This wasn't the post I was planing to write tonight, but given the night I've had it is what I have come up with.
My 11-year-old son was in a funk and feeling cranky and down. He was lying on my bed when he did a funny, jerky head move and banged his head on the corner of my bedside table.
It obviously hurt and I went over to check out the situation and as I was soothing him, I noticed blood - never a good thing.
I didn't know what to tell him as I could now see that blood was smeared over my (once white) pillows.
My son is very brave, but his bravery comes from his anxiety. He gets overwrought in certain situations and the fact that he works through them is what I call courage. It may not look like courage to most people -- but I know what it takes for him to get past things and I call it courage.
But before we get to brave, we go through freaking out. And that is what happened as soon as he saw blood. Blood on his hand and the bed. And now my heart is pounding because I don't know how deep the gash is and I know I'm going to have to look. I had a similar incident with my 8-year-old and the kitchen counter which resulted in stitches.
But the only thing you can do in that situation is part the sticky hair and look. Which is pretty much the opposite of what my eyes want to do. I look for the cut, but it is so small that I can't really find it.
Phew, small cut. I'm holding a tissue on his head and call to my other two kids who, of course, are taking this opportunity to run around like banshees and not go to bed.
My 6-year-old daughter walks in the room, looks at me and says: "What can I do?" Yes readers, I have in fact done something right. I have raised at least one child who will respond to the yell of: "Your brother is bleeding and I need some ice!"
She runs downstairs gets a Ziploc bag, fills it with ice runs to us and asks if she can see the cut (later I find that she has even closed the freezer! What a kid!). She is so calm and mature and competent. Her brother flips out at the idea of his sister looking at his blood, because he can't even look at his blood. Meanwhile, I'm thinking: "Oh, yes the dream will happen in my lifetime! Our family will get a doctor!"
Ice, tissues, deep breaths, TV, books. We got through it. No worse for wear. Actually, I think we are better off. I think it is good for my son to hurt himself, to see his blood, to survive. It is good for my daughter to know that she can be helpful, and it is good for me to spend a night digging deep and using my best parenting skills. (Jury is out on my middle child; he was neither helpful nor panicking.)
Dealing with emergencies takes training and focus. Little ones like these will hopefully arm my kids for the inevitable bigger ones. I just hope that they aren't too big. It wasn't an emergency for the record books, but it was at least worth a blog post.
How do your kids react in an emergency? How do you do?
Want more chaos? Last year, I answered the question: Should you have a third child?