Thursday, March 13, 2014

SOLSC 13 of 31 - Frog and Toad and Blood

Join me this month as I write a slice of my life each day this March and join many others sharing slices at  My students will also be slicing this month and you can find links to their daily blogs HERE.  

Opening night of the middle school play is always a special night at my school. This year, A Year with Frog and Toad opened and my daughter and I were there early. Clara paid for the tickets, we read a Frog and Toad book while we waited for the doors to open, and sat entranced as the students acted, danced and sang their way into the audience's heart. 

After the standing ovations were over and a few high-fives given to the cast and crew, we ran along the edge of the building to our car. I unlocked the doors with my keychain and Clara opened the door while standing on the curb. Those extra few inches would end up being important.

I was saying good night to a colleague and his daughter, when, from behind me, I heard the quiet *thunk* of the door stopping against flesh. Then the screaming started. I rushed around to Clara as she cried in with the wide-eyed shock of unexpected pain that is so true to the moment of preschoolers. It was a high enough scream that I knew she was more hurt than usual and I scanned her face, trying to see where the bump was.

A challenge of having an independent child, is she does NOT want to show where it hurts and usually covers up injuries. After a few moments of trying to inspect her teeth, lips, forehead and chin, in the dim parking lot lights, through her masking hands and cries of, "NO! Don't look!" I saw the blood welling on her left eyebrow.

Head wounds bleed a lot, and they seem to always look scarier than they are. Clara was already smearing the red stickiness across her face with her hands and it was then I noticed she was wearing her white sweater. Not that ruining the sweater was a big deal, but it was a nice distraction for me to try and worry about since she was not letting me put the napkin/bandage I had found on her cut. 

So there I was, sitting on the curb, holding my screaming daughter, unable to staunch the bleeding, trying to calm her down, hoping the cut was superficial but having the, "Do I need to go to get stitches?" conversation in my head, trying to keep blood off her sweater, assuring my colleague and his daughter that she should be fine, and wondering how to get enough light to actually look at it and make some informed choices. Talk about living in the moment!

So...we sat in the passenger seat, turned on the interior lights, cleaned her bloody hands with the wet napkin and found a toy to look at. She still would NOT let me touch it, but her hands had wiped away the initial surge of blood and I could see it was superficial and didn't even really need pressure since the bleeding had already stopped. We rocked, played for a few minutes, agreed on a song to listen to, I put her into the car seat and we headed home.  She cried for a few more minutes, but was obviously winding down. 

"Sometimes I need to cry Dada," she said. "Then I can feel better."

"Yes honey. That is so true."

Note - She IS fine but she really put up a good fight trying to clean it at home before bed.


  1. There is so much detail in your writing that I felt I was right there with you as it was happening! So glad she is okay, and she is so wise -- sometimes we all just need a minute to cry! :)

  2. Oh Max, things happen, don't they? I'm so glad that Clara was okay. I thought she had slammed the door on her fingers! You wrote this with such good tension. I read it really fast! Nice work, but not so nice story, although a very good ending!

  3. I'm so relieved to learn she's okay. Sending hopes that you got some sleep last night.

  4. Oh, poor little one. I'm so glad she's ok. I could feel the panic held at bay by your need to be the calm adult even in your writing.