Parenting, Toddler

The inevitability of injury

When you have boys you’ll see the inside of A+E. A lot.

The first time we were there this summer, toddler had reached up to the kitchen counter (after a particularly vigorous growth spurt) and pulled a scalding mug of very middle class ginger tea down on himself.

It was a superficial burn to his forearm as it turned out. His little blistered arm was re-dressed everyday at the doctors’ for a week and I scalded myself time and time again for not being more careful, not watching him closely enough.

I was in the same room, but I was on the phone when he did it. I was there. How could I have let it happen?

A coupe of weeks later lightening struck again. Sitting outside a seaside cafe waiting for an early dinner, toddler wobbled backwards down some low steps. The colliding material was slate, and it was his little head which broke the fall.

A dull thud and bloodcurdling scream put a prompt end to our alfresco supper, and off we raced again to hospital.

The impressive egg which had sprouted on eldest head was not ‘attached to his skull’, so the doctor cleared him of having an internal bleed pretty quickly. My heart rate returned to normal – eventually. We stopped checking on him 15 times a night to check he hadn’t slipped into a sudden unforeseen coma – eventually. He was ok. Just another bump to the head. Another notch on the door. Another story to tell on his 18th.

And as we took our leave from hospital that evening, our doctor peeked into the car seat at mini-man #2. “Another boy?” she asked. “Here”, she said, pressing the head injury information sheet into my hand. “You better frame this”.

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