Wednesday, February 13, 2008

At Least He's Not Traumatized

Son the Older was working on an English assignment last night -- his "Happy List," in which the class was assigned to list one thing that makes them happy for each year they've been alive. They were specifically directed not to list a BF / GF since the teacher said anytime that has been listed, a breakup has occurred within a week. D'oh!

So the boy-man and I were discussing the things that make him happy (geek things, broccoli-rice casserole, etc.). He got tired and leaned his head back, and I was massaging his temples when I noticed, for the first time in months, the vertical scar on his forehead (I'll have to post a pic later; it's really not visible in any other pic I've posted of him). Since he got the scar when he was three, I asked if he remembered anything about it. He said he remembered running, a lot of pain, waiting, and the nice nurse who gave him a coloring book.

Here's what really happened.

I worked at the child care center he attended, but I was away on a field trip when it happened. He was running in Miss Jill's Dalmatian room and ran straight into the metal door jamb, which stuck out from the door frame about a half inch and was exactly forehead height on him. There was a lot of blood, of course, since it was a head injury and since he was crying so hard.

My boss and good friend, Gloria the director, called my hubby at work. Now at this point in time, the child was waaaaay in north Austin, and hubby was waaaaaaaaay in south Austin, to the tune of about a 30-40 minute drive, assuming no traffic. So Gloria tells Robert the boy has been hurt. He replies, "Lisa can take care of it when she gets back from the field trip." Gloria, frustrated, says two of the things you never say to a parent: "I think he should go to the hospital. He needs stitches." She was attempting to get some sort of emotional response out of Mr. Vulcan. No dice. His response was the same: "Lisa can take care of it when she gets there."

She was a little perturbed. When I got there and discovered my injured boy sitting with her in the office, perturbed was not really what I was. I put on my best "calm but really maniacally angry" voice and called my darling husband to say, "Hello dear... you will be meeting me in the emergency room with your son. See you in 30 minutes."

I told that part to Son the Older last night, and he said, "Yyyyyyyyyeah. I don't like that voice, Mom." Yeah, kid. There's a reason for that.

Hubby did meet me in the ER ('cause duh, he's still alive), and the boy did need stitches -- internal and external -- he had sliced his head almost to the skull. They had to put him on a board and papoose him in to do the stitches, and I'm not terribly ashamed to say that I didn't do so well with that. He screamed bloody murder, and I tried to kiss his little face. The medical staff informed me that I needed to remove myself from his face so they could get their work done, and I hastily complied. They got it done pretty quickly once I was out of the way.

And when they were done, a nice nurse gave my poor traumatized boy a coloring book, which I barely remember, but which apparently made quite the impression on him.

I remember being concerned that the papoosing part of the whole ordeal would traumatize the poor kid, although I hadn't thought about it in years. I asked him if he was bothered by being restrained, and he said he didn't think so. I pointed out that he probably hadn't spent a lot of time with his arm movement restrained, and he agreed. So we jokingly put him backwards into one of his dad's jackets and I pulled the sleeves around as a modified straitjacket. Aside from being a little snug, it didn't bother him at all.

So I guess the moral of the story is kids don't traumatize as easily as we might think. And coloring books are way cool when you're three.

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