Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Don't Bleed on the Carpet

We got a new playground at our church a couple of weeks ago. All the kids are still excited about it and were running straight for it the minute the cars pulled into the parking lot. This included my own two grands, Sarah and Essie.

Almost the minute they left my sight a couple of kids came running to me to announce that Sarah had fallen. My only and immediate question was “Is she bleeding?” I could hear screaming in the background but screaming doesn’t really tell me anything. We had a long established rule in our family that you had to be either bleeding or throwing up to get any attention from me. But I’m not the only mother with this attitude. Another woman that day told me her rule was that there had to be blood or smoke involved. I’m not sure where she stood on the throwing up part.

Elizabeth once busted her lip open Easter morning running around looking for eggs and the first thing out of my mouth was “Don’t bleed on your Easter dress. Bend over. Don’t get blood on your dress.” I was always one of those warm and fuzzy mothers. If you are a mother, I’m sure you understand. The two main rules in our house when my kids were little were that you had to be 18 to eat in the living room and “Don’t bleed on the carpet.”

Call me hard-hearted. But my father was a doctor in WWII and it took a lot of blood to get his attention. I once made the mistake of falling and cutting my head open during his favorite television show, Gunsmoke, the one hour of the week it was nearly impossible to get his attention. I walked into the room with blood streaming down my face (being very carefully to not bleed on the carpet) and I swear this is true: he looked up and calmly told me to wash my face and he’d take a look at it when the next commercial came on.

So, you might understand my indifference to scrapes and bruises.

The first time Elizabeth needed stitches we took her to the Emergency Room. After we got the bill for that we made a rule that anything requiring stitches had to be done during office hours on a weekday so we could get it in with a simple office visit. They’re much cheaper. She once barely squeezed in one set of stitches around 4:30 on a Friday but we made it. Then, of course, there was a second appointment to have the stitches removed. I quickly decided I could take them out myself and did from then on. Taking stitches out is the easiest thing in the world, I don’t know why they want you to have a professional do it.

That’s probably something they should teach you in Mother School: taking stitiches out as well as how to stitch up a cut arm or leg. I’m not sure I would risk stitching a cut lip myself, what with the possibility of future beauty pageants and all. Facial stitches might be too difficult but I’m fairly sure I could stitch up a leg myself if I had a little training. My sister actually did stitch up her own leg once. I’ll bet it was during Gunsmoke.

I’m kind of out of other witty things to say. I write this on the sixth anniversary of 9/11. It’s a kind of a bummer day and I won’t bore you with my political opinion since you probably already know it. If not, go to the archives to my March 20th posting titled “Marching” about the day I walked in my first peace demonstration.

I don’t have time to relax and think of anything more. We’re building a deck in the back to get in shape for our mission trip to Mississippi in a month. I’m finishing the floor and tomorrow we’ll put the stairs in. Then maybe I’ll sheetrock the garage.

In the meantime I’ll try to find something funny to say next week.
With any luck, someone in my family will do something incredibly stupid or embarrassing.

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