Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Blood as Bear bites tongue badly

It happened so fast I barely turned my head and it was done. She was wriggling forward on a fold-out chair, not minxing, just moving to the edge to get down, when it unbalanced- slammed - forward, her mouth hit the edge of the table, her head flew back and she fell underneath onto the paving.

She cried hard, in wave after wave, for a long time. Blood streamed out of her mouth, reminding me of the rivers of blood when I once bit through my own tongue, slamdancing to Lithium in the Sari Club back in the old days in Bali. My shirt was bright pink. I swapped her to the other side so she wouldn't see it, I held her for a long time, swaying, trying to say soothing stuff, failing.

I plopped her on the couch, she sobbed and sobbed there until, exhausted and shell-shocked, she fell asleep. We didn't have any kids' painkiller. Parents, simple lesson, always carry some baby Panadol or Nurofen when you travel. I walked with one of our nice hosts down to the nearest Chemist. It was closed. He drove me to another, where I nearly bought the older kids version before learning that Baby Panadol is more potent. Went for potent.

Beloved administered a generous dose to a rewoken Bear, who was sobbing again. Then we had to go to a wedding and leave Bear and Mitts with our trusted friends. I felt a bit sick.

The friends were wonderful, and soon after we left Bear calmed, perhaps helped by the drugs. She sat up past bedtime watching Monsters Inc, whatever that is, then announced when she was ready that she'd like to go to bed. I meanwhile spent the whole wedding telling people how I was the kind of dad who sits next to his daughter but fails to grab her in time as she falls off chairs and sustains bloody injuries.

There is still a big flap loose on her tongue. The nurse at Royal Children's said it's fine. But every time I think about it I feel a little queasy.


Elisabeth said...

You have my commiserations. It happened once to a little boy at the birthday party of my then three year old daughter. Blood streamed. An accident in the garden but I was devastated. I rang his parents. His father an orthopedic surgeon was blase. 'Tongues heal fast,' he said.

I was surprised, quite apart from the damage, what of the trauma. Mind you, the little boy seemed to recover very quickly.

There's a wonderful quote I once read in one of AS Byatt's books, about the devastation of the first wound on a baby's skin.

Bear is clearly not an infant but childhood accidents are devastating and that you couldn't prevent it is frightening.

But you have to go easy on yourself here. Life's small accidents are inevitable. It's the mopping up afterward that helps most of all and it sounds as though you both did a wonderful job.

Penthe said...

Oh, how frightening and horrible. I remember when the Noodle smacked his face on the edge of the bed, blood everywhere from his lip. We rushed him to the doctor, who wiped the blood off, handed him to the nurse who ceremoniously put a tiny, tiny, tiny butterfly bandaid on the spot.

They were very kind to us frantic, blood-covered, anxious parents.

JahTeh said...

You have a time ahead of you as boys are more accident prone than girls but then I only had boys.
There's nothing like screaming to A&E with a child who's just pierced his scrotum with a toy submarine and yes, I did tell him to stop jumping around and get out of the bath.

Armagny said...

"Bear is clearly not an infant "

Ah she's still well shy of 3, and still my little baby.... but thanks all! She's fine now it seems, demanding to eat all sorts of things again.

occasional reader said...

You did a great job. It's scary how stuff like this happens in a second even when we're right there next to them. My daughter fell from a swing once, slid through the harness, and bit her tongue very very badly, and I was minding her. It does heal very fast, fortunately. Seeing blood is just awful, but we do manage. She's now older and I'm so grateful we're over those early accidents, and when I look back it's amazing how we do it all. You're right about baby Panadol - crucial to have a supply in your bag, and we used to always carry a first-aid kit with us too. It's great your little girl's better now.