Wednesday, June 10, 2009


It finally happened. Actually, I'm surprised it took this long. After over 6 years of being parents, Matt and I had our first trip to the ER with a wounded child.

Most everyone knows by now that Abby was in a bike wreck on Tuesday night. She's fine, but very banged up, including a lot of scraping and swelling on her face. She will be as good as new in a few days, thank goodness.

When we decided to go to the hospital, the child got positively terrified. She had visions of saw-wielding doctors chasing after her. I finally convinced her to go in of her own free will. She was mortified that people were staring at her. Understandable that they were, since her face was covered in blood and her upper lip was swollen to the size of her forearm. Strangely, the ER folks let her sit in the waiting room looking like that. People kept coming in and looking at her, then looking at me and Matt as though we had beaten her with a bat and then brought her in for urgent care. Nice.

The entire time we were there, Abby flipped back and forth from being upset to flippant and sassy. It got quite amusing. At one point, we were in the exam room. Abby was curled up in my lap, whimpering from pain. She said through tears, "I wish I could just escape!" Clever, hip mom that I am, I started singing a little Gwen Stefani "Sweet Escape." I was 2 lines in when Abby turned around, looked at me with narrowed eyes, and said "Yeah, not helping, Mom." BOOM! Injured 6-year old to smarty pants 15-year old in 2 seconds.

Abby also informed us that one piece of machinery in the room was a "Brain Sucker," used to suck out sickness of the brain. She told the doctor that her uncle Jake is a nurse (he's a surgeon) and replied with "I don't understand what you're trying to ask me" in a majorly disdainful tone when they asked her to rate her pain from 1 to 10. That kid.

I've been asked several times if Abby was wearing a helmet. She was not. The injuries were such that they would have been exactly the same if she had been wearing one, but still. This issue is a tough one for me. I am not reckless with my children's safety, but at the same time I am opposed to over-protecting children to the point that they can't move. I read an excellent commentary on this just the other day here--take a look and let me know what you think. I think that we will have her wear her helmet for long bike rides from now on, but I'm still not going to make her wear it for riding up and down the street. Does this make me a bad mom? If you think so, keep it to yourself. However, if you think I'm right on, feel free to let me know.

Luckily, our new neighbors and angelic friends Matt and Cori took Ethan and got him to sleep at their house, so at least we didn't have to deal with him at the hospital. Can you imagine? He would pour alcohol on the wheelchairs and use the x-ray machine as a jungle gym. Sigh. I'm sure his time is coming.


Anonymous said...

I think you are right about the helmet!!!

Autumn said...

I'm totally in agreement on the helmet. We didn't wear them when we were kids and frankly I don't know anyone that died from your basic children's bike accident. What's a little injury with a good story to tell later!

Keep riding, Abby!

Anonymous said...

I made the comment to you about the helmet last wouldn't have helped this! I like my kids to wear helmets when they are on a road a CAR is on too...that's when I've seen the WORST accidents, though Abby didn't look pretty last night!!! I'm more worried about what that car can do! On the park trail, the bikes are the big dogs!!! Praying she get's over it soon!! Tell her Sydney is thinking about her!!

Kori "o)

Matt said...

Don't stress about the helmet thing... I didn't wear one when I was a kid, and my kids won't have to wear one either (unless, like Kori said, they're on a road with cars). And, though hopefully not under these circumstances, you know your kids are welcome to sleep on our couch anytime!

Outnumbered said...

I hope Abby is better soon - It's not like you have very much going on :) I also think you are right about the helmet issue. My kids never wear helmets - granted we only ride on our cul-de-sac.


Melanie said...

You're so right about the helmet thing. Up and down the street or around quiet trails is no big deal. I don't think they even made bike helmets when we were kids (if they did, I never saw one). I once was part of a conversation with some middle aged women whose mothers smoked and drank martinis every night while pregnant, and these were all professional, well-adjusted, and healthy women (while I'm absolutely NOT advocating such behavior, I do think it's a little amusing that doctors have gone a little overboard with some things, like telling pregnant women not to eat lunchmeat!).

So how exactly did the accident happen? Did she hit another kid or just the asphalt? Or, heaven forbid, a wall or something?