Note: the photo featured below is not for the squeamish. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
People who have spent any significant amount of time around me know I’m a klutz. They may not realize the extent of my klutziness until they witness examples of it, including spilling glasses, breaking dishes, bruising or injuring my body by hitting various non-moving objects… I’m one of those people who could walk around wrapped up in bubble wrap and still manage to get hurt. The only person I know who may be more of a klutz than I am is Sarah at Sarsm’s blog. And I really feel sorry for her. Unfortunately for the two of us, we’ve realized that the klutz gene is hereditary. There are a few genes I’m glad to have passed on to my kids, but this isn’t one of them.
Give my kids 10 minutes of a playground and their shins will be covered with bruises. Like me, they walk into walls and door frames, they trip and fall, they slip in the stairs, they squeeze their fingers in tight places. Some people think I’m overprotective because I keep a close eye on my kids and always tell them to “slow down”, “get down”, “hold my hand”. But as their klutzy mom, I know they can use a little extra protection. And yet, they still get hurt.
This past Friday was the latest example. As I was sitting on the couch with my 7-year old, I watch my 6-year old walk right into the pointy corner of our staircase railing as he tried to cut the corner to go upstairs. I heard that popping sound and knew it wasn’t good. I put pressure on his head while leading him in the kitchen, took a look at his bleeding head and put some paper towels on it as I applied pressure. We sat down on the couch while I calmed him down, telling him the blood would flow harder if he panicked and cried. After a few minutes I looked at the cut on his scalp and saw it was bleeding a lot less (nice platelets!) but I knew he would need some staples to close the gap. So I wrapped up his head tightly and we headed for the ER. I kept telling my boy he was very brave, because he really was. Once the initial pain disappeared and he realized he wasn’t bleeding to death, he was perfectly fine. He patiently waited for his staples while playing video games with his brother. He didn’t complain even once when the doctor stapled his head. He’s a real trooper and I’m very proud of him. Here’s what his wound looks like after a couple of days. It’s healing very nicely.
My boys know I have a scar on my scalp (a much bigger one, not as nice as this one) because I felt backwards on my head and split my scalp open when I was two. That was just the beginning of my lifetime klutziness. Since then my body has collected many scars and injuries, some of which my boys know of, others they don’t yet. When I was 6, I grabbed a large glass bottle of unrefrigerated soda during a heatwave and that bottle exploded in my hands. The shards of glass cut my face, my hands and my inner thigh, which still displays a 1″x2″ ugly scar today. I even had a piece of glass removed from my finger a year after the accident! When I was 8 or 9, I peeled a flap of skin off my knee after falling on a tree grate at school. I refused to have stitches and I have a nice ugly scar on my knee to prove it. I once ran into the pointy end of a door handle (not a doorknob) and I split the inside of my elbow open. More stitches.
When I did horseback riding, I broke my elbow, broke my tailbone, and permanently damaged two lumbar discs, causing chronic back pain since then. As much as I love horseback riding, I would never encourage my kids to go for more than a mellow ride. I was in a car accident when I was 20 and got side whiplash, permanently eliminating the curvature of my neck, causing more chronic pain. I have twisted my ankles many times (but never broke any, yeah!). I twisted my knee so bad while running after the city bus once, it swelled up and I couldn’t bend my leg for several weeks. I damaged a vein on my shin by falling on the bottom of my car door frame one day. The vein never recovered and I had to have it shrunk eventually. I have bruised my legs so many times that I decided to keep all the protective bumpers I installed on the furniture when I had kids. I broke my new glasses and gave myself a black eye by opening my car door in my face. Most recently I deeply scraped my nose bridge by opening a kitchen cabinet door right into it.
And that’s just for the injuries. I have many more scars on my body from surgery. When I was 7, I has a Meckel’s diverticulum burst (similar to an appendix) and I suffered peritonitis because I wasn’t taken to the hospital early enough. I had to have three feet of small intestines removed and I’m left with an ugly scar as a result. However I have beautiful scars from my fibroid removal surgery, and another beautiful scar from my two C-sections. I’ve realized scars look a lot nicer when the surgery is planned than when you have to fix some damage.
I know I’m a hopeless case of klutziness and my kids are following right in my tracks. I feel sorry for them and the only thing I can do is to protect them the best I can, and tell them to “using walking feet”, “slow down”, “get down”, and “hold my hand”. They hate it but when something like this scalp injury happens, I remind them I’m just trying to keep them safe. Our motto at home is “safety first” but it’s really hard when the odds are against us from the start.
Do you have any interesting stories of klutziness, stitches or staples to share?