Monday, December 10, 2012

That time when Alex got stitches.

Yes, my friends, that time has come. 

And I have to tell you that I'm surprised it took this long for our overly exuberant middle child to crack some part of his body open to the point of needing sewn up. 

Remember a few posts back when I mentioned that the boys get a little wild and crazy when paired with their cousins.  And remember when I mentioned that the kids were all doing cannonballs off the half-wall onto a couch?  So picture a repeat, of sorts, of that day.

They started off playing calmly.....

And here's how the rest of the morning went:  I was upstairs cleaning up the kitchen while the children were downstairs playing.  All was going well until I realized the volume was growing.  I thought "I guess I should go downstairs and check on them and ask them to take it down a notch."  Right as I had that thought it got silent.  Silence is rarely a good sign with children, especially abrupt silence when there are 6 children present.  (My 3 boys, 2 of Shelly's girls and a neighbor boy.)

We live in a quad-level house so as I was going down one set of stairs the children were all coming up another set of stairs.  We met and I saw 6 faces staring up at me with horror in their eyes.  Well, Aren didn't exactly register horror.  He was just along with the group, going upstairs because that's what everyone else was doing.

I scanned the faces to try to surmise what might be the problem - it was hard to figure it out with everyone yelling.  I did pick up "He's BLEEDING!" so I scanned faces again to see which one had the blood.

Ever since Alex was a wee babe he has done this silent cry before launching into the real deal.  It takes awhile to catch his breath.  Even if he wants desperately to say something he is unable to do so.  So while everyone else was yelling, he was looking at me with his mouth gaped open trying to suck in air.  And, of course, he had a pretty deep gash across his forehead.

Ya know.... I like to think I'm the one who keeps their cool in those kind of situations.  When Ajay cracked his forehead open (same side, pretty much the same spot) when he was 17 months, I immediately snapped into efficient mode.  A couple of months back when Biju ended up with a piece of metal jamming through his knee/thigh, again, I kept my cool and announced to him he needed stitches despite his protests and firmly told him U-Haul would surely understand if our truck rental was an hour or so late.  (He needed 3 stitches, plus an antibiotic since the doctor figured the metal hadn't been sterilized before it poked through.  However, he got all this after finishing loading/unloading the U-Haul and returning it.)

But on this day I'm embarrassed to say I totally lost my cool.  I was not empathetic Mommy who wanted to comfort her hurt child.  I was ticked off Mommy who had asked the children over and over to not jump from the wall.  And instead of being a model of calm, cool and collection, I started yelling and announcing that he would have to get stitches and wondering quite loudly where the cousins were going to go because I didn't want to take EVERYone to the doctor's office but both of their parents were at work and pointing out that this is exactly why Mommy and Daddy tell you not to do certain things. 

Not a proud moment at all.

So I finally got myself together and made a few phone calls.

Me:  Hi.  I'm taking Alex to get stitches.  Just thought I'd let you know.
Biju: Uhh... Okay.
Me:  I'll tell you more later but I just thought you should know.  I'm calling Shelly now.  Bye
Biju:  Okay.  Bye.

I called Shelly, then the doctor's office, then Shelly again, then Biju beeped through to tell me he was on his way home, then spoke with Carrick, all the while trying to reassure the children that Alex would be okay and reassure Alex that stitches wouldn't hurt.   The pediatrician's office told me to go to their Immediate Care Center instead of waiting for Dr. S. to have a time slot open up.  Because we all know how immediate Immediate Care is, right? 

So while I was waiting for Biju to get home and Carrick to pick up the girls I asked the older children what exactly happened.  Turns out Alex was (surprise) doing a cannonball from the wall onto the couch and he (unintentionally) bounced from the couch onto the coffee table. 

See the dent?  That's where he landed.

And then I did what any good mother would do.  I took a picture of his head wound.  Skip past this if you're not into blood. 

So once Biju got home and saw that everything was going to, eventually, be okay he comforted Alex a bit more (good Daddy) and had him lay down on the kitchen table while I worked on getting the neighbor boy back home and the girls ready to go to their little sister's daycare. 

A good friend met us at the Immediate Care Center (luckily she lives less than 5 min. away from there) and took Ajay and Aren for awhile so I could focus on Alex.  When we got called in Alex was not showing how truly scared he was.  The kid was really worried about getting those stitches.

The nurse put a big blob of numbing gel on the wound and told us the doctor would be in in about 15-20 min. once the gel numbed the area.  We played some tic-tac-toe while we waited.  When the doctor came in he had a wonderful bedside manner.  He talked about his grandchildren pulling similar stunts.  He got a nurse to help hold Alex down just in case he started kicking and screaming.  He did not, in fact, and the nurse was excused.  Alex sat there as calmly and patiently as if he were getting his face painted at the fair.   5 stitches, thank you very much.

And later that day he was back to his old stunts.  Here he is straddling himself between two of our elevated dining table chairs.  With a Band-Age (as Alex calls them) covering his stitches.

The wound healed quite nicely - and I was even brave enough to snip the stitches 5 days later and remove them.  Make that - Alex was brave enough to let me. 

You can only see a white line now where the scar is.  I think we'll get some vitamin E capsules - isn't that supposed to help reduce scarring? 

Let's all hope our monkey has learned a valuable lesson.


Erin said...

Poor Alex, it is hard not to feel sorry for him eventhough they were doing something mom told them not to. You are brave...blood and gashes freak me out and stitches! I am sure as a mother of 3 boys, you are use to it by now!

ErinC said...

You hope he has a learned a valuable lesson.....(he hasn't, monkey-boys never do!)

Anna Cline said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. We all have those moments where we are not so proud of our mommy skills. I do almost daily! Glad he is healing so well. That is quite the dent in the coffee table! Loving the pictures that include the new house!