There are two things in my life that never fail me: One — Everything hits the fan when my husband leaves for training and two, my children always find a new way to scare me.
My husband has been gone for less than a week and my dogs are on a hunger strike, my twinados think the object of the food on their plates is for it to end up on the walls and floor, the water heater is on the fritz, I’m sick and now I can’t remember where the file is with all the account passwords and bill due dates.
Serious military wife problems going down in Harker Heights.
Aside from that, everything is moving right along and everyone is still alive, for the most part.
Remember how I said I am the absolute worst person to have around in an emergency? Yeah, I really need to work on that. The kids were having a great day — gymnastics and a trip to the grocery store resulted in a four hour nap and I was able to get a lot of things checked off my to-do list.
Once they woke up from their best nap ever, they were playing nicely with one another in their room. I took this as a great opportunity to turn my back and put some of their freshly laundered clothes away.
I only managed to put away two pairs of shorts and a set of PJ’s when I heard the scream.
I turn around to find my daughter being pinned to the ground by her brother. Once I pry them apart I see the blood. A lot of blood. At this point I don’t know who the blood is coming from because they are both covered in it.
A few frantic seconds pass and I realize the blood is my son’s and I am scanning him to find the source of the blood. It’s his mouth, but I don’t get a real good look because he is in hysterics. I can’t tell if he hurt his teeth, tongue or lip.
What was a friendly sibling play session turned into a bloody battle for a Mickey Mouse pen.
He managed to puncture his top lip with his bottom teeth and once that blood mixed with saliva and tears, their room looked like a crime scene. Who knew lips could bleed that much?
If that wasn’t enough, the taste of his own blood was making him vomit.
At this point we are all covered in blood, the dogs are barking, both kids are crying and I have no idea what to do. Do I bring him to the emergency room? Can you stitch a lip?
Mom of the year over here.
My heart is racing, my sweat glands are working overtime and I grab my phone and start calling people. Finally, I get a friend on the line and she books it to my house. Cleary the panic in my voice was enough of a motivating factor for her to drop everything and come over.
Fifteen minutes have lapsed. Every hand towel in my possession is speckled with blood.
The bleeding won’t stop. The tears and sweat are in full swing. My mother finally calls me back and tells me to call 9-1-1 and, at this point, this is a real-life emergency for me. My husband is gone, I’m alone with twins and one of them is bleeding.
I regain some of my senses and I don’t call 9-1-1. Instead, I offer my bloody, tear-soaked toddlers ice pops. Like magic, no more tears.
Like an angel from heaven, my girl friend walks through the door and immediately begins to assess my son because I am obviously having a heart attack and cannot triage anyone.
A quick call to the Nurse Advice Line — her smart idea — he doesn’t have to go to the emergency room, but I could use a shot of something.
Honestly, this was probably the scariest 20 minutes of my life to date and I am so grateful to have such amazing friends to rely on.
This also gave me a pretty big wake-up call to not only brush up on my first aid and CPR skills, but on how to best handle an emergency. Now that I’m a mom, I can’t shut down and panic.
Vanessa Lynch is a military spouse, mom and a former metro editor for the Killeen Daily Herald.