It could have been worse, I suppose.
I was in the basement, moving laundry through the machines. Nemo had come down with me, as he is prone to doing, but he lost interest relatively quickly and disappeared, I assumed to go back upstairs, and I continued with what I was doing, which at that point was sorting dirty stuff into piles. I heard Little Man start to scream, which is not unusual in this house, so I paid no mind at first. His screams became more urgent, though, and the other kids started screaming, and the words "Little Man is bleeding!" penetrated my fog of irritation. I hollered that I was in the basement and told Little Man to come down.
He rushed into the laundry room, still screaming at the top of his lungs, blood just pouring out of his hand. I grabbed a dirty towel and wrapped it around his finger as he wailed that it hurt and I demanded "What happened? What the hell happened?" as I couldn't really figure out what was so dangerous and blood-inducing about watching Avatar. "Nemo did it! Nemo cut me with scissors! Mom! I need a bandage!" I could hear the girls upstairs screaming, the timer for the food in the oven beeping over their cries, and the thump-thump-thump of Nemo's footsteps as he ran around the room, and I couldn't figure out where the hell he got scissors, since I'd locked them all up in our locking cabinet after the food-coloring disaster.
I dashed up the stairs, dragging Little Man behind me, shouting that everyone had to get their shoes on because we had to go to the ER, and I intercepted Nemo holding a particularly wicked pair of scissors, which I confiscated immediately. Then I tried to calm Little Man down enough to tell me exactly how the cut happened as I tried to administer first aid.
Here I need to back up a bit. As some of you may know, I used to own a rubber stamping business. The company I worked for sold all of their stamps with the rubber and cushioning separate from the wood blocks, and the buyer had to cut out the stamp images and mount them. To aid in this, they sold super sharp rubber-cutting scissors. The company now sells their images die-cut, so all you have to do is punch them out and mount them. I still have a sizable area in my basement that is a disastrous mess of craft supplies, which I need to clean out, and it has been there since Sunny was a baby. I haven't really touched it but fewer than a handful of times in the last 4 years, mostly just to move stuff around.
Evidently, when Nemo left the basement he took a detour to the craft area and found a pair of the rubber cutting scissors. Anxious to show off his new toy to his brother, he went upstairs where the kids were wholly absorbed in Avatar, walked over to his brother, and cut the middle finger on his right hand between the knuckle and the base of the finger. I knew on sight that it needed stitches.
I got the food out of the oven and called BigDaddyFish, who was at work over an hour away. He came home, talked me down from DEFCON 5 to about DEFCON 4, and reassured me that based on the cell phone photo I sent and the fact that he wasn't gushing blood anymore, Little Man could wait until he got home to go to the ER to be stitched up. In the hour it took him to get home, though, Little Man worked himself into a hysterical tizzy about potentially getting stitches or glue to fix his finger. He wouldn't let me touch it, wouldn't let me wash it out, and a couple of times he told me he couldn't breathe because it hurt so bad. I kept talking to him, trying to calm him down and explain what would happen at the ER, but he insisted it would hurt and that he wasn't going to let them touch him. When BDF got home, we gave Little Man the choice of who would take him to the ER, and he picked me. BDF was kind of upset with me, because he was mad I hadn't locked up those scissors and there is still such a big mess in the basement after all this time. I didn't say much at all after he got home, and those who know me IRL know that means something Big is going on inside. He leaned in the window of the van as we were getting ready to leave and asked something like "You feel bad, don't you?" and all I could do was nod as the tears started to fall. He asked Little Man again if he was sure he wanted me to take him, because I was upset and felt bad that he got hurt. Little Man was insistent, though, so I got composed myself and off we went.
We are lucky to live in a neighborhood that has a freestanding ER about 3 miles from my house. It is usually fairly empty, espeically on a weeknight, and it only took us about 5 minutes to get there. The whole time, though, Little Man kept up a running monologue about how he didn't want to get a shot, he wasn't going to let anyone touch him with needles, and how it was going to hurt so bad. I kept having flashbacks to my own adventure with needing stitches when I was 7 and how my parents handled that. I kept reassuring him it would be okay, that we still didn't really know what they'd need to do, and he didn't need to worry. I told him that we wouldn't let anyone do any thing without thoroughly explaining what they were doing and why. We would make sure he was comfortable with it.
We got in and got through triage okay, though he got a little panicky any time anyone wanted to even look at his finger. The doctor, a young perky woman probably five years younger than I am and definitely good with kids, came in and examined him. She understood his panic and told him he'd need some "gluey string" to fix his finger. She put a topical liquid on his finger, a liquid she had to squirt out of the end of what looked like a needle, which of course made Little Man more anxious. It took her poking herself several times in the hand to prove to him that it wasn't a needle. As she worked she talked about how she has 7 year old twin girls and how she had to do stitches on one of her girls, and that he'd be fine. She did every thing she could to try to calm him down. We had to wait 30 minutes for the medicine to take effect, and as the 30 minutes wore on, the closer and closer we got to stitch time the more anxious and panicky Little Man got.
The doctor came back in, and Little Man was pretty much hysterical at this point. She talked to him about what she was doing, about how she had to test to see if the medicine took effect, and he was just too out of control to cooperate. She brought in two nurses, one on either side of him. One nurse held his arm while the doctor took a pin to test to see if he was numb. He wailed and wailed about how much it hurt and how he could still feel. So we had to do things the hard way. One nurse held his arm down, one nurse held his feet and other arm down, the doctor gave him two shots at the base of the finger, one on either side, I rubbed his chest and head and kept murmuring "It's okay, it's okay, it's going to be fine" while he wailed "No! NO! NONONONO! It HURTS!" Once the shots took effect, though, he stopped wailing, though he was still tense and on edge, but resigned to his fate. He looked so small, his eyes so beaten.
The doctor kept up a monologue the whole time she worked, talking about what she was doing, but also about the wonderful half-sleepover party that her twins had a couple of weeks ago. She told him she was using gluey string again, and he looked at me with accusing eyes as he said "You lied, Mom, you LIED! You told me she would use a needle!" and I just took it, since I knew she was using a needle, but she kept her hand cupped a bit so he couldn't see what she was doing, and I thought again about my own accusation to my father. When she was finished, she showed him the curved needle she was using, so like a fishhook, and told him "Your mom wasn't lying, bud. This is the needle I used, but it was like gluey string, because you couldn't feel it, right?" Then she bandaged him up, gave me a bunch of surgical instruments, and gave him a lime popsicle.
We came home weary and hungry. BDF had been so worried he cleaned and vacuumed the living room while I was gone. The other three kids were asleep. We sent Little Man to bed and BDF and I nibbled at our dinner, gone unappetizing in the hours since we'd left for the ER while BDF played Wii and I drank straight tequila, the only alcohol we had in the house. I've told everyone else they can't do anything to get another trip to the ER at least for the rest of the month.
Five stitches and a good excuse to give everyone the finger for the next week.