Up the Down Escalator
March 18, 2010
So. This happened.
"This" is Toddler vs. Escalator.
We took the boys to Barnes & Noble last night in a fit of "it's gorgeous outside! let's go someplace with the plan of spending time outside but really, who are we kidding, Noah can sense the presence of a Public Thomas the Tank Engine Train Table from within a five-mile radius!"
Noah indeed made a beeline for the Swine Flu Comes to Sodor table while Ezra...well, while Ezra proceeded to BE INSANE. He ran down aisles, he knocked books off displays, he responded to every kid-friendly merchandise offering I made with disdain and a wicked curveball throw. He responded to Jason and my calls after him with a downright evil glance over his shoulder right before speeding the hell up in whatever direction he was unsteadily bolting towards.
For lo, he'd discovered the escalators. I'd let him stand on one while holding my hand as we went down to the children's area instead of carrying him, and it was easily the biggest thrill of his young life. (His expressions looked something like this.) So he couldn't begin to understand why anyone in the store would want to do ANYTHING ELSE except ride on the escalators. MORONS, ALL OF Y'ALL.
After about a solid hour of thwarting his escape plans, we were ready to leave and I granted him one last ride up the escalator. We arrived on the second of the store's three floors and I attempted to distract him with...I don't remember what. FOLLY, probably, because right then, while he was in that terribly dangerous and elusive three-feet-away-from-Mama radius, he realized there was another escalator right there.
It was a Down escalator, but of course he didn't know that. I knew that. I very helpfully told him that, which, you know, wasn't quite the deterrent you'd think. Neither was the sight of my body lunging towards him in full I WILL THWART THEE mode.
Instead, he spun around and stepped on the escalator as quickly as he could. Which was pretty quick. Even quicker: His feet went flying out from under him and BAM. Dead-drop face-plant into the collapsing bottom steps.
Needless to say, there was blood. A lot of it. I tried wiping it away to ascertain just What We Were Talking About Here, while Jason heard the screams from the lower level and called up to find what was wrong. My response was simply to stick my own blood-covered hand over the railing and wave it around in the universal symbol of SHIT IS HAPPENING AND I HAVE NO COPING SKILLS.
I stood there panicking for a bit, debating the upsides of 1) running to the poor cashiers and screaming gibberish at them, or 2) running back downstairs to the bathroom for paper towels.
The bathroom option seemed vaguely better, so I ran through the store with my profusely bleeding child to the OTHER escalators, breathlessly muttering "excuse me, excuse me" to everybody I pushed past, including a stand-up cardboard display for the Twilight Saga.
(Huge props to Domesticated Gal for giving me my first laugh since the accident on Twitter this morning: If you just start yelling "the Volturi are after him!" I'm sure the Twilight fans would understand.)
By the time I got to the bathroom a salesgirl had sort-of maybe noticed that there was a child covered in blood in the store and offered to call 911 (yeah, it honestly did look that bad, even though I KNEW head injuries always look worse than they are but this was mah baybeeeeee ahmahgad) while Jason barged into the ladies room, still trying to ask what had happened. "ISN'T IT OBVIOUS?" I cried. "AN ESCALATOR ATE HIS FACE."
We bailed (leaving behind Noah's scooter and helmet, we realized later), accepted the salesgirl's offer of a spare roll of paper towels, and took off for our car. A homeless guy asked for change as we dashed by, then started mocking Ezra's screams -- Ezra lifted his face to give him a Look, and I'm pretty sure I heard the guy say something like, "OH SHIT. Okay, I'm an ass."
The hospital was...fun, as usual. This was our first kid-related ER visit, something that simply underscores my belief that I gave birth to two different species of children. Noah wouldn't go near an escalator until he was three-and-a-half. Ezra is going to be the child who goes joyriding down the Beltway in the neighbor's speedboat at three-and-a-half.
Ezra sat on my lap as I gave the registration desk our insurance and contact information, and two minutes into the conversation managed to wriggle around in my arms enough to thoroughly and soundly smack his head into the wall and began screaming anew. The dude behind the desk gave me a Look. I Looked at him right back, because bite me.
Once the bleeding stopped and the wounds could be properly cleaned, the doctor was less concerned about the cuts as he was about the possibility of a head injury, since Ezra' nose had been bleeding pretty heavily for awhile and he responded to the initial news that we could be discharged by promptly barfing all over the both of us. "Never mind...you're gonna need to keep him here for another hour or so," the doctor said, while handing me YET ANOTHER GODDAMN ROLL OF PAPER TOWELS.
(The good news is that the pediatric ER was equipped with DVD players! And one single solitary Elmo DVD! It was so good, we watched it three times!)
He didn't need stitches, luckily. They glued the wounds shut instead, which gives him a slightly comical uni-brow appearance (or Wolverine when combined with this morning's matted bed-head).
Once another hour passed without any vomiting, we got to go home with the even MORE fun discharge instructions to wake him up every two to three hours last night, just to make sure that he really didn't have a concussion. He ended up just sleeping in our bed because he was sad and miserable and I am a sucker for sad and miserable things who make sad and miserable snuffly noises and sleep with their butts up in the air.
Anyway, he is fine, as are we, though I am welcoming suggestions on how to remove dried blood from his bangs without getting those glue patches wet. I will also accept wine. And leashes. Maybe a helmet. Or some kind of inflatable toddler sumo suit. (Or just the wine! It's okay, I'm not greedy.)