Last week Wednesday, I was in the kitchen trying to come up with a last minute dinner plan because we were missing a key ingredient for the meal I had been planning to make. Zach was entertaining the kids in the living room with some mild rough housing. All of a sudden, I heard Zach say, “Ow! Eleanor, that really hurt!” but the way he said it, I couldn’t tell if he meant it hurt her or himself. A moment later I could hear her crying so figured she had sustained some minor bump. That was, until the crying escalated and Zach called out, “Shenoah, we need your help in here.”

I hurried in to see Eleanor crying on the couch and Zach rushing off to the bathroom with a surprising amount of blood dripping down his face from somewhere on top of his head. I quickly shifted into Triage Nurse Mode: Ellie – an abrasion on the bottom of her chin and what looked like it would become a good-sized bruise. Zoey and Alden: fine. Zach: an inch long laceration on his head that was bleeding profusely, as scalp wounds do.

This photo is actually from a couple days later. There was a goose-egg there the first day, and now the scab has fallen off and her chin is a lovely mottled purple.

I chucked Zach a couple of paper towels and told him to apply pressure. Then I scooped Ellie up for a big hug, plopped her on the couch and put on my “cheery Mom, everything is totally A-OK” voice and said, “Zoey Bug, you’re going to be a nurse today.” She was all in. I had her snuggle Eleanor on the couch and help her keep an ice pack on her chin. Alden was unceremoniously plopped into the baby carrier on my back and I went to finish assessing Zach.

Apparently, he had been sitting on the floor, back to the couch, and lifting Eleanor into the air with one hand. Eleanor shifted her weight and Zach couldn’t catch her because he had Alden in his other arm. He tried to direct her fall onto the soft couch, but instead her chin landed SMACK on his head, splitting it open and bruising her chin. I held pressure on the cut on his head for several minutes until we could stop the bleeding.

After we got the bleeding under control I was finally able to inspect the cut and started to question whether it would need stitches. Zach doesn’t quite make keloid scars, but he definitely does some hypertrophic scarring (i.e. he makes big scars, but not crazy big). Since the cut was in a pretty visible spot, we didn’t want him to end up with a bald spot with a scar. So I called Zach’s sister and asked her to be our emergency babysitter and then it was off to a local urgent care clinic.

Fifteen minutes later, Zach had six staples in his head (the nurse practitioner later removed two of them which weren’t holding well). Just in time for Halloween.



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