Thursday should have been my last day with Baby H. I had planned to spend the day at the park or possibly the pool — one last hurrah. Instead, I never made it to work, and I spent the day in the ER.

JP and I generally carpool to work, and we were rushing through our morning routine as usual. Just I as I was coming in from walking the dogs, JP ran down the stairs…and slipped. You may recall that this spiral staircase has been a source of concern in the past. But as many times as we had joked that “one day someone is going to break their neck on that thing”, I don’t think we ever took ourselves seriously. We should have.

Luckily, it was her ankle, not her neck. And, after multiple x-rays, it was determined that the bones were intact. (I’m still incredulous — if you had seen the unnatural angle of her foot, you would be too.) It was “just” a severe sprain. Further consultations with an orthopedic surgeon and a physical therapist have revealed the tearing of all three ligaments on the outside of her right ankle. But the best part? That would be the fact that she also managed to hyperextend her left knee, making crutches impossible and treating us to a crash course in the tribulations of the wheelchair-bound. In all seriousness, I’ve never been so frustrated or angry with establishments. Going out to eat was basically impossible, and maneuvering our local Barnes and Noble was hazardous. Narrow aisles and oblivious patrons are bad enough, but I swear to god I will murder the person who invented those cardboard endcaps rickety roadblocks.

Today, for the first time in a week, JP was able to get around on her crutches. She’s sore and exhausted, but so thankful not to be confined to a wheelchair.

Baby H’s parents were utterly unsympathetic and unconcerned. Despite the fact that neither of them was working outside the home that day, they acted as if my calling out was a crisis and gave me a major guilt trip about it — as if I pushed JP down the stairs just to avoid my last day of work. Then, when I called later that day to arrange a time to meet with them to return the extra car seat and a few other things, they informed me that I would not be allowed to use any of my three remaining sick days to cover the day, and that they would be docking my final paycheck. Apparently this is the the thanks I get for 18 months of devoted service to them, including four months in which I turned down multiple job offers as I waited week by week, not knowing when my job would suddenly disappear because they refused to communicate with me about their childcare plans.

Meanwhile, my new employers have inquired daily about JP’s well-being and progress, including physical therapy recommendations. As promised, I won’t say much about them or the children. But I can say that after my first week, I am sure that I made the right decision and chose the right family. Now it’s just a matter of settling in and rolling with the punches. Not literally, I hope — we don’t need any more injuries in this house.