Blood-soaked boy

Leo had been having a great time exploring and dancing at Tania and Stuart’s wedding. Then, happily playing in the corner of the garden, Leo tripped and cut his head on a low brick wall. I watched him fall, a glancing blow that left him surprised as well as bleeding. I grabbed ice from the drinks table and pressed it to his head while I carried him through to the empty main pub. Incredible how quickly people move when you’ve got a screaming baby dripping blood in your arms.
Ice stopped the bleeding, then a few minutes of rocking cuddles calmed him down. The cut on his left temple was not deep, and only about 3mm long, but it had gaped a little. For this reason, and because it hadn’t stopped bleeding, we took him to A&E. They cleaned it, taped it and sent us home – but we went back to the party. It was about 9.00 now, but we’d always planned for him to sleep in his buggy. People were pleased to see us.
What is strange looking back on it now is that at no point was i worried or panicky. I knew that head-wounds bled, i just had to go through the ice-and-calming process. Interestingly, thought, i wouldn’t let him go – i wouldn’t let Claire take him. My rationalisation is that i couldn’t be sure she wasn’t panicking, and i knew i certainly wasn’t, but i think it is that i wanted to look after him, heal him.
He went back to look at the wall, and said ‘uh-oh, oops-a-daisy… BOOM’, which i had taught him three days earlier when he fell over in the nursery car park. He wasn’t bothered, just a little puzzled – he stroked the wall then was fine.
The looks i got from the assembled guests upon return were interesting too – interested, curious, slightly wary. Tania’s NCT friends all have kids the same age. Something about storming out with a bloody baby, then returning with a happy baby and a stained shirt, i suppose.


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