"Mummy, you've got blood on your face!"
Sobbed my middle girl Clara through her own blood and tears.
It was truly the stuff of parental nightmares. I was settling my 21mo to sleep, and the girls were messing around in mine and Hubby's room. I heard the scream. Not the one that says I want attention, the one that saysCOME TO ME NOW I'M IN TROUBLE.
I rushed in and the first thing I saw was the broken lamp on the bed. There was glass everywhere and the light bulb was smoking into the pillow.
Then I saw my beautiful girl. Her face covered in blood, looking like a scene from a gruesome slasher movie.
"Oh my word what has happened in here?"
I went into shock mode, proving what I've always known: I am useless when it comes to blood.
Fortunately my protective mother instincts kicked in about ten seconds later. I scooped up my littlest lady and took her into the bathroom to assess the damage. Thank goodness it wasn't nearly as bad as it looked. Once I had cleaned up the blood she was left with just one cut at the very top of her forehead.
Don't get me wrong, it was a nasty deep gash, and I knew it would need medical attention, but at least it wasn't her eye. At least it wasn't a cut that would scar her entire face.
Disaster and Autism
While I was tending to my wounded cub, and my toddler walked around dazed and confused, my high functioning autistic eldest girl got really cross and stormed off downstairs.
I'd committed the cardinal sin of losing control of my own emotions and she couldn't handle it. She also thought that because I yelled when I asked what had happened I was blaming her for the incident.
Through the blood, tears and commotion, I also had to consider P's feelings in all this. The last thing we needed was a meltdown, so I made it abundantly clear that I wasn't blaming her, and it wasn't her fault.
This appeased her until bedtime, when she cried herself to sleep because she was worried her sister was going to die. Once again it has reminded me that autistic kids don't lack empathy, they just often don't know how to show it at the time.
I had warned the girls on numerous occasions about messing around on my bed. I had looked at that lamp just a few days previous and thought to myself that's an accident waiting to happen. Self-flagellation won't get me anywhere, but why had I not just replaced the damn thing for one less hazardous for crying out loud?
Coulda, shoulda, woulda right?
A hospital adventure
I called Hubby, who was almost home at that point. Then I called my lovely friend and neighbour, who offered to drive us to the hospital. Within half an hour I was packing the three of them off for an 'adventure'.
I stayed home with the eldest and youngest. Getting them to sleep took quite a while amid all the excitement and I needed a stiff drink afterwards. I did the sensible thing and opted for chamomile tea instead. It's like a sedative for me and worked wonders at calming me down.
The other half of my family were home within three hours, with a neatly glued up head and much happier C in tow.
Life goes on
In the midst of last Friday and all the sadness going on in the world right now, this might not seem like a very significant incident.
It was for my little family though.
It was terrifying and upsetting and worrying. Those first thoughts that ran through my mind as I watched the blood trickle down my beautiful girl's face were as dark as they get.
I can't tell you how grateful I am that the cut wasn't too deep. That it was easily glued back together. That there wasn't any glass left behind in her head.
This was our first experience of an accident being so bad it warranted a hospital trip. Let's just hope they don't become a regular occurrence.
I don't think my nerves could handle it!