This is a Muchacha Moment vent.
Yes, that's Pedro with a little cast on his little baby arm. My first child to have a cast.
Where to begin?
In the beginning of March my maid was hit by a car and broke her leg. The first doctor she saw told her it wasn't broken and therefore didn't treat it properly. She took the allowed two weeks off and we paid her. She returned to work mid-March and was obviously not better. So, she went to a private doctor (we paid) and he told her it was, in fact, broken and that she needed another 35 days to recover. The first two weeks of an authorized sick-leave the employer pays the salary, after that the Brazilian government pays (we are required by law to pay a tax every month on her behalf so that she can use this benefit if needs be). So, we stopped paying and supposedly the Brazilian equivalent of Uncle Sam (Tio Samuel?) picked up the slack.
We had Vanessa send her mom, Jane, to help me out on the days I needed it and were paying her each day. Her mom is a nice lady who normally takes care of my maid's three kids when she is here working. She actually cleans a lot better than my maid so I was ok with the arrangement.
Tuesday I left her with Pedro so I could go help in the Margarita's, Julio's and Juan Pedro's classes at school and go to their parent-teacher conferences (assuaging my guilt here: I was NOT getting a pedicure or out to lunch with friends!). When I got home Pedro was very fussy, so I grabbed him up and took him to my room to nurse him. He just kept looking at me with this so-sad look and grabbing his arm. I tried to move it and he yelped. So I go back downstairs and ask Jane what the heck happened to his arm.
She was shocked.
In very rapid Portuguese she said something like, "What? Nothing! He's been perfectly fine all day! Happy! Maybe he slept on it funny!"
I'm not the kind of mom who freaks out easily. So I gave it some time. He wouldn't use his arm and when he would walk and fall on it he would cry. I decided to wait until the morning to call the doctor. We put him to bed for the night; I was still fuming that something had happened and Jane wasn't talking. Then Guapo says, casually, "Maybe she's not lying. Maybe he has like bone cancer or something."
Thank you Guapo. So helpful. I spent the whole night mulling that pleasent thought over in my head. So by the next morning, when he still wasn't using his arm, I started freaking out. Unfortunately, I had fix brunch for 15 people because April is my turn to host the bookclub meetings here at my house and it just happened to be that day. Luckily I had Guapo's mom here to help me get everything done and take care of Pedro. I'm sure I was a great hostess since I was emanating something like, "did you eat? did you pick your books? Good-now GET OUT!!!"
Finally we got to the hospital and got the x-ray done.
It showed nothing. No tumors, no breaks, no nothing.
What the doctor thinks happened was that the maid pulled on his arm and it dislocated his elbow but that it went back in by itself, or why we were moving it around (it's called "nursemaid's elbow" and I guess it's fairly common in kids under 4 yrs of age). They casted it just so he wouldn't irritated it or fall on it the next few days.
I took him home and Jane was still at the house. When she saw him she was all surprised again and like, "oh, poor baby, what happened?" And I was like, "YOU TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED LADY!!!" (ok, so it probably wasn't that forceful since I'm not good at confrontation, but it was more forceful than my normal mild-mannered self). After some back and forth she said, "Well, maybe I was walking him and holding on to one of his hands and maybe he twisted and fell. But (still maintaining that she was never aware of any problem), he never cried."
No "sorry I broke your kid and made you spend $250 going to the hospital" Grrrrrr.
So, the lady can't be left with the baby. Not because something happened while she was with him, I understand that things happen with little kids, but because I don't trust her to tell me the truth. :(
Then she shows up to day (just to clean) and hands me a catalog of bedding products (I'm talking complete crap here-200 thread count twin bed sets that cost, I'm not kidding, $400 USD) and says that Vanessa never signed up for her benefits so she has no money and would I mind buying some bedding and showing the book to all my friends so they too will buy stuff?
Dreaming of a maid free life...