I'll admit I was surprised we made it as long as we did before going to the emergency room with Nate. By one month shy of his third birthday, Ethan had been twice.
As a parent you always fear the accidents you cannot control that are out of your line of vision or happen when you turn your head for just one second. In our family, you would think by now we would have learned that we don't even need to turn our head for disaster to strike.
All three boys were in the bathtub. This gives Derek a nervous breakdown but he continues to do it night after night. He started out just giving the baby his own bath but he couldn't keep the bigger boys from asking exactly one million times "canwegetincanwegetincanwegetin?" Ethan is pretty vigilant about putting a barrier of protection around the baby who acts like he needs no protection. He tips over, gets a stunned look on his face and slowly manages to right himself as fast as a buddha-bellied baby can move, that is.
Nate? He's the one that consistently pretends he has the entire tub to himself. He squirms his way to sit under the warm running water. He shoves past the other two to climb up the side and try to slide down it, regardless of who is sitting below him. He can usually get one good slide in before he gets yelled at for bowling into his brothers. It's an offense that is grounds for instant removal from the tub. It didn't stop him the other night (or any night, really), but this time his chin slammed down hard as he slid.
His father instantly took him from the bathtub for violating the clearly posted "No Sliding" rule and he began to cry. I noticed his hand was bleeding. I rubbed it dry and the blood was gone. Then I saw it was coming from under his chin. He continued to wail pitifully about the injustice of having bath time cut short as we began to do first aid and did not seem to care less about the gaping wound in his chin.
We debated whether or not this required stitches, but once he took off the butterfly bandage 20 seconds after Derek put it on, it started to bleed again. He kept sticking his fingers in it. I normally wouldn't panic but I know where his hands have been. He is not winning any awards for cleanliness. Stitches it is!!
One trip to the emergency room later, Nathan got glued instead of stitched, he spent two hours getting his parent's undivided attention, he got to play with a really cool helicopter while we waited to check out and the nurse gave him Batman stickers.
K: Nathan. Do you understand now why Dad tells you not to slide in the tub?
N: What Mom?
K: Nathan, are you listening?
N: MOM!!! A Rescue Truck!!!! (pointing to the flashing lights)
K: I don't think he got it.
D: No. No, he didn't.
K: Who are we kidding? Ethan got his stomach pumped for eating 40 vitamins in just under four minutes when he was two and he was still calling them candy six months later.
D: He didn't get it.
You don't want your children to ever get hurt or feel pain but there are moments in parenting that you think that just maybe they could get the life lesson if you are going to get the $650 emergency room bill. Wouldn't you agree?