I’m currently mid flights right now, the shortest flight under my belt and the first learned travel lesson behind me. I brought an eye pillow, dabbed a little eucalyptus oil on it, tipped my head back on the flight and assumed the passed out traveler position while thinking to myself, “Best. Idea. Ever.” Let’s just jump to the punch line: Easy on the eucalyptus oil around the eyes, okay? You’d think I’d know this from the bathtub incident.
Speaking of incidents (news anchor transition), let’s take it back a few days where (insert dramatic super serious news anchor voice): a tumble off the bed rendered a scary evening.
Fact is, our little incident wasn’t fun but also wasn’t near as dramatic as a news anchor would spin it. And by news anchor, I mean myself two seconds after Nella fell off the bed and cracked her head open. Like many other “if this ever happened” scenarios I’ve played out in my head, the scary-but-not-life-threatening-child-injury scenario always has my imaginary self as this amazingly calm and comforting rock in crisis, unruffled by the scene, focused on the important tasks and speaking calming affirmations that could later be printed in What to Say to Your Children During a Crisis how-to guides which apparently will not be part of my next book. There’s that girl, and then there’s what I actually did. Which was see a pool of blood and freak the freak out. I kissed, I rocked, I summoned the most assuring “It’s okay baby” I had, but I also spoke in threes, sending an already concerned big sister into panic mode.
She’s bleeding, she’s bleeding, she’s bleeding.
Get my phone, get my phone, get my phone.
We have to go to the hospital. We have to go to the hospital. We have to go to the hospital.
Listen, my fight or flight mode got jacked, but reflection’s given me some what-not-to-do pointers.
Three head staples later (which, by the way, I assumed was hospital lingo for some head-friendly not-really-staples wound fixers, but no—they’re staples—like, construction grade staples contractors use on 2×4’s), our ridiculously resilient tough cookie was chasing Dash around the kitchen island (“Stop running! We don’t need another injury!”) and galloping a stick horse down the hallway.
I made it 3 kids and 7 years of parenting without an ER visit, but I gotta tell ya, I was getting a little nervous wondering what that first ER trip would look like when it happened. Let’s just get it over with. And we did. And three staples is better than a broken arm.
Later that night after high-fiving Frankenstein for her bravery and impressive new head accessories and putting her to bed , I followed up with Lainey to talk to her about what happened.
“I was worried,” I admitted, “but everything turned out fine. I’m sorry if I made you more worried. Mommy’s going to try and breathe and be calmer next time. That was a little scary, wasn’t it?”
She showed me the drawing she made while we were gone—a picture of her and Nella playing together. I folded it and slipped it into Nella’s keepsake book, a reminder of that one time we survived. One of many.
In the meantime, I’ll work on my fight or flight skills.
Speaking of flight (said the news anchor transitioning to the next story)…
My gate’s boarding.
Catch you in Rwanda.