The other day I was in the kitchen cooking dinner (fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans if anybody cares) and Cooper was running around the house being his usual busy self. R had taken Zachary for a haircut and they were due back soon, so I was focused on getting dinner ready so we could all eat together, which is a rare treat for us because of the hours R usually works.
Anyway, Cooper rounded the corner by the kitchen at a pretty good clip and I guess his superpowers have started to develop, because he somehow became airborne and went flying into the corner of the table that holds the fish tank. I KNEW those fish were going to be trouble.
He stood up and looked startled for a minute, then said, "I'm ok."
Of course, he was not ok.
There was a two inch gash right above his left eyebrow and blood was spurting out of it at an alarming rate. Alarming. Very Alarming. ALARMING.
I grabbed a handful of paper towels and handed them to him with instructions to hold them against his gaping wound (I could see his skull - for real) and ran upstairs to put on a bra and pants (hey, don't judge, I got dressed every day last week), grabbed my keys, swept him up and headed out the door to the closest Urgent Care place. Now I'm not the kind who runs my kids in to the doctor for every little sniffle or bump, but seriously? SKULL.
At the end of the street, I turned around, came home, turned the stove off, stashed the chicken in the fridge, and tried again.
By the time we arrived at the urgent care place, the bleeding had slowed to a manageable level, so we went on in. The receptionist dutifully and mechanically took our info until she asked what we were in for. When I said a head laceration she jumped up out of the chair and practically yelled, "We don't really deal with those here! Let me get the nurse! Let me get the doctor! They will have to decide whether we can see you or not!"
The nurse came out and looked at his head and said "Well, if you really think he will be still for us, I imagine we can take care of it. But he won't be still, now will he?" She sounded so condescending that I wanted to grab my kid up and march right out, but instead I did the next best thing. I said, "Yes. He will be still." She gave me a "yeah, right" look, complete with eye roll and huff, and muttering under her breath, went to get the doctor.
Cooper, meanwhile, was standing quietly, taking in his new surroundings - as he does - and I could tell he was totally interested in everything that was happening around him. When the nurse (a different one this time) came to get his vitals, he asked a few questions about what was happening, not out of fear but just out of interest in all the shiny equipment that beeped and flashed.
We made it back to the procedure room, and Cooper remained, as he is prone to do, totally calm.
He and I were talking and laughing about something or another when the nurse (the grumpy eye rolling one) came back in and said, "The doctor will be here in just a minute. Mom, are you going to be able to help hold him down?"
"That won't be necessary," I replied, gritting my teeth and attempting to sound pleasant-ish. "He will be still for you." Another well-formed "HARRUMPH" hit my ears as she turned around and left the room, and I began hoping and praying that I was correct. After all, I had face to save.
The doc came in - grumpy nurse tow - a few minutes later, and she was totally awesome. Within 10 minutes she had cleaned and glued Cooper's head back together, and just as I had told grumpy nurse he would, he sat completely still for the entire procedure. There was no crying, no trying to get away, nothing but some funny chatter and a few interested questions.
In other words, he was perfect.
By the time it was over, both the doctor AND grumpy nurse had proclaimed him "Patient of the Day!" "No, Patient of the Week!" "No, probably Patient of the Year!" and they ran around the place gathering up a selection of bubbles, suckers, stickers an assortment of old Happy Meal toys and select medical supplies to give him as his reward.
Then I walked away, feeling totally smug and holier-than-thou.
After all, my kid was "Patient of the YEAR" at the urgent care place up the road, and I SHOULD BE GIVING PARENTING LESSONS!
And we just won't talk about how he had a complete meltdown in the barber shop a few days later and I had to drag him - DRAG HIM - kicking and screaming and throw him in the chair, all the time exclaiming "He NEVER acts this way! I don't know why he's doing this!"
No. We just won't talk about that at all.
Because I've got some parenting lessons to plan. After all, everyone should be able to learn from my vast knowledge.