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2:20 p.m. - March 31, 2006
An Infamous Day In the Life, Sigh...
Well, it started out as a normal Wednesday.

But, Wednesday, March 29, 2006 is a day that will live in infamy.

At least, in la casa de Smed.

It started out well, but during lunchtime basketball I aggravated my back and when I got up for the first time in about an hour I unleashed a stream of profanity that belonged on “Deadwood” instead of “Smed’s Corner”. Those of you who read my MySpace blog were treated to just a portion of that diatribe.

So, in pain and with no meds here, I basically grit my way through the rest of the day. But Liz said we’re having sweet and sour chicken for dinner, with rice, and so I feel real happy that I’ll have one of my favorite meals!

I get home and I see no one around, so I start wandering around the house. In the upstairs landing of our front stairway, near Katie’s room, looks to be some boxes, some bed parts and a headboard, as Katie’s replacement bed has arrived.

I hear Liz in Katie’s bedroom struggling with bed rails to put it together. It’s heavy and unwieldy. Kristin is in her pack and play bawling and Katie is trying to help, as are the cats.

The footboard has already fallen on Liz’s foot, and she’s struggling with the whole thing. So I go change clothes, and grab Kristin out of her pack and play, as my back is still bothering me and my help would be of little avail. All of a sudden:

“Ouch! $#%*@!”

I go rush into the bedroom. The footboard hit Liz in the head.

She’s had enough. She storms out of the room. I ask her what’s wrong, and another stream of not so nice words comes out of her mouth. She needs alone time, and we’ll put the bed together this weekend when two people can work on it with no pain nor help from kids or animals.

Liz goes into the front room downstairs in a fortress of solitude. I take Kristin upstairs to watch her, and we turn on Noggin for Katie.

After about 15 minutes, I go down to see how Liz is doing. She’s calmed down, and is soon ready to begin dinner prep. So I take Kristin back upstairs with me.

I’m at the computer, doing some edits on my big series that just finished, and fooling around in D-land and Myspace. Kristin is doing her normal crawling around gig in the guest room, which means she goes over to the bookstore, then goes and opens the file cabinet. Again, I say to myself, “We have GOT to get a lock on that.”

She found a newspaper upstairs, one that I have glanced through but need to read thoroughly, and she’s playing with it. I take it away from her and notice some of the pages have a maroon stain on them.

I look at my hands and nothing there out of the ordinary.

I then look at the carpet. There are some maroon blotches. I run over to Kristin and….

“LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIZ!”

She’s bleeding from her hand, it looks like.

I run into the bathroom, to try to wipe it off.

“LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIZ!”

“What!”

“COME UP HERE NOW! NOW! NOW!”

I find that Kristin is bleeding from her little index finger on her left hand. I try to put pressure on it but can’t stop it.

Liz comes up, and asks what happened.

I don’t really know at first, but then I remember.

She was opening the file cabinet. She must have caught an edge with her finger, and opened up a cut. But she never cried, or whimpered even. She was laughing through this whole thing up to now.

“She was crawling up here, and opened a file cabinet, I think, and must have cut herself, I think, and she’s bleeding now, but she never cried so I didn’t notice for like a minute because she didn’t cry and now there’s blood on the carpet but she never cried and I’m so sorry but she was fine and she never cried….”

Katie, by now, is crying. “My sister is bleeding! Waaaah!”

Kristin is bemused, of course.

We all go downstairs. Liz puts peroxide on the cut and that’s the first time Kristin whimpers. But we can’t get the cut to stop bleeding.

Liz looks at me, and says, “We should take her to the ER!”

Oh, no! The ER!

Katie’s only ER trip happened at 15 months old, when she got nursemaid’s elbow at day care thanks to an overzealous playmate. That was a five hour trip to the ER in Indianapolis, and it was not a fun experience for anyone.

So Kristin, at NEARLY 10 months, now has to go. The first thing I wonder is, “Will they blame me and get CPS after us because my baby girl opened a file cabinet that should have been locked. OH MY GOD!”

But Liz gets her car keys, packs two bottles and gets going to the ER with Kristin as fast as possible. I’m staying home with Katie. Hopefully, since it’s a cut and the hospital here in Crawfordsville is small, it won’t take that long.

So I tell Katie we’re going to have pizza, but then Katie starts crying.

“Mommy didn’t tell me goodbye! WAAAAAAAH!”
“Honey, she didn’t have time. Kristin needed to go see the doctor right away to stop the bleeding!”
“WAAAAAH!”
“You can go watch Sesame Street now! I’ll make pizza!”

That seemed to work.

Within 15 minutes Liz calls. An EMT triaged Kristin and has bandaged her. In fact, the EMT and I went to high school together, a small world indeed.

So I go forage for a pizza. Oops!

There are no pizzas downstairs. So what do I do?

I find some frozen fish fillets. I know we have veggies and leftover mashed potatoes.

“Katie, instead we’re going to have some fish!”

“Yum!”

(Whew!)

So I go about making our ‘feast’ and Liz calls. She said the doctor has examined her, and has asked if we wanted a splint or a stitch. I told Liz I recommended a splint, since a stitch would really be traumatic, I think. She agreed.

Dinner eaten, dishes put away, and it was getting late. I was hoping and praying that Liz and Kristin would come back in time for bedtime for Katie. So I tell Katie to take a bath, and meanwhile while she is doing that (Katie is very independent about baths right now. She won’t get dressed in front of me anymore – because girls aren’t supposed to dress in front of boys!) I call my local family members, so they know, just in case word breaks out from the hospital. (You can never be too careful, ya know).

Anyway, whilst I tell Katie to get out of the tub, Liz calls, they are on their way home. I tell Katie to get dried off, put on her PJs and brush her teeth so she can see Mommy and Kristin right away.

When I hear the door open, Katie and I rush downstairs. There’s Kristin, no worse for wear except for this splint and this bandage contraption on her left hand. It broke my heart.

We put Kristin down for bed right away, and soon after tuck Katie in. I’m on the computer updating people, and Liz marches in with a key.

Click! Click! The file cabinets are now locked.

Everything is fine. Kristin has not let the splint affect her. She’s crawling and clapping hands with it, and hopefully by the end of the weekend we can take it off.

But for the rest of that Wednesday, Liz and I were in a stupor. We decided to hit the sack early, and try to sleep.

It’s amazing how resilient kids are, especially babies like Kristin. I think I would have almost fainted if I saw my finger cut like that, yet Kristin acted like it’s no big deal. I think sometimes it’s best to be innocent and unaware. Not all the time, but when there’s blood on the line (or on the carpet), it may be the best thing for everyone involved!

 

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