Graphic, uncomfortable, somewhat gory details below. Read at your own risk,.
Saturday started out as a normal weekend day. I had plans to meet my friend who was in town from Seattle for brunch. Later Mr. K and I were at long last going to celebrate his birthday by going out for dinner at a restaurant where the chef/owner was recently named one of America's top 25 chefs by Food and Wine Magazine. There were going to be Beef Bourguignon cheeks involved. Exciting stuff!
So of course you can guess that our day did not go as planned.
In fact, it turned into one of the most terrifying days of my life.
I swear I am not exaggerating.
After I got home from meeting my friend, an under-the-weather Mr. K and I were sitting in the kitchen with Piglet who was in his tower. I was lamenting about needing to pick up the kitchen before our nanny arrived for Piglet duty in a few hours. Mr. K was sniffling and coughing and in a bit of a fog. I got up to walk ten feet into the mudroom and get the dustmop. A second later I heard a horrible smack on the ground and Mr. K scream - "OH NO!"
OH MY GOD!!!!
HE FELL!!! FROM THE TOWER!! (headfirst and straight onto the hardwood floor below, nothing breaking his fall).
I ran into the kitchen to a SHRIEKING Piglet.
Mr. K was holding him and he reached for me.
And after a one second glance where I saw that he had all his teeth and no visible goose eggs, I saw it.
Gushing from his poor sweet little head.
Oh my dear God.
I ran to the powder room and grabbed the washcloth I always keep there and told Mr. K to soak it in cold water.
Piglet was inconsolable.
The left shoulder of my shirt was soaked with blood.
At some point I'd started sobbing too. Way to keep it together, Mom.
I applied pressure to the cut and sat down on the couch with my poor, poor little boy. I told Mr. K to go get a sippy cup of pure, unadulterated apple juice and a lollipop. I remember reading somewhere along the way that sugar helps kids with pain. Sugar? That, I have.
About ten minutes after the fall, the wound stopped bleeding actively and about five more minutes after that, Piglet stopped crying, demanded more juice and an episode of Olivia.
I'm sure you're all wondering why I haven't yet called 911 or raced to the ER.
You want the truth?
I'm a chicken shit. Pure and simple. (It should be noted I have never actually written out a swear word on my blog, but this really warranted breaking out of my typical G rating).
I probably wouldn't have called 911 but a trip to the ER was certainly within reason. Because the I know the head wounds bleed more than any other and I could see that the cut wasn't more than superficial, but not life-threatening as well as the fact that it stopped bleeding in a relatively quick timeframe, I felt that a call to his pediatrician was a better first move.
Plus. I'm a chicken shit. I said it again. Because folks, I really really mean it.
Despite his break-your-heart-sad-little trying-to-catch-my-breath sniffles, Piglet really seemed fine just 20 minutes later. Demanding and clingy, but okay considering what he had just been through.
After a long, detailed conversation with his pediatrician (who without hesitation shares his home number, cell number and email address) we determined that we would observe Piglet from then on and also every two hours during the night, head to the ER if the wound started heavily and actively bleeding again and watch for signs of Piglet not being himself. Normally a pretty conservative practitioner, he said that we really needed to weigh whether stitches were worth it and since it had stopped bleeding and the cut was under Piglet's (thick mop of) hair, it would not matter cosmetically.
Mr. K really wanted to take him to the ER for stitches.
I simply could NOT handle it. Just telling the truth here. Piglet has an absolute meltdown when we even ENTER the building where the dr's office is. Regardless of whether he gets a shot or just has a check up, the hysterics are epic.
This kid has a memory like no other. We're in the car, 15 minutes away from the dr.'s office and he's already saying "no, no, no" and whimpering. I just couldn't do it to him. I couldn't create that memory for him at an age where I knew he would remember but I wouldn't be able to reason with him.
Keep in mind though, that if I thought he were in grave danger, if he was lethargic or vomiting or I saw any signs of him having more damage than a bad fall, I would've sucked it up. I swear I would not have let my chicken-shit-ness get in the way of my judgement. But my gut instinct told me he was okay.
And thank GOD (seriously, not just saying that, on my hands and knees thanking the Big Guy) that my darling, precious Piglet is okay.
That night he slept (and I didn't) and there was not a trace of blood on his pillowcase the whole night through. He was his happy, sweet, demanding self on Sunday morning, laying down in front of the pantry and whining to be granted full-access as usual.
That's my boy.
I am so, so grateful Piglet is okay, it could have been much worse. But I must say, I keep replaying the sounds, the scene, the metallic smell of blood on my clothes and in Piglet's hair and I have to physically shake it off because it's so disturbing.
Motherhood is certainly not for the faint of heart -- or those without good stain remover.