Here’s a list of things I like doing at 1am on a Sunday morning:
1. Sleeping in my bed
It’s a very short list.
But I wasn’t sleeping in my bed at 1am on Sunday morning. I was sitting in the waiting room of a hospital emergency department.
The eldest rocked backwards on a chair at a friend’s birthday party, tipped over and split their head open on the corner of a table.
My blood-spattered child arrived on the front doorstep with a big sticking plaster over one eyebrow – and two friends in tow – looking very sheepish around 9.30pm.
I peeled back the plaster, held back a retch – the wound was pretty wide and deep – sighed and said: “OK, we’d better get some stitches in that.”
I have a photograph of the injury. but I’ve decided not to put you off your breakfast. (My mum’s succinct response when I sent it to her was “OMG!”)
My school friend Tracy was staying the night, so she held the fort while I was gone … she also kindly removed all the food crumbs from the eldest’s bed and made the petri-dish-like room presentable for the unexpected guests.
Hospital emergency rooms are pretty intense and crowded on Saturday nights – lots of crying children and loud speaker announcements along the lines of “crash cart needed to trauma bed two”.
We were moved along fairly quickly to something called the “fast lane” or “fast ward” or something with “fast” in the title, which didn’t involve anything remotely speedy, but had nice, squishy armchairs.
A doctor checked the wound and confirmed it needed stitches, then said she was heading off on a dinner break and would be back in 30 minutes to sort it out.
We sat and watched doctors and nurses drift around helping other people in the room.
I figured it must be like waitressing where you each have your allocated customers, except without the tipping.
I passed the time thinking about young DD working in the emergency department, wandering around in scrubs with a stethoscope around his neck.
The eldest passed the time taking gory selfies and posting them on Snapchat and Instagram.
When the doctor returned, she asked if the eldest had suffered any head wounds in the past, which is always a “please don’t call DOCs” moment for me.
There have been soooo many head wounds.
They started during the toddler years when the eldest tripped over my husband’s ugg boot and hit their head on the wardrobe, then discovered an old bottle of milk under the sofa and drank it and threw up – we weren’t sure if it was from concussion or food poisoning.
Parents of the year!
Then there was the time the eldest fell off a trampoline and hit their head on a fence.
And an art installation braining in New York.
And the incident when they were hi-jinxing with their cousin and fell backwards onto the corner of a wall and split the back of their head open to the bone.
We got that one stitched at the local medical centre by an elderly Indian doctor, who admitted he hadn’t stitched anyone in about 20 years. His technique was a little unorthodox, but I figured major scarring wasn’t an issue on the back of the head, so cest la vie.
This injury was a little more prominent, being over the eyebrow and all.
There was talk about getting “plastics” involved, but the doctors had a pow-wow and decided the edges of the wound were nice and clean, so they’d just do some regular sewing instead. They must get heaps of practice on weekends, the eight stitches were super neat.
I was a little afronted at one point when the doctor tentatively asked “So, you are the … mother?”
My immediate paranoid thought was “She’s not sure if I’m the mother or the grandmother!”
There was also some concern about concussion and the idea was floated that we’d have to hang around for four hours for observation. It was way after midnight at that point, so I silently screamed “nooooooooo”.
But they finally resolved that since the injury had occurred around 8pm we were in the clear.
I wearily drove home at 1.30am and – as I am totally incapable of sleeping in – I woke up at 6.22am and went to Pump class as usual.
I may have snuck in a little nano nap during the planking.
DD perked me up later in the day with a swim at my beloved Bilgola Beach. It’s getting a little nippy in the surf … around 17C, but it was still absolutely glorious.
Then we went for a lamb roast at our favourite local watering hole. The yorkshire pudding was yuuuuuum.
I headed home to check on the rat with chronic respiratory disease and the 15-year-old with the Frankenstein head and DD hopped on a plane to Melbourne and Adelaide for the week.
Later that night, I went to my sister’s place for my second roast of the day – go me! Afterwards, we sat in her spa sipping glasses of the pinot grigio my friend Tracy gifted to me and moaning about how grinding life can be.
Big day. Huge. Still recovering.
Song of the day: Oasis “Falling down”