Last night, one of the parental time-bombs exploded on me and my two-year old daughter fell down the stairs. This has happened before with the others and the sweeping panic dissolves as all that is needed is lots of cuddles and a dab of arnica. But last night, as I put my hand to her head to check for a bump I stared down to see it smeared with blood. Her blood. My baby girl’s blood covered my hand and my heart stopped for a moment before my tears welled and I screamed for my husband. The smattering of first aid I that I know deserted me and I was slipping into full panic as I was pulled between phoning for an ambulance or driving to A&E ourselves. My husband took charge and we bundled our pyjamaed children into the car and drove the 20 minutes to the hospital while I held a cold compress to her head, and tried to reassure her now worried siblings. Hardest of all was keeping my own composure. My forced smiles hid the tormentuous thoughts that were racing through my mind.
My husband dropped us off and, I have to say, the hospital were brilliant. They saw us quickly and snuck us through the back so we wouldn’t have to wait. By now, Littlest was chattering away and perky as anything, which was a comfort and proof of how resilient they are. She had split her head; a 2cm cut which was quite deep. There were no visible bruises or scrapes anywhere else so her tumble had left her unscathed, but for the radiator wound to her head. ’I go bump, bump, bump’ she told the nurse. And (un)like Humpty Dumpty, they glued her back together again and she was so brave. Her little hands gripped the rail of the bed as they cleaned the wound and wiped most of the blood from her hair. I cuddled her tightly and she hugged ‘Miss Mouse’ and Mee-Man’ as the nurse applied the ‘magic’ glue and pressed the wound together.
We were there for nearly four hours and my phone died within the first 5 minutes, which is typical. So, unable to keep her amused with the Ben & Holly app we proceeded to colour in everything in my handbag, play snap with my credit cards and I thanked God the geek in me had clipped a small torch to my car keys. I had to get my Husband to pick us upat 11.30pm (which meant waking the older two up) and by the time we got home Littlest had finally fallen asleep and I felt physically and emotionally exhausted.
Today, she is back to normal but I have been very weepy. I think it is delayed shock or something, but I find myself welling up a lot at what might have been. Guilt that I allowed something so precious to me get hurt. Relief that she is OK. A reality check on how lucky I am to live in a country where my child is loved, looked after and mended and such injuries are the result of bad luck or ill-timing rather than despotic missiles or twisted individuals. It is a day to count my blessings.