Friday, February 12, 2010

war wounds

On the second day of school, as I was about to leave home for the school pick-up, I got the phone call every parent dreads.

"Don't worry, Thomas is fine." (Okay, what's coming next?) "He's in sick bay with a small cut on his forehead." (That doesn't sound too bad.) "It's been bleeding quite a lot." (Oh.)

I drove in to find a very teary little boy sitting on the sick-bay couch clutching a blood-stained paper towel to his forehead. Once I'd had a look, the first-aid nurse taped on a square white dressing.

And how did Thomas cut his forehead? Believe it or not, he was quietly carrying the class roll to the school office with another boy. He was walking in the backwards position when he turned around and swung straight into one of the painted steel girders jutting out from the wall. Ouch!

We went to the doctor's, where Ben looked so pale (perhaps he has the same reaction to the idea of blood as his Dad?) that he displaced Thomas as the centre of attention and was told to lie down. The doctor said we had a choice between stitches with her or "glue" (some new-fangled non-stitching technique) at the hospital.

So it was off to the hospital for Thomas and me. By now he looked like a wounded soldier, with a dramatic blood splotch in the middle of the white dressing on his forehead. He admired himself in the mirrored wall of the lift, and strutted through the hospital corridors attracting sympathetic stares from everyone passing by.

The triage nurse cleaned the cut (ouch!), stuck it together with what looked like purple super-glue from a small tube, and held it all together with steri strips.

Thomas, of course, had a very important question.

"If I look at my cut, will I be able to see my brain?"

Which led to some very interesting discussions about the anatomy of the human head.

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