclaiming “Perfect!”.
Sharon hadn’t understood why Peter had asked Billy if he could hear him. He then started talking to him as if he was able to understand everything Peter said. When Billy followed the second command, Sharon had wanted to go to him, pick him up and hold him close. He wasn’t gone. He was still there, just trapped in an infantile body. She felt Rick grasp her arm and hold her back. Looking at him, she saw the tears in his eyes as he shook his head no.
“Wait.” he said softly.
When Billy gave the correct answer to the math problem, She and Rick both began to show tears running down their faces.
Moving him back so Billy could see him again he said “Alright little boy, I’m going to ask you some questions, and I want you to answer with yes or no by moving your arms and legs. Move your arms for no, and your legs for yes, OK?” Peter asked him.
Billy kicked his legs.
“Great. Are you hurting at all?” he asked.
Billy flailed his arms.
“Good. I don’t want you to be in any pain.” he said. “Is it hard to concentrate?”.
Billy kicked again.
Holding him close again, but this time so his mouth was right near his ear, Peter told him “It’s OK. It’s supposed to be that way for now.” as he felt Billy tense up. He realized Billy didn’t understand why his body wasn’t doing what it’s supposed to do. “Your body is kind of like a baby’s right now. The problem you were brought into the hospital for, and the surgery, caused this to happen, but it’s OK, it will get better, I promise.” he told Billy. “I don’t want you to push it though. If you you’re head starts to hurt, or it becomes really difficult to concentrate, don’t try, just snuggle with Mommy or get comfort any way you can, if you push it too hard, you can cause problems. OK?”
Billy kicked his understanding.
“Now for the hard part.” Peter thought. “Do you still want to be Mommy’s baby boy?” he asked knowing the answer to this question could potentially devastate Sharon.
Billy kicked his legs repeatedly and started to cry.
The question surprised Billy. He hadn’t expected it at all. It only took a second of thought to decide his answer to that question, and suddenly his emotions swelled up and threatened to swamp his concentration, and he took the doctors advice. He kicked his legs with all his might trying to tell anyone that was watching exactly how much his mommy diapering and snuggling him like a baby meant to him, and gave into the need to express how he felt and cried like a baby.
Peter, tears stinging his eyes, gently kissed Billy’s forehead and said “It’s OK, Baby, I know someone that REALLY wants to hold you.” as he stood up from the rocker, watching Sharon move toward him in tears.
When Billy adamantly told Sharon through his kicking, how much he still wanted to be her baby boy, nothing on this earth could have prevented her from going to him. Losing any pretense at controlling her tears, she sobbed as she took him in her arms and pulled him into a tight embrace.
Sitting down to make it easier, not caring who was in the room, she pulled the gown way out of the way and moving Billy’s legs, one on each side of her, lay his head on her bare chest, his bare torso in direct contact with her skin.
Holding his head gently with one hand, she patted his diapered bottom with the other as both of them cried and cried. Her, letting her fear of the cyst creating his need for her, evaporate, and him, needing to express just how much he loved and needed her.
Rick, seeing his wife and child lost in their love for each other, turned and placed a hand on Peter’s shoulder. “Thank you so much!” he said, not even trying to compose himself.
Turning then, he moved to them. Placing a long arm around his wife’s shoulders, gripping her tightly in a half embrace, kissing her gently on her wet cheek, he placed his hand on Billy’s warm back, gently rubbing it up and down.