We had some friends over for supper this evening. They have two busy toddlers of their own, and combined with our four, the house was full of energy! At one point in the evening my friend paused to show me her one-year-old daughter's cheeks.
"I felt so, so awful," related my friend, "I took my little girl out sledding on one of those really cold days. We weren't out long...maybe 20 minutes...but when we came back inside her cheeks were bright red. They're still kind of reddish-purple now and my MIL (who is a nurse) says it is frostbite. I know she's right, deep down I know, it really is frostbite..."
My heart sunk down to my boots. I looked at my eight-month-old's cheeks. They've been a weird reddish-purple colour the past few days. And I've wondered...ever since that really cold day I bundled him up to walk to his brother's school...the day his cheeks got really red. Could he have frostbite too?
And just like my friend, I knew, deep down in my heart, that frostbite was the answer.
I now feel awful. Horribly awful. My poor baby's cheeks are in even worse shape than my friend's. They don't seem to hurt him, and I don't believe there is anything I can do to treat them. Time will heal the damage eventually, I hope. We'll always have to be vigilant with our son when it's cold out.
And even though our eldest son's school is right across the street, I have resolved that on really cold days we will now drive the van!