i knew it didn't bode well when i dropped brian and oliver off at the target yesterday and brian told oliver he could help him pick out the new clock. they returned with this large, thin, stand up number. chrome exterior, black interior, blue numbers that make me feel i'm going blind when i try to read them shimmering up against the shiny blackness. and... it's an old person clock. three inch high read out that takes up so much luminescence, you can still see things with the overhead lights turned off.
i hate it a lot. i can't help it. it's a big, blue, old person's sore thumb.
the point is, there's a new clock and brian isn't old enough, yet, to know how to set it properly to wake us up. i suppose it assumes we're 80 and will just automatically wake with the sun. we didn't. and oliver didn't. and violet didn't. and i finally did at 7:20, an hour after we should have gotten up. somehow, we managed to make it out the door at the same time, which always makes me think there are things we should be cutting from our ordinary, on-time routine.
i especially didn't want to be late because this is oliver's week to be snack chef and it would be even more obvious, our lateness. we carted in two bags filled with bananas, apples, pears, wheat crackers, hummus, and olives... we were told he's the first to bring olives. his idea.
i returned home and fed violet and waited for word that work was dead. it didn't come, because work was dead, so i left myself to my own accord and went out the door at 11:30 to take the slow way up to ikea to meet brian for hurried rations of overcooked, toothless child-friendly vegetables and organic spaghetti. we picked up a tray for works, a couple of wooden and metal bowls that might prove less likely to be destroyed than the wooden salad bowls purchased almost a year ago, some containers for cat food, and left with no fabric as i am incapable of making a decision and brian was giving this countdown to when he was going to abandon me, so i just said forget it and promptly started remembering it.
took the slow way back home and listened to violet chatter almost the whole way while i listened to npr interviewing someone magee about his keys to good cooking. my stomach picked up with this thing it had kind of been doing earlier where it felt like there was a fist clenched around my stomach proper. kind of like back when oliver was a baby and i kept getting these mysterious, food poisoning-type illnesses. i struggled with that a bit and baked some tofu until it was time to pick up oliver and hear the report that his role as snack chef went smashingly and there had been a sign that said, "two olives each," with the olives.
we went to look for peacocks and found all the boys luxuriating in someone's front garden and oliver, the jaded boy he is, told me he preferred going home to watch frosty, the snowman to looking at some of nature's finest.
after arriving home, oliver ran on ahead and as i approached the end of the great hall with violet, i could hear screaming or crying or something that strikes terror in the hearts of mothers and i knew that it was my child and i rounded the corner running and thought for a second it couldn't really be him because it sounded so far away and i didn't immediately see him, but i knew deep down that it was him screaming.
and then i saw him. he was lying on the sidewalk, which is highly pebbled in nature, on his left side with his head pointed toward the courtyard so that his face was looking away from me. i already just knew what was wrong somehow. i ran as fast as i could and violet began crying. there was blood everywhere, spattered on the sidewalk, on his shirt, on his face. i felt the panic. i didn't want to look to see what was causing the blood. i knew he had tripped and hit the stony step with his forehead. i imagined his face torn to shreds.
i quickly dug out a terrycloth rag from my bag and pressed it to his forehead and tried to calm him while i fumbled for my phone. i had absolutely no idea what to do. i knew i couldn't wait for brian to drive the 45 minutes home, but i called him anyway. if he was bleeding badly enough to need to go to the ER, he would need to compress the wound in the car. would he be old enough to take that on himself? how would i get him and violet and the wound to the car? where was i supposed to go?
i just kept thinking of the blood pouring out and knowing how nasty the bleeding from head wounds could be. i still hadn't found the nerve to actually look at how bad the wound was, but i could see the blood was seeping it's way pretty well through the multiple folds of thick cloth. i folded it some more.
i called brian's work phone. no answer. his cell. no answer. i left an abbreviated message to call me right away. i tried his work phone again and he answered. he started looking up hospitals for me. i started to lose my composure the second he answered. tears began to form. violet was still screaming. oliver cried a bit longer and started to calm. he was still lying on the sidewalk.
i finally managed to lift the cloth and look and was astonished to find a very small, very deep puncture wound. fortunately, it didn't gush blood the second the pressure was removed, though i subconsciously think i noticed it pulse. i decided to get oliver up and go upstairs to see if it had stopped sufficiently. oliver commented how there was blood on his shirt. i told him not to worry, it would wash out. he hadn't seen the rag yet. or his face. we removed the rag in the bathroom and the wound looked black and bottomless. i think i saw it pulse again. i folded up some toilet paper and stuck it on with surgical tape. it didn't bleed through. we removed oliver's button down and i worried about pulling another shirt across his head, so we put a robe on him instead.
he still wanted to watch frosty, the snowman. i brought him some wheat crackers and told him he could sit on the couch as long as he didn't put his head down on it. he said, "i'll be a statue."
brian had left work after we got off the phone. we sat down to an early dinner and after, brian removed the makeshift bandage. pulse. he placed a neosporinated bandage in its place and oliver began begging him to stop, as he was pressing the center as well as the edges. i could see blood already.
they just returned from a bandaid purchase at central market. he just ran in here to show me the new dora bandage plastered across his forehead. it would have gone swimmingly with his sister's magenta coat, which he had wanted to wear to the store.