Josette asked me to guest host, which I've never done before. I'm a little anxious about it, truthfully. Blogs are hallowed ground. They are a labor of love, and I mean "labor" in the most literal sense of the word. Many of us put a lot of time and effort into our blogs. We build a readership, we network, we cultivate relationships with other bloggers, we decorate, we put out cookies.
So I really didn't want to screw this up by posting something completely inane.
I guess it's kind of like watching someone else's children. Its okay if you're own kids impale, dismember, or disembowel themselves while in your charge, but you really don't want that to happen to someone else's child.
I know firsthand how mortifying that is, because when my oldest child was two years old, my best friend's child, also two, who was under my care, fell and cracked his head open.
Wanna hear about it? I knew you would. There's nothing that makes us feel more secure about our parenting skills than the ineptitude of another, right?
I was about 7 months pregnant with my youngest child. I remember that because Cooper bled all over my favorite maternity top. I thought I would never get the stains out, and it bothered me a great deal to look at them.
We had taken Cooper with us on a day trip to my in-laws' place in the country. The boys had a wonderful day. The country air and the non-stop adventure had tired them out and I was looking forward to a peaceful drive home, knowing they would be unconscious as soon as the car was in motion.
While we were loading up the car, the boys, silly with fatigue, were amusing themselves by playing tug of war with a blanket. Why I did not stop this, is completely beyond my comprehension. I was preoccupied I suppose, by the plethora of items that had to be rounded up and accounted for. God...the sheer volume of stuff that a trip with a two year old requires...it boggles the mind.
I don't really know what happened next. I don't know who let go first or why.
What I do know, is that the crack from Cooper hitting his head on the wooden rocker sounded like the report from a gunshot. From the sound alone, I knew it was bad. And I was suddenly nauseated in a manner that had nothing to do with a 7 lb. fetus using my stomach as a pillow.
He stood, holding his head. The blood poured from between his stubby little fingers. He opened his mouth and shrieked in pain and surprise. I scooped him up and tried to calm him. He buried his head against my shoulder and would not raise it, so I had a hard time assessing the seriousness of the wound.
When at last he lifted his curly head, and allowed me to look, I was sickened to see a grisly glimmer of bone showing above his sparse blonde brow.
“He’s got to go to the Emergency Room.” I told husband.
I called his mother, and explained what happened. She was at work, over an hour and a half away. We decided that by the time she could get someone to take her place and get to the hospital, it wouldn’t be worth the bother. Husband and I would take him ourselves. We took down her insurance information and headed to the hospital.
On the way, he didn’t cry or fuss. He really wanted to sleep, but I kept him awake, fearing a concussion.
The hospital was small town. There was nobody waiting and they took him back immediately.
He was being very good. He cooperated with everything they asked him to do. He was honestly, at that point, too tired to do much else. But still, they insisted on papoosing him. He begged them not to, but they ignored his baby voiced little pleas.
He was scared, but calm…until they strapped his head down.
When they did that, I was lost to him. He could no longer see me and he began to holler for me with heartrending panic. I was holding my own blessedly uninjured child on my lap, feeling sick and guilty and helpless. I could no nothing but talk to him.
“I’m here, Cooper, I’m not going to go anywhere. Okay? I’ll talk to you until it’s over.”
He whimpered, but seemed somewhat reassured.
He screamed when they disinfected the wound and again when they injected him with anesthetic. My son’s screams echoed his frantic cries. I’m not sure who was more upset at that point.
Finally he was stitched up and they released him from his blood spattered cocoon.
His face was tear streaked; his blonde curls were flattened to his head from the bindings. His blue eyes were ringed with dark smudges, painted there by fear and fatigue.
When at last they handed him back to me, he clung to my neck like a little monkey. We made our way out into the summer night, buckled the boys in, and with a sigh of relief, started home.
He is thirteen years old and still bears a scar. Every time I look at that jagged little line, I feel guilty. Someone placed the safety of their child in my hands, and I blew it.
And yet, Josette has placed the sanctity of her blog in my hands. Geez, I hope nothing gets broken. Or needs stitches.
It’s probably a good thing she took her children with her.
Don't worry Josette. I'm sure everything will be juuuuuuuuust fine. Blogs don't bleed, after all.