Thursday, December 29, 2011

How the Grinch Almost Stole Christmas...

We've had this Grinch stocking around for ages; from when Nick was little, and there wasn't yet a Jim Carey version. We pull him out and hang him up every year but he never gets anything from Santa.
I understand how he could get a little grinchy because of that, so starting next year the Grinch will always get a little goodie in his stocking. It'll just be my superstitious way of keeping away anymore accidents like we had on the Monday after Christmas.

Call me a bad mom, but I do in fact let Sophie and Laney remove the cushions from our leather couch, which is currently (but not for long) in front of the fireplace, and use it as a trampoline. However, being the safety girl I am, I have rules.
1. No shoes (often ignored)
2. No shoving (commonly referred to as the "She did it first!" defense)
3. No jumping when the Christmas stockings are hung

I actually had to un-hang all the stockings after putting up the tree and other decorations because of that last rule. I was never directly concerned about the stockings, but I worried that the stockings would get pulled on and the heavy, metal stocking hangers would fall on a tiny foot. So I took them down and forgot all about rule #3.
We've had several minor accidents on the couch trampoline. Luckily, we're talking about girls... otherwise at least two of the incidents could have brought their voices up a notch. Of course, the answers to my two favorite questions always remains the same:
Me: "See why I don't want you to jump on the couch?"
Girls: "Yes."
Me: "Now are you going to stop jumping on the couch?"
Girls: "No. Who's turn is it?!"
Me: *sigh*

On Christmas Eve we rehung the stockings and after the festivities the next morning there was only one stocking left hanging; lonely and miserable... The Grinch. (Insert ominous music here.)

Monday evening, around 5pm Sophie and I were in the craft room working on stuff, listening to Pandora's children's station on my iPhone and having a nice quiet evening.
She left her desk for a minute during a particularly upbeat song. I am tortured by the idea that I didn't ask where she was going, but I honestly thought she was just going to the bathroom or to get a snack. Even worse, since my scrapbooking/crafting end of the counter is opposite the doorway to the living room, if I had swiveled my chair I would be able to see the couch and the mantel with one stocking left hanging.
Within a minute she let out a scream and was running toward me holding out her hands. At first I thought she had gotten red ink from my stamp pads or markers all over herself, but as she got right up to the chair she said, "Momma, it hurts!", and that's when I realized there was a rush of blood streaming down her face. I cradled her in my lap for a second, trying to find out what happened and then realized that the blood was continuing to pulse out of the top of her head. I jumped up with her and started running from the room, asking what happened. She calmed enough to point out the heavy snowman stocking holder above the Grinch, which I could then see was dripping with blood and the couch was splattered with it. That's when I started to freak out.

I had to run with her back to the craft room to get my cell phone, since we haven't had a home phone in a good year I knew if I needed it I wouldn't want to have to leave Sophie to get it. Then as we ran the obstacle course of toys in the living room I stuffed the phone underneath her body, where my hands were trying to lace together to hold her tight.
I started to run to the kitchen sink, but realized I wouldn't be able to clean up her wound (or even find it in what had become a solid sheet of matted red hair) while still holding her in both arms.
I started to run out of the kitchen, but couldn't get through the mess of chairs and Moon Dough between the dining room and kitchen tables, so detoured back the way I came and around the other side of the dining room.
By now, the music blaring out of the iPhone was starting to get irritating and while running down the hallway I fumbled with the phone underneath Sophie to get Pandora turned off. (Praising again the long nail-friendly iPhone)
All the while I'm trying to stay calm, but with my mind racing with questions on what?, when?, where?, how? I haven't done any of my normal calming techniques yet. Then I hear Sophie saying, "Shhhh... Shhhhh... Shhhhh...". I'm still not exactly sure if she was doing it FOR me or TO me, but it worked. I started to slow my thoughts down a bit. I laid her on our bed, trying to keep her head on one of Bryan's old sweatshirts (that I inherited) instead of the freshly washed white comforter (not a total success).
I grabbed a wet hand towel and started patting her head in the general area where the blood was oozing out of. I tried to access the damage, but by now her long blonde hair was thick, deep red and matted and I was afraid to really scrub at the scalp. I didn't know if it was going to require stitches or if she had a serious head injury, or what. That's when I decided to call 911.

The operator asked the usual questions and then kept me on the line. I kept blotting the wound area and turning the towel to a clean area until finally the operator wanted me to see if I could see it. I pulled the towel off of Sophie's head and told the operator I couldn't see through the hair to find the spot and then the blood started bubbling out again, so she instructed to just press and hold the towel without moving it at all; "If it bleeds through, just put another towel on top of the first one."
Mind you, I'm also being asked about Sophie's behavior. "Is she responsive? Is she conscious?" I started to feel like I shouldn't have called them, as while I was answering yes to both of these questions Sophie is shouting quite clearly, "Don't call the ambalance! Don't call the ambalance!"

The paramedics and fire truck arrived a few minutes later, just as the blood had stopped for good, but they were unable to see through the hair either. I was tasked with trying to wipe her hair clean enough for one of them to pick through it. (Of course, if I'd known I was going to be the one scrubbing her head anyway, I probably would have just puked in the sink and gotten it over with instead of calling 911. But I was in a near-panic mode at the moment and I'm still trying to forgive myself for wasting the call, so I'll not second guess myself now.

The guys were really great with her though, and she wasn't afraid of them once they got here.

Years ago (when Nick was little) I donated some stuffed animals to a local fire department when they were doing a drive for teddy bears and stuffed animals that were just starting to be given out on calls with injured or traumatized children. There was no doubt in my mind that it was a wonderful idea, but this would be the first time I would get to see the benefit of it in action.
One paramedic gave Sophie a little stuffed tiger and then proceeded to help her name it and before long she was answering all their questions and was very calm.

In the end, we still couldn't see the wound, but the bleeding had stopped and all her vitals checked out and she was acting normally, so I didn't take her to the ER. We still couldn't get to the wound though, so after they left she and I got in the shower and cleaned up. I hope I don't ever have to try to wash her hair in that condition again. It was hard not to hurt her and still get the area cleaned out, but she's a tough little girl. We did a load of bloody laundry, steam mopped the dining room, kitchen, front room, hallway and bedroom floors, combed her hair out and crawled into bed to watch a movie.

Before the shower I snapped a few pics of her, or rather, tried to. The lighting in the bathroom is awful for photos, and I only had my cell at that point. The funny thing is that they don't look as bad as it all sounds; for two reasons. One, we'd already used two hand towels to wipe away as much blood as we could and two, Sophie is actually doing POSES for the camera! Seriously? Could she not just try to portray the horror I was still feeling? LOL

The last photo is with my camera and after the shower. We can see now that it's clearly just a puncture wound, so I think I made the right choice not putting her through the ER.

Sophie and Bump the tiger:

P.S. She still wants to jump on the couch! *sigh*


  1. Question: Does the grinch stocking you have sing? I am trying to find an old original one that I bought for my daughter when she was little.
    Thanks, Lynda

    1. Hi Christianmilitary! Yes, our Grinch does play the song, "He's a Mean One". I'm guessing it's about 15 years old, as my son is about to turn 21 and we bought it when he was around five. Good luck on your search!


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