I cheated with my last post. I finished the writing on Wednesday evening, intending to 'publish' Thursday night but hadn't counted on the curve ball. Come Friday evening, I still wasn't up for dealing with the details and, as Andy Goldsworthy's art always makes me smile, that's what I went with. By now, my breathing has returned to a relatively even rhythm and apart from a too-frequent memory of the other morning and the physically cringing response that goes with it, things are pretty ok.
Early Thursday, my not-far-off two year old had an altercation with a tandem bike chain. Her older brother was busy doing what five year olds do, (rotating the pedal by hand) and his little sister, staying true to her job description, poked her finger in the path of the moving chain. Now this is where my toes start curling and I can hear my heart thump in my ears. Her poor, poor finger was stuck, and the time that her Dad worked to free her, while I held her, was surely nothing less than a decade. Even more terrifying, was the sight of the finger once freed. A million soothing nursery rhymes were sung in that ambulance on the way to the hospital and every one of them stuck in my throat. By the time we had been through endless x-rays, anaesthesias and inspections, my poor kid was also enduring croaking, creaking renditions of Up the Wooden Hill and the Patsy Biscoe's Songs for Children that saw me through my own childhood.
Although I would recommend all the hospital staff we came across, be knighted or turned into fairy princesses or something lovely, a series of extremely stressful bungles meant that we had to wait until Friday afternoon for surgery. Given all the finger nerve endings had given up the ghost and pain was mercifully minimal, imagine if you would, the challenge in keeping an I'm-off-to-conquer-the-world ankebiter on your lap or in a cot for 30 hours while ensuring the 'drip' isn't pulled out/causing strangulation/any other nightmare scenario I could care to imagine (these were, by now, countless).
A couple of days on and although there are some hurdles ahead, the poppet is on the mend. It just goes to show how bouncy and resilient kids are, as she negotiates a vastly changed centre of gravity, lugging around a protective cast that weighs a brick. She hasn't stopped demanding 'higher' on the swing, or 'flying' (jumping) off the steps, although her mother is willing to stoop to any form of bribery, if only she would for half a minute.
Finally, I have a list of thank yous (in coming to the rescue chronological order):
1. To our lovely neighbour who is either extremely talented at being in the right place at the right time (or thinks we are extremely accident prone). She scooped up our other two kids and led a tidy up through a house that really could probably have just done with a very large power hose. She also fed the dog.
2. The long-suffering Grandma, Grandad and Nana Myrtleandeunice. This time we ruined the first bit of their Easter holiday but they beautifully soothed a couple of stressed kids and hosted a sleepover. They also fed the dog.
3. To Rebecca Danger for her Bunny Nuggets pattern. Mr Myrtleandeunice very cleverly packed the knitting bag the day of the surgery. The pattern was joyously simple and perfect distraction therapy. Had the Mr developed a sudden mind reading talent and packed the darning needle and scissors I would have finished the second ear and the Parent Waiting Room would have escaped entirely unscathed. To my knowledge, Rebecca did not feed the dog.
(Mr Myrtleandeunice would like a credit for his pom pom bunny bottoms):
4. To the Mr Myrtleandeunice who was the definitive Pillar of Strength. That bloke really does know how to do calm (even though his toes are still curling). And he's a star. And he remembered most of the knitting stuff. And he also fed the dog.
5. Finally, to the very dear friend who appears to be setting up a Meals on Wheels service. A scrummy dinner was supplied last night (the kid with the dodgy finger was the first to demand 'MORE!') and we have only just eaten our way through last week's surprise seasonal (which includes pumpkin) pie. She didn't feed the dog, but I know she would if I ever needed to ask.