Let me tell you the tale of how my 2-year-old ended up with a new hole in his face.
So there we were, two Sundays ago, sitting around a living room and talking and laughing and having a good time. Our toddler doesn’t stop moving for anything, so him running around the living room wasn’t anything abnormal. But, as most toddlers do, he tripped, and his forehead found the corner of the stone step of the fireplace.
I was off my chair and at his side the instant it happened (something about superhuman powers when my kids are in danger). I picked him up and held him as he screamed. His hand covered his eye – which scared me no end – and I pried his hand away to see the damage. Blood flowed from a gash just above his eyebrow (thank goodness he missed his eye!). It started to stream into his eye, so I held him back as I rushed him to the kitchen. We were provided the whitest hand towels available, and my wife pressed down on his cut, helping to slow the flow of blood. At this point my hand was getting warm from the blood pooling on it, and the tile (and my foot) was covered in blood as well.
My wife (bless her poor, terrified heart) made some quick calls and found where our boy’s insurance would work. Being from Canada, we would have just run the poor kid to the nearest medical center – emergency room, even – without a second thought. But, here in America, we had to go to a place that accepted his insurance. Fortunately, there was an urgent care facility not even a mile away.
We rushed him to the urgent care place, and they took him right in. Our child heaved sobs that sounded just as painful as his gash must feel. The doctor cleaned the wound (which, without blood, we could see pretty far down into his face, including white bits of gristle), and glued the crevasse back together.
Being relatively new parents (two years isn’t that long, after all), the sight of that much blood should have sent us reeling. But, calm minds prevailed and our boy was taken care of much faster than I expected. It was frightening, yes, but once I saw that he had missed his eye, my worries concerning the wound faded (slightly) and I could focus my worry on the shaking child.
Even though everything ended well (all things considered), I still feel so bad for the little dude. He’s so small and didn’t know what was going on…my heart broke for him. But, blessings be counted, he made it through with just a healing scar. Only time will tell how much of the scar will be visible for the rest of his life, but if that’s the extent of his injuries, then I say we came out of that situation quite well.
It’s hard not to reign him in now when he’s jumping off the couch and running around with big sticks and rocks, but I know accidents happen, and will continue to happen, and there’s no sense in coddling him. Besides the fact that he would hate it, it’s also good to see him unafraid once more. After all, if he’s going to follow in his dad’s footsteps, getting over his injuries quickly is his first step to becoming the best rugby player the world will ever know.