This morning my son bit his tongue. Hard.

He was climbing on a kitchen chair – most likely to get onto the table, as he so often does. Somehow, between when I said, “Sam, sit down before you fall,” and when I heard the bang, my 1-year-old lost his footing and fell to the floor.

Now, this is a regular occurrence around here. I get him down from that table a dozen or so times a day, but every once-in a while my hands are full or I’m in the bathroom, and I just don’t get there in time. He’ll fall and fuss a little. I’ll give him a hug and a kiss and tell him he’s okay. And then he is.


But not today.
Today, when I picked him up for the standard comforting routine, I noticed a little blood on his wrist. So I grabbed a clean dish rag, began to dab the red away, and told my 5-year-old to find whatever his brother got cut on.
By this time, the kid was screaming like a banshee, so I took my attention away from his wrist to look him in the eye and comfort him.  Blood was pouring from his mouth, mixed with mucus from his allergy-ridden nose, and I panicked!
You know those movies where a guy gets shot in the throat and he bleeds out through his mouth? Yeah? Well that’s what I saw. Only it wasn’t just a movie; it was my BABY! The one I almost died for in childbirth. The one whose anticipated arrival convinced my fiancé and me to give coupledom a try. Hence the panic.
“Oh, God, please let Sam be okay!” I moaned. My 3 preschool-aged children immediately began freaking out, coming close to see the blood, gasping, telling me what had happened (as if I hadn’t been there and didn’t already know).
“Dear Jesus, make my baby brother be okay,” I heard the 3-year-old say matter-of-factly.
I grabbed a teether from the freezer, shoved it in Sam’s mouth and calmly said, “Guys, I know you’re trying to help. But I’m a little worried right now, and the best way for you to help is to be quiet for a few minutes.” They listened – amazingly enough – which gave me the presence of mind to sop up the blood in Sam’s mouth with the rag. Then I saw the hole. About the size of the top third of my pinky. In his tongue. As I promptly replaced the ice, it was my turn to gasp.
Then I called my mommy. Surely she would know what to do. Should I take him to the doctor? How would I get there without a car? I could call 911, but then who would take care of the other kids? My dad was at the hospital having his heart checked out; my fiancé was a work; the neighbor’s car only seats 4… Do they even do anything for tongues?
“Why don’t you call the doctor and ask them what they think?” Duh. Why hadn’t I already done that?
“Okay; I’ll do that now. Thanks.” Funny how we realize our need for our mothers only after we become moms ourselves.
“I remember this happening with….” I cut her off with a quick “bye” and dialed the family doctor.
The receptionist took a message, and five V-E-R-Y L-O-N-G minutes later, a nurse called back, assuring me that my son would, in fact, be okay.

So here I am, still in my blood-covered shirt, praising my Father in Heaven that it’s only a 1/2 in. by 1/8 in. cut, and not a severed tongue or internal bleeding, as my mommy-panic first had me thinking. We’ll be going through a lot of popsicles and children’s Motrin over the next few days, but my sweet little dare devil is alive.

And Shout will get the stains out.

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