For the longest time, our family “tradition” involved having at least one child (usually Liam) puke on any given trip. It wasn’t a good trip unless we could count on Liam vomiting somewhere, and bonus if it was multiple times (remember that trip to the US when he puked 11 times???). As Liam has gotten older, this phase seems to, thankfully, be waning. However, a new “tradition” seems to be emerging.
This tradition doesn’t involve travel. In this crazy, chaotic time of moving, an ER trip could not come at a worse time. Time has become a precious commodity between the new puppy, my new job (more on that later) and the move, not to mention our regular daily life including school runs and sports. In fact, my brake light has been on for a week in the car and I have yet to find the time to schedule an appointment. There aren’t enough hours in the day lately. Whine, whine, whine… I know, we’re all there. I think lately it’s just worse than usual. I’m thankful that my inability to find time to get things done is because we have a lot of great things going on!
Anyways, when Josh fell, I was at the new house waiting for IKEA to install our new closet systems. We are a one car family and we had agreed that he would drop me off at the house so I could manage that process as well as try to find a way to organize our stuff to begin unpacking (which is incredibly challenging given that everything is covered in paper and plaster dust right now, including our kitchen). It also meant moving all the boxes we’d brought over into another room because that room was where they were installing another closet system and our new pull out sofa (and then moving those boxes right back in when they were done).
Josh dropped me at the house and took the kids home, running some errands along the way. It was when he got home that he walked around the passenger side of the car, slipped on some ice and fell head first into the side view mirror of the car. He sliced his head open pretty good. He sent me a whatsapp at just before 2 stating “Banged my head pretty bad slipping on ice. It’s not pretty but the bleeding is stopping.” along with a picture of his head covered in bandaids. No, he didn’t call me. This is so typical of Josh to minimize an accident. I, of course, went into panic mode. He was in charge of the kids and Scout and we still had a lot of stuff ahead of us for the rest of the day. How was I going to manage IKEA and go get him? Aidan had his first baseball practice of the season with a new team that evening. And somewhere along the line, the kids would need to eat.
I’m thankful to have great friends here (and now they are also neighbors!) that I could call in case I couldn’t mange to make it work. Even my contractor who was at the house stepped up and asked if he could help in any way to stay with IKEA or bring me home to get Josh. But Josh being Josh, just rallied (I love this man and his ability to just get things done no matter the obstacle) – he took Scout for a walk, brought Aidan to baseball, dropped Liam off to me and went to the grocery store while I stayed with IKEA.
In the meantime, I sent the picture to my mom, the nurse. What would I do without my mom? I call her for every medical thing from “does this need stitches” to “my foot hurts, what do I do?” and everything in between. She told me what I was really hoping to avoid which was, “he needs stitches.” F*ck. We don’t have time for an ER trip today!!!
The ER is a different beast here in the Netherlands. I have a love hate relationship there. In a way, I think the methodology is brilliant, unless, of course, you need help. See, you need to call a special number in order to get permission to go the ER. You can’t just show up (trust me, I’ve done it and been reamed out accordingly) without permission. The staff on the other end of the line will determine if you need immediate care or if your issue can wait until normal doctor hours. Aidan sprained his ankle a few months ago and we were not given permission to go in. I was incredibly frustrated about that, however, they were right… the next day it was better and I was slightly less panicked.
This time, we were given permission. They gave us an appointment that unfortunately we couldn’t make given that we had to pick up Aidan from baseball. And yes, I got a lecture about getting it stitched up as soon as possible (by now it was 5:30 and I did not tell her that it had been an open wound since 1:30!) but managed to get an appointment at 7. It would be tight with Aidan’s baseball getting out at 6:30 and Josh needing to pick up Liam and I at the house before going over. In fact, I had plan B ready to go in the case that time got too tight (thank you Desa!), but in the end, we managed to get him there for 7. He had to wait for a little bit but not nearly as long as if it had been an ER in the US or another country since those there were the people with permission to be there.
And because of the time, I literally did a drop and run. This is how empathetic we are in our family. Is that sad? It was 7 and the kids were starving. Do we all go to the ER to wait and have to listen to grumpy kids or do I just have Josh do a dive and roll out of the car and I take them to eat while we wait? And so that’s what we did. The kids were happy, Josh didn’t have to listen to grumpy, hungry kids and I was glad that we somehow managed to get everything done despite the challenges of the day.
In the end, they ended up gluing his head (I still find that funny to say) rather than doing stitches. Given Josh’s propensity for fainting when there are needles involved, this was probably a VERY good choice on their end.
Going back to the tradition that I mentioned at the beginning, if you are a new reader, you might not know about what happened when we first moved to the Netherlands. But if you’ve been reading a while, you’ll recall the move of 2014 where Josh dislocated his knee 2 days into our move, you’ll know that these accidents seem to be becoming a tradition!! It’s not one that I’m embracing! I think I prefer the vomiting tradition instead!
I’m thankful that this was an “easy” fix compared to his knee which was a 6 month process. And I’m even more thankful that this should be our last move for a long time – I don’t know if I can handle any more of this new tradition any time soon!!
Knuffels en kussen,