Before I start this post let me reassure you that everyone is completely all right. You may wish, in addition, to say a short thanks that I've misplaced my camera, because otherwise you'd have a nice gory picture to go with this post.
Last night lovely lady, 11, invited a good friend over for singing and swimming. They had a great time swimming, I had a great time reading while they swam. They decided in the car that they would like to be singers and actresses together. Next time they get together they want to work out the lyrics to their first song, "Awesome." We planned on ice cream after swimming, but before we could go for ice cream and drop her at home good friend needed to retrieve some of her things from our house, a magic eight-ball and her diary. (Don't you love eleven- and twelve-year-olds? A magic eight-ball and a diary. Delightful.) Thank goodness good friend forgot her things because otherwise I'd have been elsewhere and my cell phone was dead.
We pull up in the driveway. "I'll wait here. Run in and grab your things then come right back out, loves," I instruct the girls. "Then we'll head to ice cream."
Not thirty seconds later lovely lady comes flying out of the house. "Mom! Mom! Come quick! It's an emergency!"
Instantly, I am completely calm to the core. I'm envisioning my worst case scenario, loving husband lying on the floor or maybe one of the fine young gents. But I'm icy calm.
"It's okay, sweetheart. Shhh, it's okay. What's the matter?" as we're heading into the garage. Calm is the order of the day with my excitable girl, anyway, as she tends to freak out over the tiniest of bumps and bruises. Unless we're completely unflappable we'll have a hysterical preteen to deal with on top of whatever is happening inside.
"It's Levi! It's Levi! He's bleeding everywhere!"
"Oh. Okay. I'm sure he's fine. Let's go see." I'm already listening as the door opens. I hear screaming. Lots and lots of screaming, the I-fell-down kind, not the I'm-in-horrible-unbearable-pain kind. Whew. In the boys' bathroom there's blood everywhere. Every. Where. All over my baby's face, his fire truck pajamas, the floor. Loving husband is trying to clean his forehead. Another whew. By this time, with the youngest of five active kids turned two-and-then-some, I've figured out that cuts on the head gush a lot but usually aren't too serious.
"What happened?" as I take him from loving husband, who's calm but looking pretty rattled.
My fine youngest gent had fallen, either tripped on the floor or fallen off the bed, onto the corner of the drawer that slides underneath his brother's bed and gashed his forehead. Yikes. Loving husband is, I suspect, waiting for me to say what I always say when someone is gushing blood, "He'll be fine. Let's get a Band-Aid and get him cleaned up."
Instead, I said, "That looks pretty serious. I think we should take him to have it looked at. What do you think?"
I sent lovely lady to the phone to call good friend's mom. No ice cream tonight. Help my littlest gent wash his hands, because he noticed they were covered with blood and freaked out about it. As soon as my fine young gent is cleaned up and changed into clean pajamas he calms down. I'm getting a clean washcloth for his forehead, and his four-year-old brother wanders into the hallway, trailing a bloody towel. "Hi Mom," he says with his sweet smile. Then he bends down and starts cleaning blood drips off the hallway floor. Six-year old gent comes out of the bedroom. "Here, Mom," he says, and hands me a clean damp towel. "I got this wet for you to take in the car."
Oh, my sweet sweet boys. For all that they squabble and pick on one another and argue over who gets what, they've got such good hearts for each other.
Once in the car, my little gent was calm, perky even. He insisted that he bring his plane and his "ubblewhy." After three tries I still had no idea what he was asking for, so I just went in and got his "guy," a knight figure, and hoped that was enough to distract him from whatever he'd originally wanted. It was perfect. He clutched his "guy" the entire time.
The emergency room was quiet, calm, quick. The nurses were wonderful with my little gent. They moved slowly, let him get to know them before they touched him, gave him stickers. Jonathon the triage nurse didn't insist on taking Levi's temperature when he covered his ears and cried at the idea. He took my pulse first before he took Levi's. He admired Levi's guy. The lady who took our insurance information admired Levi's guy and gave him Hot Wheels stickers. We were called right away. Bill the nurse who took us back admired Levi's guy and gave Levi a straw. A bendy straw. What a way to win my guy over-- straws are way cool when you're two, especially bendy straws. The doctor introduced himself and talked to me first, then took Levi's slippers off and on, getting him used to being touched. Then he admired Levi's guy before he looked at the gash. It's too deep for the new glue stuff, so he'll need some stitches. We talk about sedation (not unless it's necessary), scarring (I don't care much, he can grow his bangs if it bothers him), aftercare (Band-Aids and Neosporin or the like, stitches out in 4-5 days).
Fine young gent and I had to wait for twenty minutes with pain-relieving gel on the cut. We sang "Itsy-Bitsy Spider" and "ABC" and "Twinkle, Twinkle." I asked for some juice for my little gent. Juice is normal. Any place with juice is all right, especially when you get to use your new bendy straw. My little guy relaxed, even dozed for a few minutes.
Stitches time. I am consciously relaxing, concentrating on calm energy. If I stay calm and relaxed, my gent will stay calm and relaxed. So I am calm and relaxed. The doctor is calm and relaxed. Bill the nurse is hovering and a little anxious. I wish he would go away, and miraculously he does. Levi does not like the wound cleaning, and he cries. I am calm and relaxed. I pick him up and comfort him. We lay down together, his head on my shoulder, me holding his hand gently. I am focused, calm and relaxed. Doctor is focused, calm and relaxed. Bill is nowhere to be seen. Levi is relaxed, maybe a little anxious but still and calm. We tell him quietly that he's doing great. Four stitches later we're done.
"Whew. He's a remarkable guy," says Bill the nurse, appearing from somewhere. Or maybe he was there all along. "I was worried. I didn't want to have to hold him down."
Doctor says, "I can usually get them to do that if they're with their parent. We just keep them calm."
Well, I agree with both of them. It helped that we were calm. And my sweet littlest gent is a remarkable guy. A remarkable guy sporting four stitches.
Four stitches that I'd have gladly shared with you in all their gory (heh, heh) had I not misplaced my camera before I changed his Band-Aid this morning. Thank goodness for small blessings, eh?