Sep 022010

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.

  26 Responses to “Blood Spray Park”

  1. For what my opinion is worth (a bag of cheezypoofs): you not going to the hospital was NOT selfish. It was smart. You recognized that your stress would contribute to Chooch’s stress. That makes you smart and pragmatic.

    Lots of parents (and pet owners, not that I am comparing having a dog to having a child) are completely clueless to how their behaviour affects the little ones around them.

    You dealt with the really scary part without pissing your pants, and that’s what counts. Also Henry. He counts too, for being able to deal with the stuff that would otherwise totally escalate the situation.

    • I am SO GOOD at freaking him out. I used the flimsy excuse of, “Well, I better just stay here in case it takes too long, so I can just take the trolley to work.” YEAH RIGHT. It was because I wanted to cry like a baby as soon as they pulled out of the driveway.


  2. AS a mom who responds just like you I would not have gone to the hospital either. My middle son fell in the tub while I was at work. I called home to find out about it he had nearly bitten his top lip off. IT took 9 stitches to sew it back on, doesn’t seem like much till you hear he was not even 2. Yeah that’s a lot of stitches.. He looked like a walrus.. I am eternally grateful that I was not present, I would have been a basket case. I had to go when my oldest cut the top of his thumb off on our swingset. Cause Hubby had to hold him and hit thumb back on.. I was a basket case..

    • Angel! That must have been horrifying for you. I was reading this and cringing.

      Chooch bashed his nose in when he was 1.5 – fell face-first onto our hardwood floors. I was so glad I was at work when it happened. (Though, Henry was on duty so you better believe I cried about his “negligence” for a LONG time!)

      I can only imagine how much worse it’s going to get. :(

  3. First off, I’d like to apologize about how I’ve been a TERRIBLE blogger! Thanks for taking the time to comment my blog when I obviously haven’t been around much. Forgive me?

    Poor chooch! I so know what that feels like. The bloody lip, that is. It could have been MUCH worse though, thank goodness it wasn’t! And for that life guard…sometimes I wonder if they really have a purpose? He was an ass for sitting around! That I agree with. You a good momma though :)

    • Of course I forgive you! You were living life, how can I be mad about that? :)

      I guess that lifeguard is there for CPR purposes, but I can’t imagine he’d even be bothered to GET UP fast enough to do THAT!

      Thank you for the nice words, Jordan!

  4. I think you were far from selfish but rather put Chooch first in staying home. If you felt you would have made the situation worse for him in an already scary situation, it was definitely best that you stayed home. And don’t beat yourself up for not catching him. How in the world were you supposed to know? You are a good mother, and it sounds like you handled that situation exactly as you should have. So definitely don’t keep beating yourself up…

    I hope the little guy feels better soon and hope the teeth are ok…poor Chooch!

    • No, there was no way I could have caught him, it was just hearing him say that so matter-of-factly that tore my heart apart.

      He’s already doing much better, but he’s still getting xrays on Thursday to be sure.

  5. i hope your little guy is doing better and things work out with this front teeth!

    • Thanks! He’s doing better – you almost can’t even tell his lip once had puncture wounds! But he’s still getting xrays to make sure his teeth aren’t going to be a problem.

  6. Aww, momma we’ve all had to make the difficult calls on when to go in & when to wait. It’s not selfish, it’s part of being a momma.

    And it’s hard to realize we can’t catch them every time they fall, but life happens so fast.

    • I used to be the type of nervous mom who would follow him around the playground with my hand on my heart because he’s such a jackass. But in the last year or so I’ve learned to back off and let him be. I think that’s the hardest part, because accidents make me want to go back to being overprotective, and that’s not good either.

  7. I don’t deal well with my own child’s blood. I hate that he had such a terrible accident on what was supposed to be a day of fun. At least he is okay though. He sounds like a tough kid.

    • Thanks, Tracy! He’s pretty tough. Henry said he didn’t cry once at the hospital and has basically just been pissed off that he couldn’t eat the things he wanted to, lol. His mouth is almost all healed now, but his teeth are still loose so he’s going in for xrays on Thursday. *fingers crossed*

  8. Ouch, indeed!

    BTW, I don’t know if you’ve check LJ much recently, but I want to take a trip to PA next year and you’re on my list. Would you guys be up for dinner or something with us possibly? If I can talk Eric into taking a trip with a preschooler and infant, that is.

    • That would be awesome! I would love to show you guys around if you came here! And have Chooch meet Delia, OMG!

      I’m sorry our trip to MI was so last minute. But I’m sure we will be back again now that we can justify taking road trips (it was too hard before with my spotty employment).

  9. “You should have catched me,” he said. Those words would have killed me as a mom! I always sit back and wonder why I couldn’t have done more when my daughter falls or gets hurt (which happens everyday it seems). I’m so sorry you and Chooch had such a bad day. Hope he gets better really soon, and the X-rays come back fine.

    Have a great weekend, you definitely deserve it.

    • Thank you so much for the nice words!

      Even though accidents are almost always out of our hands, I think as a parent it’s a natural reaction to beat ourselves up. I mean, he was done crying about it after an hour, maybe even less. But me? I was still crying two days later! I couldn’t tell people what happened without tearing up.

  10. My friend’s 4 year old son fell while running down the hall and broke off his two front teeth in the wood. It is amazing what toddlers will do to terrorize their parents. Seriously, I am positive it is a vast conspiracy.

  11. Good story.

    When I was just a little younger that Chooch, my parents’ were busy buying some shit furniture at the, for the time, large outlet store. My mother has the worst taste in design, so it was an ugly sofa… but what happened was I was running around and fell… smashed my two front teeth back 90 degrees from their natural position.

    My mom, thinking that being a nurse meant she was also an emergency orthodontist, pulled the teeth back into position.

    To this day, I am very protective of my teeth, which is becoming difficult as I take an israeli inspired fighting class (don’t screw with the jews). Still don’t trust anyone who is a dentist because of that little event 35 years ago.

    Good luck, little buddy, and remember that chicks dig scars.

  12. I was clutching my mouth and wincing the entire time I read this. I would have wussed out of the hospital too, don’t feel badly. It sounds like you did an awesome job given the circumstances.

    • I went to the hospital with both of them last year when Chooch fell down the steps (and not even from the top, but the fourth to the bottom) and smacked his head off the corner of a bookshelf. That was a horrible one too, because head wounds, well, bleed A LOT. He had stopped bleeding and wasn’t even crying by the time we got to the hospital, but I had to lean up against the wall just to keep my legs from giving out the entire time we were there.

      He’s just a klutzy fucking kid. He must have bit it at least 2 dozen times while we were in Michigan over the weekend. Even fell backwards out of a chair, then bounded up saying “I’m OK! I’m OK!” It’s not going to get any easier!

  13. “You should have catched me.”

    Yep, he still thinks you control the world!
    When my son Emil was about 6 he had surgery that required breaking bones in his legs and snipping notches into tendons. He was in a lot of pain for several days afterward. His muscles would spasm. From across the room, when this would happen, he’d say to me, “Mom, why are you doing that?” He really thought I was causing it, and I could make it stop. So why wasn’t I making it stop?
    It was quite a lesson in how powerful our small children think their mothers are; they must think we run the world, right down to every last detail. We can be everywhere at once, and thwart all accident and evil!

  14. Sadie is the same way, she’s always tripping and falling. And she’s sensitive, so if the slightest little trip happens, she bawls, and yeah, it’s heartbreaking.

    So I guess in this mom shit I can identify with you, and I’m relieved Riley’s okay!! Clearly the napkin helped.

Say it don't spray it.

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