We’re just inching out from under 3 solid weeks of illness in this house. And for the first time in years, the hardest hit has been me. This is what I get for secretly thinking I’m uber-healthy and have a super-hero immune system: karma bitch-slaps me and then kicks me in the stomach.
So rather than go on at great length about fevers that lasted weeks, the extent to which our house was covered in vomit, how long I slept on the bathroom floor or how much TV we’ve watched, I’ll just report on a different kind of gross. Namely, how my kids are maiming themselves recently.
So I arrive at the ER clinic with a screaming naked toddler, wrapped in a coat, bleeding from the eye. And yes, we get the same doctor who treated Graham for his broken arm a few months earlier. CPS anyone?
Turns out the wound was superficial. But when I think he was mere millimeters from becoming cyclops-boy, I shudder. He escaped with only a cool shiner. And a burned dinner.
As far as Violet goes, despite her daredevil nature, she has remained relatively injury-free throughout her life. I can only speculate that she is either graceful, or without an older sibling who may (accidentally) break her bones. So it was quite a shock to her when she ripped off her toenail.
Setting: Boxing day. I’m out front helping to dismantle our old playground and carrying on 3 separate conversations. Graham is running away down the sidewalk. But Violet’s shriek interrupts all of that. By the time I get to her, she is on the floor, hyperventilating and grabbing her foot. She’d opened the door on her toe. It’s pretty clear the toenail isn’t hanging on by much.
Flashback: I’m about 8 years old. My brother and I were watching TV when we heard our dad kicking the garage door frantically. Odd, I thought. Why doesn’t he just turn the doorknob? I eventually opened the door and my dad rushed past, cradling his bloody hand. He’d ripped a fingernail clean off while working on the car. That’s the kind of image that gets burned into a kid’s memory.
Luckily my dad just happened to be visiting for Christmas, as Rob and I have no personal experience with nail ripping. Plus he was obviously less affected by Violet’s hysterics than me. I remained calm, but may not have been able to lift up her nail to see exactly how much of it was still attached, which my dad did. “Yep. It’s almost completely off,” he reported nonchalantly. To which Violet screamed with renewed vigor.
Most importantly, we avoided yet another trip to the emergency clinic. According to my dad, in this case the doctor would most likely give Violet a numbing shot between the toes in order to remove the dangling nail. The shot hurts more than the initial injury. So we decided on the wait-and-see approach.
Wait… See Violet stop crying and completely forget about it in about 30 minutes? See her running around on the beach a week later, getting sand under the nail without a care, losing the nail and never noticing? Cool. Plus the tiny new nail is cute. Well, at least I think so. Much cuter than puke.