Both of my boys are currently of an age where they get lots of (thankfully minor, so far) injuries. Liam is great at walking, so now he’s trying more ambitious things, like running, jumping and climbing on the furniture. Benjamin has entered the phase of maleness where he believes he is invincible (which, as I understand it, will last until he’s nearly 40, at least). Consequently, they get their share of bumps, bruises and bonks. Just a few weeks ago, B had to go to the Emergency Room (the Accident Department here) for an x-ray to rule out a broken nose, and today, Liam fell and got a bad bonk to the head.
He was running around the kitchen, in slippers, while I tried to get a snack together for the kids and write a note to myself (“make doctor’s appointment for Liam”, ironically) on the dry erase board on the back of our kitchen door. Bad combination — he came around the corner of our “island” (a rolling butcher block that we keep in the middle of the kitchen) at a run, lost his footing on the tile in his slippers and fell, forehead first, into the corner edge of the door . . . which I was holding in just the right position so that it was steady enough for me to write my note, so it didn’t budge at all when he hit it. Instant screaming and crying (from him — I kept my cool reasonably well). I scooped him up, grabbed an ice pack and went to inspect him in the living room.
His poor head already had a massive bump that was starting to bruise, and a scrape/cut in the middle that was bleeding just a little. My poor guy. He wouldn’t let me ice it but he did let me put some Neosporin on it, and I sat there and cuddled him while I tried to figure out whether he needed medical attention. I’m terrible at making these decisions. He wasn’t bleeding profusely, but with all of the swelling, I couldn’t tell if it was just a bad scrape (as B got when he sustained an almost identical injury, courtesy of a door frame, about a year ago) or if it was actually open and needed stitches. I’m a worrier, so my normal instinct is to ask a professional if I can’t tell how bad it is, but that urge is tempered by not wanting to traumatize my kids with unnecessary urgent trips to the hospital, and the challenge of handling all of it in German (although most of the medical professionals we’ve dealt with here do speak at least some English). I don’t want to choose simplicity over safety, but I also don’t want to give us all an extra dose of stress if there’s no reason. Given that I’m a worrier, if the injury doesn’t make me scream, “That’s it, we’re off to the hospital!” then I take that as a sign that it’s probably ok.
We stayed home. I still don’t know if I made the right decision. Later, while he was napping, I was able to put some ice on it, and as the swelling has gone down, it seems like I made the right call to spare him the stress of an ER visit, but I’m just not sure. I hope that if he ends up with a scar on his forehead, he’ll forgive me. It’s hard being the mom. But today, it’s even harder to be Liam’s forehead.