Friday, May 6, 2011

When you see your child with blood all over his face - Quando vedi tuo figlio con la faccia piena di sangue

Photo of William in bed with his 5 stitches
What happened?

I was adding the last spoon of parmigiano cheese on the eggplant parmigiana I had just finished preparing for dinner that evening when William, all of a sudden, fell (long jump style), while he was running in a circle in the kitchen, causing himself a deep cut in his forehead and blood all over his face. He had hit his forehead against the lovely wooden trims of our New England house that look so much like edges of a knife and that none of us has ever noticed before!

I was so scared, especially when I saw the blood coming out of the wound. For few seconds I felt I could not move, nor scream to ask for help, like in the nightmares I used to have as a teenager. Then I was able to call John but that's about it. I don't think I was able to make any sense of what I was trying to say to him. All I remember is my desperate crying. Luckily, he was not far from home and in less than 10 minutes he was at home. As soon as I saw him I gave William to him and burst into all of the tears that I had tried to hide from William. John was able to assess the situation in 2 seconds and immediately pushed me in the car with William already in his car seat, with his face still covered in blood. We forgot to take the parmigiana out of the oven - we had to go back to take it out - and left the house open, in search of the  nearest hospital with an emergency room.

At the hospital, I was crying, while William was smiling, despite the blood still in on his face! He was just a bit upset during the stitching but mostly because of all the people around him, trying to keep him still. As soon as he was free to move, his smile was back. Everyone keeps telling me that these sort of things are not uncommon in little children but for some reason, according to my parents, nobody in our family ever got injured as toddlers. So, I  am still trying to come to terms with this accident.

When I saw my child in pain, crying inconsolably out of fear, I suddenly understood millions of women who have tried to describe this kind of pain to me in the past with little success. You cannot understand it until you feel it.

He is now back on his feet, with his five stitches on his wound, giggling and trying to run faster than ever before. And no matter what I do to slow him down, his desire is to run, run, run. Yesterday I found myself touring the neighborhood in circles to avoid having to take him home and see him run in a circle in the kitchen again!

Today, I have taped all of the colored foam sheets I have - which I originally bought for art and crafts projects - on  the dangerous corners of the kitchen and John has put the annoying gate back in between the kitchen area and the dining room. From now on he will have to be granted special access to the kitchen.

When and where is he going to fall next?

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