Meet the Klutz family

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 boy got staples on his scalp

My boy got staples on his scalp

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?

22 responses to “Meet the Klutz family

  1. I feel for him. I got 5 stitches in my arm last week and fractured my humurus. When I can type faster, I’ll bog about my bad luck. Good luck. I will never tell you guys to ‘break a leg’ because you might take me literally

  2. I totally get you. I’m a stair-faller and both my boys sort of got that bit from me. I’ve fallen as a child and as an adult, once when I was pregnant with my first son! My first son took a tumble and lost a milk tooth that was already wobbly. My second son took a few more spills but the major one actually resulted in his shoe getting a hole and him losing a small chunk of flesh where the hole was. I still hold the record for the most falls which is okay as long as it’s not them. Then again, they’re adults now so I’m hoping my 6-month old granddaughter takes after her mom!

    • Oh wow, now I don’t feel so bad! I slipped in the stairs when I was 8 months pregnant with my first. That was a bit scary. I think for us, it’s still mostly walking into non-moving objects. My youngest have himself a black eye by walking into a bright yellow pole on a playground. I swear we can’t see what’s right in front of us. It’s pathetic.

  3. I’m so glad your son was okay! That had to hurt. :(
    I love how you handled it. Children learn from us and model our behavior. If we freak out when they injure themselves, then they will, too. By you being calm, he in turn was calm in the emergency room. You made that visit so much easier for him (and for the staff too, I imagine!) :)
    (Loved the “nice platelets” comment!)

    • Platelets are a mom’s best friend, right? I have to admit, my boy is growing up. About a year ago, we all had to get blood tests when our lymph nodes were swollen. My oldest did OK but my youngest shrieked loud enough for the while building to hear and it took 3 people to get his blood. We laugh about it today but it was quite ridiculous. So I told him that the next time he goes for a blood test, he needs to remember this ER visit and how brave he was. :-)

  4. Yikes that must have been scary! For both you and him, sounds like he was very brave during that procedure!

  5. OUCH!!! Your son is brave. You too!
    BFF got staples in his head from a work related accident ~> he was hanging signage and a metal ceiling fan blade decided to do the tango with his scalp.

  6. Youch!!!!!! I hope that all is well now.
    Thanks for the mention! I am a source of mystery to my husband, he shakes his head at me ALL DAY as I crash from one thing into another!!!! Imagine if we actually met: we’d need to be wrapped in bubble wrap so we didn’t cause each other an injury!! ;-)
    Two out of my four kids have also inherited my genes. Like you I’m constantly encouraging them to be careful!!!!

    • It’s a terrible gene to have for sure and I don’t care if I sound overprotective. Our motto “safety first” has helped us avoiding a lot of injuries but some of them slip in still.

      The injured boy got his staples removed a couple of days ago and his scar looks beautiful. I think we’ll barely be able to see it in a year, just like his other scalp scar. :-)

      • I don’t think you sound overprotective at all. You know all too well from your own experiences how painful these accidents can be.
        Glad he’s on the mend!!

  7. You and your son are brave. I too and my son are prone to accident. I have a scar on my forehead from wrestling a wooden speaker when I was about 5. It actually fell on top of me and mom swear It was horrific with all blood on my face, screaming and all. My son jumped into a cement window frame when he was about 6 and got several stitches. To this day he swears it gives him nightmares remembering it. Oh, and my wife gave me a long lecture on child safety after since it happened on my watch. Hope the klutziness gets better in time. For now, helmet and other safety precautions are a must. Have a great Summer & congratulations to your little ones on their graduation.

    • Oh my gosh, I can see why your son would still have nightmares about his ordeal. It sounds quite scary, especially for a little one. It’s very easy to get hurt and never fun to get things fixed, so you’re right, prevention goes a long way.

  8. Happy Summer my friend. Miss your posts. How time flies. Not long ago, we were talking about Spring and now we’re half way Summer. Hope you and your family are having the best of Summer. Been busy with work but soon will join my wife and son with our family in the tropics. It’s rainy season there but I hope the Sun will shine when I get there. Crossing my fingers. By the way, I was born in 1971 but pretty much thrive for one season which is Summer. Just last in San Diego, Houston being close to Galveston Island can create a Summer feel all year long. We still go to the beach in Winter and run around its cold waters. Thanks for sharing. All the best to you and your family.

    • I tried to leave this comment as a response to your comment on your post, but again, it won’t let me. Very weird…
      I hear you. I’ve lived in the US for 21 years and I’ve been a citizen for 11. Still, in many ways I still consider myself French, even though there are many things I don’t like about my country or fellow French people. I don’t think you can even forget where you came from and where your roots are.

      I’ve been taking some time off from blogging to spend time with my kids this summer and trying to figure out what to focus on in the fall for make my career go forward. So far, I haven’t made much progress, but eventually I’ll figure it out. I hope you have a great vacation at home with all of your family.

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