If you're not already familiar with my daughter's dramatic and horrifying facial history, you need to go to this post and read it first. Or at least skim through the text and look at the pictures. Okay?
Go ahead. I'm not going anywhere.
Couple of things before I continue, just to set the stage, so to speak (Right now my mother, because this is about a grandchild and I didn't call her about it yesterday, is probably skimming to the end to see what happened. Julia's fine, mom.).
In my basement, I have a work area. I set it up over the summer, and that's where all my sewing and jewelry stuff is. The area is restricted. The kids are NOT supposed to go into that area unless I am also there and I have given them permission – notarized and in triplicate. Because there are sharp things and dangerous things over there, and I don't feel like cleaning blood off the carpet. Spilled cranberry juice is bad enough.
Okay. Now yesterday, I had asked the kids to clean up their stuff in the basement. In the "family" area of the basement. Of course, lots of groans and carrying on and "meanest mommy in the world" muttering took place. I cackled gleefully and went about my business in the kitchen.
Alex, who, at 7, has realized it's quicker to just DO it, cleaned up his share of the mess pretty quickly and was permitted to go on the computer and play games.
Julia, who, at 5, has decided she'd rather writhe around on the floor making terrible anguished faces and wailing in despair, was still busy doing just that. To no avail. It was getting to the point where I was going to just put her to bed right then – at about 4:00 in the afternoon. Because she was writhing IN MY WAY on the floor of the kitchen…then she'd writhe her way into the hall or the dining room – wherever I was headed – just to make sure I wasn't forgetting that she REALLY didn't want to clean up because there were JUST TOO MANY TOYS. I suggested that if there were too many, maybe we should get rid of some, and she didn't like that suggestion all that much.
Anyway, after lots more writhing(Julia), yelling (both of us, I admit) and tears (just her), Julia decided to go put her toys away. Finally.
So she was downstairs doing that and I was upstairs doing something toward dinner or cookies or who knows what.
And then I decided to go hang a ball of suet and birdseed from the cherry tree outside, since it's cold and the birdies just love rendered beef fat. So I went outside, singing a merry tune, like all the poverty-stricken or unloved Disney heroines do while they're still relying on the sweet little woodland creatures and household pests for affection and validation, and hung the lovely big lump of suet and seed from the tree. (Okay, I wasn't really singing.)
And when I came back in the house, I heard two things:
1. Alex was calling for me.
2. Julia was crying.
Now, this isn't such an unusual occurrance in our house, so I didn't rush around in a panic or anything. I took off my coat and hung it up, like a normal person.
And Alex came up the stairs and told me that "Julia was cleaning near the yellow thing and then the black thing fell on her head."
That's about when I decided that racing down the stairs was a good idea.
The yellow thing? My ironing board.
The black thing? Actually it's blue and white, but black on the flat part. Yes. The iron.
(My mother just gasped.)
Julia was over in the restricted area and I still don't know exactly what she was doing there, but apparently (from what I can piece together) she reached up to maybe pull something off the ironing board, and it tipped the board and the iron, which was on top of the board, fell.
And most of the time, the iron isn't even on the ironing board. After it cools, I put it on the floor, UNDER the ironing board. You know, so it can't FALL OFF AND LAND ON SOMEONE'S HEAD.
Downstairs, Julia was standing, and crying, over near the ironing board. That was a good thing – she was standing, and she was crying. No unconsciousness to worry about.
She had her hand against the side of her face, and when I gently pulled the hand away, I saw smeary trails of blood down the left side of her face. I spoke soothingly and said she'd be fine, and lets go upstairs so I could get a better look. I turned to go.
Right about that time, Alex appeared behind me, saw the blood, made some garbled sound of horror, and exclaimed "Oh, JULIA!"
I muttered "Shut up, Alex" as I went by, because I really don't think it helps the wounded younger person if an older person (be it an older MALE sibling or an older MALE parent) freaks out at the sight of blood.
We went up to the bathroom and I sat Julia up on the side of the sink. She was still crying, of course, and I hugged her and lifted her hair so I could get a look at the actual wound site.
She had a small, ugly, deep gash right at the hairline. It was a good inch or more above the temple (I'm thinking it's her parietal bone? I don't know for sure, the word just popped into my head. All those forensics shows I've watched over the years – THEY SURE DO COME IN HANDY AT TIMES LIKE THESE!)
Naturally, Julia wanted to see her own head, so she turned around to look in the big mirror above the sink, saw the red gash, and upped her level of sobbing to around an 8.5.
I told her it was okay, she was fine, and I just wanted to first clean up all the blood. It was smeared all down that side of her face and on her hand, so I wiped that all away – gently – before tackling the wound area. I also looked at her eyes, had her look at the light to make sure both pupils were fully functional and that neither one was "fixed and dilated" because I know that would be a bad thing.
While I was doing all this, Alex came up, and Julia said "Alex, look at my boo boo!" She lifted her hair and tilted her head so he could see. He made some sort of "bleah!" sound and ran from the bathroom at top speed. I whispered to Julia that boys get scared when they see blood. I know – before anyone becomes indignant – not ALL boys (or men). But the ones in our house? They FREAK OUT.
I worked my way closer and closer to the wound. it looks to me (though of course I'd need a full lab and high-powered microscope to be sure) like the pointy tip of the iron is what got her. It's a relatively tidy gash, and that's the only place that showed any sign of injury.
I wiped blood from the fine, thin hair around the wound and I will confess to you that for a split second I almost felt a hint of a thought that I could possibly maybe feel a touch queasy. And then it was gone.
The gash is really kind of a puncture wound – it goes right down in. I was wondering if she'd need stitches, but it's not THAT big. Or THAT deep. I gingerly pressed on the bone all around the wound, just to make sure nothing was broken, but fortunatly my baby girl has a head of STONE and she didn't even flinch.
I wiped the area with some sterile cleansing wipes in our first aid kit, and put a band aid over it. The bleeding had pretty much stopped, and so had Julia's crying. I gave her ice to put on her head, and told her she could go downstairs and sit on the couch and watch TV.
Alex, who is so sweet at times I could smush him, brought her four quarters from his little money box, to make her feel better. He also went to the freezer and took out one of the ice pack things I use in their lunch bags. Sweet, sweet, sweet.
The kids went downstairs and cleaning the basement was over for the day. I checked on Julia frequently to make sure she was still conscious and all that. She was. In fact, after a while, she was completely unconcerned about her head and much more interested in watching Brain Stop or whatever it's called. Some quiz show for kids on Nick. She was fine.
Now, I know you'll be disappointed in me when I tell you that I didn't take pictures of the bloodiest part of this whole event. I know. I'm slacking. I am ashamed.
But later, after Bill got home, and after Julia had her bath, I changed the dressing (okay, the bandaid) and that's when I did take pictures.
I had to snip little tiny hairs under the bandaid so that they wouldn't pull Julia's head and cause her to pull away from me and (yes, this almost happened) whack her head on one of the upper cupboards in the bathroom. So I snipped, carefully, and Bill got to see the wound as well.
I put on a little butterfly bandaid closure thing, to pull the wound closed, and then put a bandaid over that, so if there was any seepage, it wouldn't seep onto her pillow or the sheets.
And so, here are THOSE pictures. No tears, not much blood. Just the latest chapter in Julia's book of Head Wounds I've Known and Loved.
And, because I like to keep things as up-to-the-minute as possible, I interrupted Julia's second breakfast of a cranberry english muffin with peanutbutter on it so I could change the bandage and take more pictures. JUST FOR YOU!
The wound has closed and looks good – no pus or swelling – just a clean gash (that sounds kind of odd) and it looks like there's a bruise forming around the gash. It's reddish today.
And that's peanutbutter on her cheek, in case you were wondering.
So here she is this morning: