Nothing gets me running faster than the sound of a child getting hurt – or a certain thud – or the call of “Someone’s Bleeding!”
Case in point – last night, I was sitting, watching some tv and playing on the laptop, girls already in bed, when Miriam calls downstairs that Maura is bleeding, and Josh yells “Mom! Blood! Maura!” He and I hit the stairs, go rushing up them, burst into the girls room…to find out Maura scratched open a mosquito bite.
I now have a new house rule – when you yell “blood!”, say how much. Use descriptors like scratch, cut, or gushing. I nearly had a heart attack for nothing. But we did put a band aid over the boo boo and tucked girls back in.
I’m pretty certain I do not hear the call of blood as much as my mother did. My older brother Joe was a daredevil. I have a memory of him coming through the back door, picking gravel out of his arm and asking where the Bactine was. He’s been practicing jumping his bike in the alley and hit gravel. Then there were all the stitches, and failed flying attempts and the fact that she had one more child to yell “Blood!” than I do.
The first time I heard the call of blood was when the boys were almost four and almost two. Oh, we had bleeding episodes before that (the boys have the scars to prove that), but I’d been there for all the accidents. Which sounds bad for my resume. Unless you’ve had a couple of boys, then you understand that you see a lot of blood when you have little boys. Just like you hear a lot of shrieking when you have girls.
This particular time, I was in the bathroom (seriously, everything seems to happen when I am in the bathroom)…getting ready for church after getting the boys ready and leaving them in the living room playing. I heard a thud and Collin called out “Mom! Sean’s bleeding!” I come out, see Sean’s bloody forehead, grabbed a washcloth and wet it down before slapping it on Sean’s head. I peeked under the washcloth, and realized that stitches were necessary. I yelled for Josh, who called out “Just a minute.” I yelled again – “Josh! Blood!”
Josh – the oldest of five children – knew that call means start running. As he did.
A few hours and four stitches later, Sean was all put back together again. He could have used five stitches, but he wasn’t going to put up with that. He actually impressed the ER staff by breaking free of the papoose they strap kids in for such an event. His parents weren’t surprised at all.
The great mystery of the event was how Sean cut his forehead open. The nurse at the ER asked how it happened, and I responded with “Well, first we have to interrogate the three year old.” Ha! What we think happened was Sean was using the ottoman for the gliding rocking chair as a surf board and fell off. He’d surfed it before.
Another time when kids yelled blood, we did get the full story. It was our New Year’s Day episode, and it was a classic monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off, bumped her head on a coffee cup she knocked onto the floor, and cut open the back of her head. Mama did not call the doctor, instead, they just went straight to the ER. Eight stitches with that one. Yes, we keep score. Maura’s in first place, Collin in second with six stitches. Miriam’s had none – and we’d like to keep it that way.
Ironically, for all the bloodshed they’ve seen in their little lives, my kids get all worked up over a scratch. Their parents? Not so much.