Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Run and Hit

Three or four times  a week for the past year and a half, Little A and I, or Little A and the Au Pair, have walked down the road and crossed the street to the therapy centre he attends.

A few months ago, a bus stop was built down our road, and this past week there have been roadworks next to it, making the road a little bit narrower, and therefore a little busier for the vehicles that pass it.

Little A has been repeatedly told that we must only "walk on the stripes," and while holding a grown-up's hand. Sometimes, though, we let him walk just ahead, to foster that little bit of independence.

Yesterday, there was an illegally parked car next to the pedestrian crossing, immediately to our left. As we stood on the pavement, I let go of Little A's hand to put his iPad, which he had been carrying, into my bag. I saw that a bus was loading with passengers and told Little A that "after the bus, it will be our turn."

Immediately upon seeing the bus go past, Little A bombed it into the road, just at the edge of the zebra crossing. Unfortunately, there was a car behind the bus, and the driver's view of Little A was blocked by the illegally parked car to our left.

I screamed, and it was as if time slowed down, just like in the movies. Little A swerved to his right, the car braked, and its front fender caught him on the left side of his ribcage, hurling him a few feet forward, where he landed on his left elbow.

I grabbed him off the street and dragged him back to the pavement, where I sat on the curb and wrapped him around me, checking his back for bruising, bumps, blood.

The driver of the car pulled his vehicle over, and the security guards at our building, as well as some other drivers waiting at the car park nearby, came running over.

My first remark was to the driver of the illegally parked car. "Why on earth were you there? That is a no parking or waiting zone!" I didn't hear his reply, as I switched my attention back to my shell-shocked son, who wailed very quickly about his hurt elbow, and then went nearly catatonic against my shoulder.

When Emergency Services arrived a few minutes later, I tried to set Little A down on the pavement to show them what happened. My little boy's knees immediately buckled under him, and one of our building guards scooped him up and handed him back to me.

The driver of the car that hit Little A was from a company that worked at a building down the road. He and the other guards and witnesses waited for the police while the Emergency Services car drove Little A and myself to the hospital. I managed a quick call to Little A's therapist on the way, explaining that we wouldn't be attending his session today and why.

Upon admission, Little A was quiet, and likely in shock as I spoke to Big A on the phone and told him quickly what had happened. When the intake staff tried to take his pulse and temperature though, Little A quickly gained enough energy to refuse and complain. We were given a bed in the pediatric emergency ward and seen by three doctors.

The first recommended an X-ray. I agreed to this, and we waited. The second doctor arrived with medicine for the scrape on Little A's elbow. By this time, he was regaining some of his energy. By the time the trauma doctor arrived, nearly an hour later, Little A was jumping on the chairs, running around the ward and asking me for corn flakes.

Miraculously, on removing all his clothes, there appeared to be no damage to Little A's body besides the bump on his elbow. I asked about internal bleeding, cracked ribs and the like, and was told just to keep watch, and given the all clear to take him home.

The company that owned the car which hit Little A sent another vehicle over with a lady who paid the hospital bill and a policeman who took my statement. Little A and I went through the other side of the hospital and walked carefully home.

On entering our flat, the first thing I saw was the backpack Little A had been wearing when he was hit by - or ran into - the car. It must have fallen off when he tumbled into the road, or when I picked him up, or maybe I just ripped it off him when I was checking his back. I picked it up with shaking arms. Perhaps it was this item that protected his ribcage from damage.

Little A carried on with the rest of his day as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. I, on the other hand, felt like I needed a long sleep. It was as if all the energy in my system had just disappeared with the adrenalin. Apart from a quick, necessary, trip to the shop, I kept a close eye on Little A, expecting him to feel tired or hurt suddenly, or want to take a nap, at least. Amazingly, he was energetic  as usual.

My parents, who were hysterical on hearing what had happened, rushed over and couldn't believe that Little A was feeling so normal. Guardian angels protecting him, maybe, or just the amazing resilience of children.

While I was grateful that nothing worse had happened, I was also worried that Little A wouldn't have learnt his lesson. This morning though, he was careful to walk only while holding my hand, and asked to be carried across the road going home.

In the past three years, Little A has had three accidents that required hospital visits. One per year. They say these things happen in threes. Let's hope, then, that this was the last. 


Peter S. said...

Oh my goodness! I was totally unaware that this happened! I'm just happy that Little A is doing okay. I'm sure it was very traumatic, more so on your part than his.

Stepford Mum said...

Peter, you're so right. I think I was more traumatized than Little A was by this accident! Since then though, he is much more careful when we cross that road!

Stepford Mum said...

Peter, you're so right. I think I was more traumatized than Little A was by this accident! Since then though, he is much more careful when we cross that road!