Chooch and I were really looking forward to meeting Kara and her son Harland at the spray park. When I woke Chooch up yesterday, he even cheered. It was supposed to be a fun day splashing in water. NOT BLOOD.
Enjoy that rainbow while it lasts, my friend. Soon it will be dripping in blood.
The trauma happened shortly after this photo was taken. Chooch was a few feet away from me. He was just standing there, playing in one of the jets of water. I turned my back for .000005 seconds, which was just long enough for him to trip over his foot (literally – he told me) and land on his face.
Chooch is a four-year-old boy. We can’t walk a block without him tripping and sailing through the air at least eleven times. In fact, we were just at the spray park on Monday with my friend Lisa and within 15 seconds of kicking off his sandals, he wiped out under the rainbow arches. That time he was lucky to walk away with only a scrape on his knee.
So yesterday, when I first heard him crying, my immediate response was to say, “You’re alright! Shake it off!” But then I saw the blood pouring from his mouth. My heart sank and my legs went lax. I somehow managed to run over to him without spilling any of my own blood, and it was then that I saw it was worse than I expected.
He bit straight through his bottom lip and blood was just pumping right on out. He looked like a vampire after a kill. I kept trying to hold a towel up to his mouth, but he’d only back away in fear. The “life guard” handed me a brown napkin. Because that was going to get it done. One generic napkin. Then Chooch kept running away from me because he thought I had ice.
“I don’t want ice! I’m OK!” he kept screaming. He was not OK. He really 100% was not OK. The spray park quickly cleared out, thanks to Chooch’s bloody fire hydrant of a mouth wound. Aside from Kara, all that remained was an older woman who was there with her grandson, and a mom who was barely paying attention thanks to the cell phone stuck to her ear.
Oh, and the life guard. He was really awesome and had these amazing powers to be REALLY HELPFUL while sitting on his ass under an umbrella. Not that there was much that could have been done at that point, but Jesus Christ, show a bit of empathy.
I finally wrangled Chooch long enough to put his shoes back on. “I DON’T WANT MY SHIRT ON!” he wailed. Because being clothed was his biggest issue at the moment. I just kept repeating, “Calm down, breathe” over and over, but I think it was mostly for my own benefit. Jesus Christ, it was a nightmare. I just paused while typing this and had an aural flashback of the screaming.
“I’m trying so hard not to freak out,” I whispered to Kara. And thank god she was there because had I been alone, I don’t know what I would have done. Maternal instinct does not kick in for me in times of crisis. All I want to do is piss my pants and suck my thumb, to be honest.
Once he and I were in the car, I lost it. We both sobbed all during the short car ride home. A few minutes later, Henry came home from work, after receiving 158256454 hysteric phone calls from me.
Chooch’s doctor called him back by then. (See?! I wouldn’t have even thought to call the doctor. Thank god for Henry.)
“They want us to take him to Children’s just to get checked out,” Henry said, hanging up. Chooch had relaxed by then, was busy watching TV. He didn’t seem to mind too much that he had to go to the hospital because the memory of playing games in the waiting room clearly overshadows the memory of getting HEAD STAPLES the last time he was there.
I couldn’t go with them. It’s horrible and selfish, but it’s true. I knew he would be better off with Henry, because I have this really fantastic ability of adding unneeded anxiety to any situation. I had already freaked him out enough that day. It’s so hard for me to be Strong Parent during accidents. Especially gory accidents. The whole time they were gone, I honestly sat stock-still on the couch, staring blankly at the TV. I was completely numb. My hands quaked every time I tried to pick something up.
The verdict is that his lip is fine, albeit swollen like a boxer’s. Bu the doctor is the most concerned about his two front teeth. I didn’t realize he had struck the ground with them, and now they’re a little loose. The doctor wants us to make him a dentist appointment in two weeks to get x-rayed and make sure that he didn’t do damage to the teeth above. Soft diet until then. Good thing the kid loves yogurt.
He was in good spirits when I came home from work last night. I kept giving him pitiful looks, to which he would answer, “I’m fine! I’m fine, OK?!” He has a thick smudge of dried blood along his gum line, making it look like he just bit into chocolate fudge. I tried to wipe off some of the crusted blood from the corners of his mouth this morning, and made him swish with warm salt water.
“So what, you’re like a doctor now or something?” he asked snidely. At least he hasn’t lost his sarcastic tilt.
Last night, we were sitting on the couch together.
“You should have catched me,” he said.
That may have been the biggest “ouch” moment my heart has been dealt to date.