What a Carrie on


As usual, I took La Serpiente to school today. We had the usual struggle getting her out the door because we couldn’t agree on footwear. La Serpiente has been demanding to wear a pair of Havianas that are slightly too big for her. Aesthetically this troubles me because I don’t like the shuffling gait it induces in her, and it’s not entirely safe. Usually sure footed, today she fell off one of the low walls she loves to walk on and would have capsized completely if I hadn’t been holding her hand. 

We stopped for pain au chocolat and then walked up the alleyway to her school. Right outside her school there’s a little set of steps and she walked up those, then called to me to follow. Because I have to show I have some mind of my own, I told her I was staying on the lower path; so she came down, and then sprinted toward me. And then the Havianas claimed another victi, as she slipped and went straight down on the ground. 

Normally, she’s robust enough to leap back up immediately, shouting “I’m ok! I’m ok!” so having her lie prone and silent was worrying enough. Then she began to howl, and I could see she’d cut either her forehead or her mouth, so I gathered her up and took her into school, where they’d have a first aid kit.

There were various gasps seized by other parents dropping their kids off and at first I thought they were just being squeamish and hadn’t seen a child cry before. Then I set La Serpiente down on a chair and took a second look, and almost fainted. So much blood, so much blood. You never really appreciate how much a head wound bleeds until you see it. My daughter looked like Carrie in the details Palma film, just after a bucket of pig’s blood has been dropped on her head at the prom. She howled and howled as we wiped some of the blood off, and then howled some more as we waited for her mother to arrive.  

Thankfully, the children’s hospital is super efficient, and I guess 9:30 am isn’t a peak time. She got triaged and in front of a doctor within 45 minutes, daubed with anaesthetic and then stitched up 45 minutes after that, and was home and in bed by midday.

Her sister, not wanting to be outdone, spent the whole time running around the waiting room and falling flat on her face, although without breaking the skin at all. And now I discover she’s capable of climbing onto the top bunk of La Serpiente’s bed, roughly four times her height. Couldn’t either of my children have some level of risk avoidance?


3 responses to “What a Carrie on”

  1. Ah the poor, sweet child. She has a father who calls her Carrie La Serpiente, and let’s her wear shoes that he has previously deemed as “unsafe”. Anyway, no matter how many cuts and grazes of slips and falls they have, touch wood it can’t be anything as traumatic as this – recently a 10-year-old boy died in a TopShop!

    I can also speak for a lack of sibling interest in a physical trauma. When I was about 8 years-old, it was snowing outside and I was standing by the outside slide door with my hand on the end, balancing as I tried to kick my wellies off. For some reason, my sister slid the door shut and it literally knocked my entire thumb’s nail clean off. I was screaming and blood was pumping, and my dad rushed down and put my hand under the tap and got a cloth around it. We had to head to the hospital, and I will always remember – she did not give a ****. Dad told her to tidy up the toys and the mess in the living room, and only then did she cry!

    • My sister reminded me of the time my brother slipped and got a door key embedded in his forehead. Never did him any harm, apparently…

  2. Actually that would be quite useful, I forgot my door key recently and got locked out when I was shifting bottles and cans to the recycle station

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