Noah's Oil

Boy Meets Pavement

So it looks like SOMEONE inherited his mother's considerable grace and poise.


I got a call from the YMCA around 3 pm — or more accurately, a call from an unknown number that I ignored until I realized the same number then called our home phone number, then called my mobile AGAIN, like ohhhhkay that probably is important enough to warrant interacting with another human being, uggghhhhh — that Ezra had taken a "bad fall" at camp. Could I come get him? Cuz. Yeah. 

I've developed a pretty steely solid reaction to scrapes and cuts and bruises over the years, but even I wasn't fully prepared for this one. Ezra was sitting with the non-tore-up side of his face towards me as I approached, and then when he turned to look at me it was like, BAM. THE PHAAAAANTOM OF THE OPPPPPERAAAAAAA.

I gasped, because he was still actively oozing blood around his eye and lips, which was wrong and bad because now he was upset and actively oozing tears. 

No one could really give me a clear picture of what happened, other than he was just walking one second and then face-down on the cement the next. A counselor brought up the possibility of a concussion, and after I scrunched my face in skepticism because it looked like only the side of his face was injured, she brushed his hair aside and revealed that the initial Point Of Faceplant appeared to be the slowly forming yet still colorless goose egg on his forehead. 

"Ohhhh," I said. 

They brought Noah to me to take home as well, a move Noah was OBJECTING to in a VERY FORCEFUL OUTSIDE VOICE, because they were in the middle of free swim and he was about to prove he could swim the entire length of the pool to earn his "green band." (A green band earns you the right to free swim in the deep end, and is also a total staaaatus symbolllll.) And now here I was, denying him of the opportunity like a monster.

"Go look at your brother's face," I hissed in my nicest, don't-start-with-me tone.

"Yeah, I saw that already," he shrugged. "But I'M not hurt."

(EMPATHY! It's what's for dinner.)

So I piled not one, but TWO sobbing children into the car (Ike was respectfully abstaining from protests at that particular juncture) and started home.

After a few minutes I noticed that Ezra's head had lolled to the side. He was asleep.

"Shiiiit," I thought.

No amount of EZRA WAKE UP WAKE UP EZRA HEY HEY HEY EZRA RICK RICK RICK RICK-ing did much of anything. He'd open his eyes for a second before letting his head drop back down to sleep.

Back at home, CHAOS. An ERUPTION of it. My own personal volcano hell of too many small people with too many needs. Ezra and Noah were both still in their swim clothes and sopping wet. Ezra wouldn't walk so I carried him in, soaking my own clothes while hollering at a now-protesting Ike that I'd be right back for him and barking demands at Noah to unbuckle brothers, open doors, get his own snack, change his clothes, JUST BE USEFUL, IS ALL.

I put Ezra down inside and told him to please, try not to sleep.


I called our pediatrician. Oh hey, is there a good sure-fire way to tell if my recently head-injured child has a concussion or is just, you know, kinda zonked? There is? Awesome! What is...oh. The emergency room. Greeeeat.

And so, for the second time in his short life, I dragged Ezra and his busted face into our local ER. Jason rushed from work to meet us there, which was good because the mountain of snacks and juice boxes I'd frantically tossed in the bag and figured would buy me an hour or so of butts-in-seats at the hospital barely lasted through the entire 10-minute car ride there. 

The good news is that the CHAOS ERUPTION seemed to have perked Ezra up, and he was no longer acting so scary-listless and tired. He asked for snacks and whined about wanting to play with the toys in the pede ER waiting room. The bad news is that he perked up ONLY after we'd officially entered the ER system and we were now basically stuck there until a doctor examined him, which meant a lot of waiting around to be told what we already knew: HE'S FINE.

And he was/is. A mild concussion, yes, but nothing serious. Maybe wake him up once overnight and get him to answer a basic question, but we probably didn't even need to worry about it that much. None of the cuts required stitches, so they cleaned him up, slathered him in Neosporin and some impressively oversized Band-Aids. 



Then they gave him some juice and sent us on our merry way.


Later in the evening, after a dinner of delivery pizza and some cartoons and cookies and basically WHATEVER YOU WANT, OH INJURED SMALL ONE, I finally got Ezra to talk about what happened.


"I was walking at swim camp to the nap place and fell down on the sidewalk."

Yep. That's my boy, all right. The klutz is strong with us both. 

(I'll spare you the morning-after pictures. Kid looks like he went 10 rounds with Rocky Balboa. I'm hoping that bitch of a sidewalk is hurting this morning too. Ezra may be small but he's got a deceptively hard head, at least.)




I'm all choked up thinking of the uncanny resemblance of klutziness. I'm glad he's ok though. Cement is the devil.


Oh, Za. You are a brave warrior, indeed.

(Also, my son is a klutzomaniac, too, and swears to the heavens that sidewalks have teeth. As a fellow pavement kisser, I tend to agree.)


I saw this last night on Twitter and like any long time reader (or perhaps scary stalker?) as soon as I saw E.R. I thought, "Ezra!" Then I thought that I was a creepy stalker that was making assumptions about children that I've never met, but really I'm just a big fan and after all, I was right!


Oh poor little thing. the picture of him with the juice cup just, oh, man. he looks so sad. Hope he feels better soon.

Wally Hartshorn

Glad to hear that Ezra is fine, but what I'm wondering is, WHAT ABOUT NOAH? Is he going to get the green band?! Come on, Mom! He can totally do it! Swimming in the deep end is waiting!


I so would've left the elder child at camp...told him to have a good time. LOL Why did he have to come home? LOL My kid would've been hysterics and drama and so not worth it. Be back later k muah. LOL


poor Ezra but i just have to admit i spit out my delicious iced caramel macchiato from laughing so hard at your "phantom of the opera" comment.

Amy in StL

Poor Ezra, I'm sorry he inherited the klutz gene! I've been looking at having the giant hill in front of my house terraced with retaining walls and my brother said he didn't think it was a good idea because I'd probably fall off one while gardening. Yeah, the klutziness never really goes away does it?


Woah. Impressive.

Having no grace as a child ("calf life reflexes" rather than cat like as my mom would say", my mother actually was very good at determining concussions. It involves a flashlight and checking pupil reactions. Cover eye, shine flashlight and then uncover. Should contrict appropriately and the same on each side. If one side doesn't contract appropriately, then off we go.


Poor baby! I fell on asphalt once running for the bus. (I was in college at the time.) It scraped me up horribly. Worst part was I tripped over my own feet. Kiss his boo boos and make them better. Hopefully this will be the last time for a while he sees the ER.


I got the call from the unknown number last week. It was camp. My son was in line and walked into a railing. He got 5 stitches above his eye and I passed out in the pediatrician's office. And there was pizza for dinner. Oh, and the next day was our scheduled home visit from his new kindergarten teacher.

Suzy Q

Oh, Ez. Somehow, I don't think this is the last ER visit for him.

Feel better, hardheaded boy. And have some damn wine, Amy.


Poor baby! We've been to the ER 4 or 5 times for head injuries(he's only 2)had 1 CAT scan when he fell off the Dr exam table at a routine visit. It's amazing how hard yet flexible kids' heads are. I wonder how many years off Mom's life each incident takes.


Oh that poor sweet face! I hate to say it, but you might want to ditch the Keens. As much as I love them my son becomes exponentially clumsier in them. Even walking. My nickname as a child was "Grace" and I'm afraid my child has inherited the gene as well.

Shannon Bradley-Colleary

I think he can probably parlay that injury into some serious cash. I will go down in the shitty mom annals of history for telling my child to stop sobbing so loud about her injured arm while I'm on the phone because "I Can't Hear The Doctor Speak!"

What the doctor said was "Go to the ER!" For a little fall? Yes. Indeed. A little fall that turned out to be a compound fracture that required surgery. I am still paying for that sucker six years later.


@Apyrl Well, by the time I got there camp had mayyybe 20/30 minutes left before dismissal. With parking/walking and a crazy strict sign-out process, we'd get all of five minutes at home before I had to turn around and haul Ez and Ike back to the Y.

(I couldn't get a hold of Jason either, since he was at a client site w/ no cell reception. He didnt know to come home until I signed on to IM and started ALL CAPSING at him about head injuries. Heh.)

But today? Noah got his green band. All is well!

Sandra Timmerman

The local ER ( Actually GP Emergency unit) know my son's first and surname on sight :-( I think one of the assistants even knows his date of birth better than I do hahaha. Poor Ezra. I hope he will be well soon.

Maxine Dangerous

Many hugs for Ezra of Stumbledom and big congrats to Noah for getting his green band! :)


I went to a college with old cobble stone walkways. 6 stitches in my chin and a chipped tooth just from shuffling my feet... Sometimes the pavement just jumps up to get you. ( the falling over lipped paving stones was called freshman follies. I met a few other people with the same scar under the chin. Clumsy has company) poor Ezra, give him popsicles or something just because.


I can't help but notice that poor Peanut's face is so damaged but his HANDS ARE FINE. There's a beautiful shot of smooth, unbroken palms. Poor Zah. You should consider a bubble part-time. :) Just about died reading your Phantom comment; I feel so badly for him (and you!) but that was hilarious!


Poor dude! Yeah you think you can't get all that hurt meeting pavement but I actually managed to tear a ligament in my shoulder tripping and falling off a brick walkway. I was holding my son who was four months old at the time so when I tripped and couldn't catch myself I tucked and rolled but I rolled off the walkway and my shoulder apparently hit the corner at just the right angle. The baby was fine. I play volleyball recreationally though and since we couldn't afford a mother's helper for my shoulder to have weeks of healing time I didn't get the surgery. I can't play anymore, but I'd do it all over again. It's a shame we can't stay with them all the time when they're older the way we do when they're babies.


Poor baby! I understand about your falling down issues. My Dad used to call me "Grace."
You have 3 boys - lots more trips to the ER for you. Sorry.


Yowza, that is an impressively intense scrape! Way to keep that stiff upper lip thing going, lady. I fear I'd be more pathetic than that.

Lynda M O

Yep, I bet he looked really great this morning. Frightening and yet ever so Manly !~! I hate to confirm what so many above me have said, but trips to ER have just begun. I used to be the triage desk, then drove the big bus with the siren-seen lots of little boys with owies that need help from the pros. Keeping bags of frozen peas on hand has saved me a dozen or more times til we could get to hospital.


Oh yeah. When my boy did this he was carrying his lunch plate to the recycling bin. With both hands. He did not let go. Looked like he'd been making out with a cheese grater. He was fine.


Oh, poor kid! Poor mommy! I've done the faceplant thing...broke my elbow, 1st week senior year of college, and yes, I was sober (unfortunately...but it was also 9 am, so, probably best).

I have to admit I laughed out loud at: "Yeah, I saw that already." I can so hear one of mine saying that about the other.


Damn, I've never even met this kid but you've got me laughcrying. Your desciption of the car ride got me so panicky! Thank goodness he's ok. My baby boy is only 1 yr but I can already tell he's going to be the one to test me. Repeatedly.


oh poor kid, he looks very painful :(. i hope he gets better :)

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