It was a gloomy November afternoon. Charlotte and her friend, Vera, were playing in the boulevard next to the school, letting off some steam after what was, I’m sure, a stressful day in kindergarten. They were climbing and running and jumping in leaves and playing something they called “Creepy Carrots” (no idea). Vera’s mom, Sam, and I were happily chatting and our babies were relaxing in their respective carriers. Unfortunately, the calm atmosphere was abruptly shattered when Charlotte tripped on the sidewalk and fell to the ground. Cue immediate, hysterical crying.
“MMMM-OOOOOO-MMMM-EEEEEE, I’m huuuurrrrrtttttt!!!”
At first, I was worried that she might have split her lip because she seemed to fall flat on her face but she braced herself with her hands and avoided any facial injuries. Her area of concern seemed to be her knees. I decided to just take her home and examine her there, rather than trying to do it in the street with Penelope attached to me. We bid farewell to our friends (ok, I bid farewell, as Charlotte could not stop crying) and headed on home.
I’m sure we made quite the scene on our walk home, with Charlotte limping along, clutching at me and sobbing loudly. I tried every distraction technique I could think of to get her to stop crying (and as a pediatric nurse, I am well-versed in distraction techniques).
Me: “Oh, look at that funny little squirrel over there! Do you think he’s looking for nuts?”
Me: “Oh wow, I see some Halloween decorations over there! Do you think they are friendly ghosts?”
At this point, I knew it was time to pull out the big guns- Christmas. I know it’s still a month and a half away, but from the way I was talking, you would have thought it was December 24th.
Me: “What do you think Santa is going to bring you for Christmas? You have been such a good girl, I bet he will bring you anything you want! What would you like?”
C: “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Seriously, she missed a golden opportunity here. I was so desperate for her stop crying, she could have asked for a pony and I would have found a way to make it happen.
Santa didn’t work, talk of gingerbread houses and decorating the Christmas tree didn’t work either. Which may have been for the best, actually, because if she had stopped crying and asked me to break out the Christmas decorations that afternoon, I would have done it. So I probably dodged a bullet there.
By this time, Penelope had started crying, too- she gets very upset whenever she sees Charlotte crying, so I had two unhappy girls to calm down when we walked in our door. Thankfully, Penelope was distracted easily enough with some toys in her high chair, so I then prepared to examine what was bound to be a life-threatening injury on Charlotte’s knee. She whipped off her pants so that I could get a good look at the wound, and I found…absolutely nothing. Ok, not nothing, there WAS some slight redness to her knee, but there was no bleeding, no broken skin, no bones protruding, no swelling. She’s had more serious-looking mosquito bites. Certainly, there was nothing that warranted the hysterical fit she’d been having.
Me: “Hmmm, it looks like you will be okay.”
C: “Noooooo!!!! I need some ice!!!!” Charlotte has been convinced of the magical healing powers of ice ever since she hurt her lip at the beginning of the school year and one of the volunteers at the school put some ice on her injury. I obligingly filled a little baggie with some ice and water and my dramatic little girl settled down happily, tears finally drying up. And when Mark came home from work, roughly two hours after she sustained her minuscule injury, he found her on the couch, pant leg rolled up, pressing her bag of ice (well, it was mostly water by that point) to her knee. SUCH a little drama queen.