Bloody onions!

A few weeks ago, Matthew started onions and leeks in flats, and they’ve been happily growing under the grow lights in the basement.  However, the lack of real sunlight and fresh air led to some mold growth on the top of the soil, so with outside temperatures in the 50s, he planned to get them outside for some good old-fashioned UV light.

I decided to help with this on Tuesday, so mid-morning, after Gabriel and I returned from the gym/kids’ room, we headed to the basement.  With no way to carry the seedling flat and a baby at the same time (well, there would have been a way, but it would have required going upstairs for the Ergo carrier), I opted for the “set Sir down in the basement with a toy, grab a seed tray, and dash outside and right back in before he could get into any trouble” option.

Now, while Sir’s usual stair method involves both hands and feet, he has recently started experimenting with standing up and holding a railing and/or adult’s hand.  With the hands and feet method, he navigates stairs pretty well over ninety percent of the time, but we [almost] always spot him from below, because he is given to slipping every now and then.

Anyway, when I opened the side door that leads to the stairs down to the basement, Sir was on the second or third step (from the bottom), coming to see me.  He had been using the original [safe(r)] method, but right about the time I entered, he stood up straight on the step, all, “Look, Ma, no hands.”

After that, I’m not quite sure what happened — either he just lost his balance on his own, or I may, in my slight alarm at his position, have made a sudden move that led to the tumble.  Either way, the final result was a two or three step fall, ending on the concrete basement floor.  Not good.

I picked him up and checked his head, which seemed fine, and then attempted to check for equal and reactive pupils, when I noticed a decent bit of blood on both of us.  For a minute, I couldn’t determine the source of the blood.  I ruled out mouth (which was the culprit in a previous fall), head, and ears before discovering a good sized gash on his chin, right along his jaw bone.

I called Matthew for a phone consult on the use of steri-strips, which I applied with little success, contending with a crying, upset baby and a chin soaked with blood and drool.  With lunch and nap time fast approaching, I cleaned things up a bit more and slapped a bandage over the steri-strips.

We suspected that, especially with the location, the injury would need more than our first aid attempts, so I called and left a message for our pediatrician’s phone nurse.  Since the bleeding was more or less under control and Gabriel calmed down and ate lunch as usual, I decided to go ahead with his nap while waiting for the nurse’s return call.

The nurse suggested coming in to the office to see if they could glue the gash, cautioning that if the doctor determined that glue wouldn’t work, we would have to head to the ER for stitches anyway.  With the possibility of avoiding a much higher copay and the ER gauntlet, I took their last available appointment for the afternoon.

Long story short (well, still fairly long, but a bit shorter), the doctor used the glue-bond stuff, covered with a big, waterproof bandage to protect it from drool (because the glue needs to stay dry for the first 48 hours).  I admit to being dubious that it would hold, but now, over 48 hours later, it looks like we got off easy.

Still, the $25 doctor visit copay, not to mention the pain, tears, and angst (and the risk of a more serious injury) added significantly to the cost of this onion crop.  Needless to say, I’ve learned my lesson about leaving a toddler unattended, even for “just a second” — the onions weren’t worth the blood!


  1. The thing about parenthood is you really can’t be perfect at it, if we watch them like hawks to ensure they are 100% safe and only let them play in padded rooms we’ll go crazy and they won’t know how to handle themselves and life’s obstacles…then on the other hand with so many distractions in modern life and so many potential risks and not to mention nut jobs in the world, it’s so hard to not be over protective. All we can do is trust our intuition, learn from our mistakes (and others) and not judge ourselves (and others) too harshly.

    Hope everything heals well including your nerves;)

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