Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bloody Shabbos

I was running breathlessly back to my sister's house, my screaming niece clutched in my arms. A red-stained batch of tissues was messily pressed to her head, and she oddly complained between screeching for her daddy that she can't see.

My white leather jacket was splattered in her blood.

I had taken her to the park, as I had been reassuring her I would since daybreak. Now, I'm sure many of you can think of a few park hazards that would warrant the services of stitches. Swings. Slides. Monkey bars.

Walking into a lamppost is not one's first guess.

She was ambling ahead of me, in all her three-year-old cuteness, fresh from a foray on the swings, insisting that she wanted to go on the other jungle gym across the park. She was idly looking over her shoulder at some frolicking children, and I saw the obstacle ahead of her. I called out her name, but she banged into the lamppost with a sickening thud.

I figured, judging by the noise, that she would be left with a hefty bump, and enfolded her into a comforting embrace, then pulled her back to see if there was any damage, simply to be greeted by a veil of red.

In all my years of aunthood (approximately 13) I have never had a child harmed in my care to such a drastic extent. While they have scars from stitches aplenty, the gashes were never on my watch.

Now, there was a distinct dent in her forehead.

Her father is in Hatzolah, and when I arrived on the doorstep, gasping for breath, I hollered for him, only he had, of course, taken his other daughter to a friend's house. And my sister had gone with them.

A neighboring Hatzolah member used his radio to have him summoned, and not ten seconds later he burst heroically through the door, lacking only spandex tights. At this point I was trying to read my niece Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now, trying to keep my voice from cracking. The metallic smell of blood was overwhelming.

My sister was, thankfully, not holding me responsible. "These things happen," she said, uncomprehending of my watery eyes and runny nose. However, I didn't blame myself; walking into a lamppost can be easily categorized as a freak accident. I also knew that head wounds bleed heavily. But I still felt shaky.

I took a baby wipe and mopped off the blood from my jacket. There was a trail down my sweater arm and a patch on my neck.

Three hours later the little babá was tucked by my elbow again, bandage over her stitches, happily fiddling with the pink hospital bracelets on her arm as I read, yet again, Marvin K. Mooney. She was fine, and would bounce back in the springy way toddlers have.

But that night, as I closed my eyes to sleep, all I could see was her screaming, bloody face and the red splattered all over my white leather jacket.

I thought my niece had emerged relatively unscathed from the incident, with only a shiny line on her forehead that will fade with time.

But a few weeks later: "Come, boo, let's go for a walk."

She scuttles away with frightened eyes. "I don't want to go to the park."

"No, baby, not to the park. Just for a walk."

"I don't want to go to the park."

"You'll be staying in the carriage! Just for a walk! We'll see some squirrels and cats and birds . . . "

"I don't want to go to the park."

Oh boy.

After its gory experience, I concluded that the best choice would be to give the white leather jacket away.

"You should give it away," my sister said. "You look like a mobster's girlfriend."

On second thought . . .


Mystery Woman said...

And then you have the kind of kid - like my son - who falls while he's climbing, and as soon as he's back home with his brand new stitches, he's climbing the same place again. Different nature. Or maybe boys are different...

Anonymous said...


Fashion-isha said...

Haha! No the post is not funny but that last sentence was. It sounds like you and she had a very traumatic experience and BH she's ok!!

I just wanted to tell you I love what you wrote on my RED blog post. It's so true and I agree with you so much about enjoying this world and Hashem's colors!

Thank you so much and hope your daughter feels better.

And oh...I totally get wanting to look the like the mobster's gf thing ;)

aminspiration said...

Don't know if this is wrong but the whole time I was reading i was thinking- yay she got the jacket!

Princess Lea said...

MW: And have other "braver" nieces too! Ah well . . .

Anon: Careful with the "LOL"!

Sharon: My niece, not daughter!

AmInspiration: Yes, the jacket stays!