The day was going so well.
The kids had Spanish, we ate a leisurely lunch, and I was enjoying chatting with my friend Kristin while our kids played.
Then, from the other room, the sound every parent dreads. A loud thump followed by a long, drawn out “Maaaamaaa!!”. Before anyone could react, Ben came running out into the kitchen, holding his hand against his head as blood ran out from under it and down his face, screaming.
Oh my god, the blood was EVERYWHERE! Gushing all over the floor as Kristin grabbed paper towels and I pressed them against Ben’s head.
The adrenaline that kicks in at those moments is really something. I was high on it for at least 3 hours after the drama subsided. But it’s a jittery high, and I probably should have run a mile or something to burn it off.
Head wounds bleed with impressive force, but in only a minute or so of putting pressure on it, it subsided to a slow ooze, and my brain synapses returned to firing in some sort of orderly fashion. (Later it dawned on me that for all the blood everywhere, neither Ben nor I got even one drop on our clothes, which is kind of unbelievable.) Ben was still crying, afraid of having stitches – and honestly, I was sure a trip to the ER or nearby clinic was unavoidable. The cut is about 1.5 inches in length – and angry at the same time that he was the one who fell and got hurt. No one’s fault, he just caught his foot in the duvet on one of the beds in Kristin’s house and went down; even if I’d been in the room there would have been no avoiding it.
Anyway, Kristin saved the day by phoning our mutual pediatrician. If you live in New York City, I highly recommend him. Dr. Charles Gordon is fantastic in these situations. He is calm, not alarmist and basically told me that as long as the bleeding had stopped and Ben wasn’t feeling dizzy or ill, stitches and/or a trip to the doctor weren’t needed. That fact alone went a long way in calming Ben down. (If, however, you are a slightly more ‘helicopter style’ parent, Dr. Gordon might not be for you. Just saying.)
We put antibiotic creme on the cut to stop it stinging, and came home. One episode of Primeval and a round of MarioKart later and Ben was feeling fine.
I however needed another hour and a beer.
The moral of the story? Stuff happens. Kids get hurt. It really, really sucks. But most of the time they come through in amazing fashion (much faster and better than the parents).
As I write this, Maya and Ben are in Maya’s room, making a video and happy as clams. (That’s a weird expression, isn’t it? Are clams happy? How would we know?)
Because of that, I feel perfectly comfortable ending this post with a video Maya and Ben made two days ago about the supposed end of the world on December 21, 2012. Some slightly dark humor seems fitting.