I have two rambunctious boys to go along with a mild mannered daughter so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that a quiet supper turned into a trip to the emergency room, but it did a couple weeks ago.
I was eating supper at 6:15 around the island in our kitchen with my three kids while my wife, Jenny, had to work late.
The cell phone rang and, of course, I answered because I was expecting two dairy farmers to call me back about features I wanted to put in the paper.
No longer than one minute into my conversation, I saw my 6-year-old son, Mason, with his shirt pulled up over his face goofing around with Jasper, our 2-year old. Then Jasper leaned back to avoid his silly brother and fell off his chair.
On the way down he tried to grab anything to prevent himself from falling, but instead hit a dinner plate that took flight at his forehead. As soon as Jasper hit the back of his head on the floor the plate came down vertical and struck the middle of his forehead, fortunately not breaking the plate.
But, instantly blood started running down his forehead and across his face. I hung up the phone and grabbed some cloths to try to stop the bleeding. April ran to get some Band-Aids, Mason perched in his chair and just watched in awe while I told Jasper to lay still so I could try to stop the bleeding.
We couldn't get the bleeding to stop for what was probably a minute but seemed like a half an hour. Quickly, we had a puddle of blood under Jasper's head. I didn't think a 27-pound kid could bleed so much. Finally, we were able to stop it and apply a bandage.
After cleaning up the mess, I took another look at the cut, hoping to tell myself that we wouldn't have to go to the emergency room.
It brought back memories of taking Mason to the E.R. To say the least he wasn't fond of being stitched up.
But a second look and I discovered a one-eighth-inch gash that was over a half inch long. Then things got worse. Jenny called and told me she had plans with one of her coworkers after work. I promptly told her I needed her to come home because I needed to take Jasper to the emergency room.
She rushed home and we went together.
We checked in and the nurse brought us a train and a racecar to divert his attention from the problem at hand.
About 15 minutes later the doctor arrived. He numbed Jasper's forehead and grabbed his utensils to start stitching. Jasper started crying and never stopped as the nurse and I tried to hold him still in the blanket we had wrapped tight around him.
Jenny waited in the hall. She couldn't bear to see her baby being stitched up and isn't fond of blood.
Fortunately, there were only five stitches needed.
Once we finished, Jasper kindly waved bye to the doctor and our visit was over.
We headed home and I thought to myself that wasn't so bad. Jasper was stitched up, but only had to have five stitches and the doctor said next week the stitches could come out already.
On Monday morning those plans went awry.
By 10 a.m. our daycare provider had texted my wife and I and said Jasper had popped open the stitches when he hit his head. Are you kidding me? Stitches again.
I picked Jasper up and headed back to the hospital. This time things were much worse.
As soon as Jasper and I exited the vehicle he saw the hospital and started to cry. He was OK while we waited in the reception area, but his cry turned to a roar when we walked back to the room to re-stitch.
No racecars, tractors or suckers were going to sooth him over this time. He was mad and going to cry. We numbed him again, sewed him up with a thicker thread, and got out of there.
The 7-minute ride to daycare was tough. Every time I looked up in the mirror I could see his red forehead and stitches. Fortunately, the rest of the day went well and since then we haven't been back.
I know with two boys it probably won't be the last time we visit the E.R. for stitches, but maybe next time I'll ask the doctor to double stitch it.