Who wants to hear how much fun we had in the emergency room yesterday? OK, OK, I’ll tell you.
After school, we were diddling around doing nothing. I was probably reading blogs or something in the living room. The boys asked if they could take a bath. Good idea, I thought. Get them in the tub for an hour of splashing the bathroom soaking wet, but at least they will be occupied. Derek is in Utah for graduation, and he took Kiki, so it’s just me and the boys. I was happy to have them upstairs playing. They take baths all the time, and they both swim pretty well, even holding their breaths really well. Especially Calvin. Relax, this isn’t a drowning story.
Anyway, they had been in there about 10 minutes. They were fighting. They fight all the freaking time, so this was not cause for concern. Suddenly, the pitch of Zeeb’s wail became much higher, he started shrieking, “I’m sorry Calvin! I’m sorry! You’re gonna DIE! You’re Gonna DIE!!!!!” Calvin joined in the chorus. Now, there’s a considerable amount of shrieking that goes on in this house, but a mama knows when the shrieking just isn’t quite the same.
I ran upstairs to find Zeeb cowering in one end of the tub with his hands on his mouth and his eyes filled with terror, and Calvin completely drenched in blood, from the tip of his head, all the way down to where his skinny legs went in the water. The pink water. His face was covered, and I mean covered, with blood. He had his hands up on his head, but I couldn’t see what had happened.
In retrospect, I realize that I need to practice reacting calmly to scary situations, but all I could do was scream. While I was trying to find the wound and stop the bleeding, I yelled at Zeebie to get out and hand me a towel, I yelled at Calvin to tell me what happened, and too step out of the tub and lie down. I think my yelling confused them more, so they did everything in slow motion. I finally got Calvin to lie down on the floor, and took my hand off his head, and got the towel over the gash.
They had been fighting, and for whatever reason, Zeeb had picked up a jar that they usually play with (I actually don’t want a lecture about what a bad idea it is to have a jar as a bath toy. I’ve tried to remove it from the bathroom many times, but the kids always bring it back. It’s one of those jars that candles come in, or bath salts.) and he came down on Calvin’s head as hard as he could. He split the scalp right open, in a straight line about 1 1/2 inches long starting just behind the hairline.
I managed to get the boys into some underwear, and we drove to the emergency room. I always worry, when I go to the emergency room, that they will take one look at whatever I think is an emergency, and laugh in my face. This time, I got no such look. They gave us some warm blankets, cleaned it off right away, took us to a room, and left us for 3 hours. Apparently there were many emergencies yesterday. I wrapped Calvin up like he was in a cocoon, but Zeeb I wrapped like a little Tibetan monk, with the blanket wrapping around his body all the way, then up over his shoulder. He clasped his hands to his chest and walked around, his little barefoot, buzzed-head self looking so darn cute.
We sang songs, cuddled, complained, talked about stitches and staples, waited, waited, and waited. When the doctor finally did come, he reassured me that Calvin did indeed require stitches, and that I was right to bring him. Then he asked why he wasn’t wearing any clothes. I told him about the blood, and he deadpanned, “You were a little scared, were ya?” Only slightly did I get the idea that it would have been OK to dress my children before rushing off to the ER.
As he was sewing the running stitch and explaining to Calvin why it was a good stitch to use, Calvin said, “This is the second time I’ve ever gotten stitches.” ”
“Oh yeah?” said the doc. “When was the first?”
“I don’t really want to tell you, because it was on my private parts.”
The doctor had to turn away to giggle at that response.
When the nurse came in, he asked Zeeb if he was the guilty party. Zeeb looked right at him and quietly said yes. The he continued, “But I’m 4. I’m gonna be 5, too.” Zeeb’s birthday was Thursday, so think he thought the question was about his birthday party. (This same nurse said he recognized me, which is entirely possible, since I spent the night there once last November with Zeeb, who had whooping cough, and couldn’t breathe. He also told me I couldn’t possibly be 32. Hmmm, even when you know it’s pure flattery, why can you just not reject the compliment?)
When we finally left, I could hear a couple of the nurses snickering and saying they wished they had a camera. There’s nothing quite like seeing two skinny boys in just their underwear running around the hospital, especially when one of them has the words, “Man of Steel” written across those cheeks.