Well today it finally happened. We had thus far avoided the emergency room with the kids, any sort of emergency care, until this morning. I know what you're thinking, with two active boys we will be making plenty of visits to the ER. Well, as I have always maintained, our agile, physically-skilled boys are not the high risk ones in the family. And I was right--it's Anna!
She was standing on a chair this morning at the counter and snatched up something off the counter that I didn't want her to have. I asked her to put it back, she wouldn't, so I took it away. Ever the strong-willed child (she is her mother's daughter afterall, and I stand by my theory that this is a good quality!), she went to throw a bit of a tantrum, sort of threw herself down on the chair, but lost her footing, and fell, smacking the back of her head on the chair.
Oddly, the fall itself wasn't that bad, but she was UPSET. Crying, shaky, coughing. She sat on the chair while I held her, right away I'd felt the back of her head and it seemed okay. But as she leaned forward to get down a few minutes later, there was a lot of blood on the back of her head/shirt. I did my best not to pass out/start crying (I have SUCH a weak stomach for blood, and it is a HORRIBLE feeling to know your child is hurt!), cleaned it up enough to get a look at it (pretty difficult on the back of a girl's head because there's so much hair), and thought it best to head to Urgent Care in case she needed stitches (it was a small but pretty deep cut.)
I changed out of my pjs, loaded up the troops, and off we went. As it turned out, even though it was deep, it was small enough where Anna didn't need stitches! The doctor said he could have stitched it, but it would have caused more pain, etc. than would be beneficial. He said it should scab over within a few days.
Now I will hereby take the opportunity to say that I am blessed with three AMAZING children! See, in a situation like this, it is extra stressful because my husband Kevin works an hour and fifteen minutes away (yep, he's a commuter), and my parents live a full hour away (though of course they are always willing to come in a heartbeat), and most of our friends live at least 35 minutes away. SO, in an emergency situation, Kevin can't just zip home from work to watch the kids, we have to stick together and are pretty much on our own in a jam. The Heldts have to be somewhat self-sufficient.
Well, I am still beaming with pride at how the kids did today. The boys sat patiently and happily in the double stroller the ENTIRE TIME at Urgent Care (and we were there for quite a while). Anna sat either in my lap or in the waiting chair, she listened to Mommy and came with Mommy when it was time to go into the other room. She bravely got onto the big scale to be weighed (even though I could tell she was a little scared), allowed the nurse to take her temperature and her vitals while she sat calmly and patiently on a little footstool. She let the doctor look at her head. Meanwhile Yosef and Biniam were still happily sitting in their stroller!
I am so, so blessed to have such easy-going, happy, brave, well-adjusted kids. It makes it so much less stressful knowing that i can take all three of them somewhere and be able to truly focus my energies on the sick/hurt child, because the other two (no matter which two it is) will generally be patient, content and happy. It's also sort of neat in a way, having all three of them with me, because it's like the siblings are there for each other. I think it's really comforting for Anna to have her brothers with her when she has to see a doctor. I really believe she drew strength and comfort from having them with her today.
(It is so easy to get frustrated sometimes as a parent of toddlers, when they disobey or won't listen, and you often wonder, "Are we doing the right things, are we raising them right?" But then God gives you glimpses of their hearts and their character and you realize, wow, God is molding them into beautiful people (in spite of me!) Another example of this today was when I was hurriedly loading the kids into the car to go to Urgent Care. I was putting Yosef, who'd been holding a tennis ball, into his carseat when he dropped it. He began crying and was upset, and I told him I'd hand him the ball after I got him buckled in. Meanwhile, Anna (who wasn't in her seat or the car yet) was on the complete other side of the car. She must have heard the exchange because from out of the blue she said, "Here Yos!", straining to hand her brother, all the way across the seat, another ball. I'm sure her head was still not feeling the best, but she so much wanted to make Yosef happy again. What a blessing these kids are to one another, and to Kevin and I as well!)
The kids are all now safely napping in their beds. I hooked Anna up with an old, cozy flannel pillowcase (doc's recommendation.) The doctor told me to of course be watching her if she starts acting funny, vomiting, etc. (due to hitting her head so hard.) Well, the minute we got home and in the house, Anna took off running, yelling part of Tracy Chapman's song "Revolution" (which, at Anna's request, and the sick child should always get to hear their request, we listened to in the car)--"Run, run, run, run!" as she ran laps around the family room. Then she talked my ear off while I tucked her in, and she was STILL talking my ear off when i shut the door. SO, something tells me her head is just fine. :)
(On a side-note, the doctor asked how old all the kids are, seemed puzzled and then asked "Oh so you didn't carry the boys?" HA! I wonder how many people that see us out and about think I've had children with two different men so close together? I got a good laugh out of that one.)