I abandon the little one, his homework and his meltdown. I’m there in a nano second in response to the universal wail of “it was an accident!” Her face is shiny with tears and snot as she clutches her foot to her chest and blows on it. There is no sign of other more alarming bodily fluids. She is of course incomprehensible. I stroke her hair and wait for calm.
“I think I’ve got a tooth in my toe!”
“Are you sure? How did you manage that? Let me see.”
“No you’re gonna dig it out with tweezers or a needle or take me to the Emergency Room.”
“Maybe, but lets take a look first. No touching, promise!”
She relinquishes custody of the foot. I peer through bifocals. “It looks like a blood blister to me.”
“What’s a blood blister?”
“It’s a blister under the dermis. The skin isn’t broken.”
“Does it hurt?”
“I don’t know. Does it?”
“Er…..no actually it doesn’t hurt.” I have a sudden urge to quote the little boy who cried wolf too frequently for other people’s sanity.
“Shall we go to the ER then Mom?”
I give her chapter and verse on blood blisters, with my best peeved tone, when I hear a “darn it! S’all sticky!” from behind the sofa. Her brother’s voice sparks something in my tiny brain, “why did you think it was a tooth, by the way?”
“Coz I accidentally kicked him in the face.” I dive over the back of the sofa where my son holds handfuls of Legos drenched in blood. He turns his face towards me to speak, “see dey’re all sticky!” he complains as blood bubbles with saliva over his red smeared cheeks, arms and nake.d torso. I scoop him up and dash to the bathroom amid howls of complaint, “hey! Put me up, I am drop my Legos!” I hose him down to check the source. “Ooo I think you lost your baby tooth. Do you feel o.k.? Does it hurt?”
“Sorry. Have you lost a tooth?”
“Not lost, it’s on dah floor.”
“Do you feel o.k.?”
“Coz my Legos is be ruined!”
“Does it hurt?”
“Does what "hurt?”
I give him a hug as today has been filthy all round.
"Tell you what, leave the Legos with me. I'll wash them. Go and play with something safe."
"Legos are safe."
"True. I know, go and play with Slinky." He smiles a warm, gap toothed grin at the thought of his pet Skink and ambles off. I retrieve the baby tooth for posterity and clean the floor.
I take a moment to check on line to see whether my medical knowledge regarding blood blisters was my usual pile of gobbledegook. Wikepedia quotes me word for word. I conclude that the "Wikipedia" author and I, are either soul mates or fakes! Or maybe just blood brothers?
I scrub Legos and remember that blood is closely related to cement, chemically speaking. A small person arrives at my side. "What?"
"Pardon? What is what dear?"
"What about me?"
"What about you dear?"
"Golly! I'm sorry, I forgot all about you and your homework. Let me just dry my hands a minute, wouldn't like to torture you with dampness would we?" I am mid towel when another shriek of agony demands immediate attention, level 10 alert. I take the tea towel with me, a makeshift first aid kit cum talisman to ward off further evils. I skid to my son who continues to scream without words, spattered in blood, jumping up and down with an extra finger spurting red fountain arcs in the air. I grab his wrist as the rest of his body whip lashes and writhes.
"Bloody hell you pulled his tail off!"
"It was an accident! I love him sooo much!"
Rats to the "theory of mind!"
2 hours ago