The only real problem has been all the BLOOD! So many accidents!
While Ron and older kids were in Assisi, I got glass in my toe. It took me 3 days and a grueling self-surgery to get it out. A true, bloody mess.
Then, when the girls and I were in Siena, I had a sense that there was about to be lots of blood. So I gave them a big, “No bleeding!” speech–no running down hills, no dashing across gravel roads, etc.
Then, on the sixth leg of our journey home, Mary got a deep gash in her leg. None of us knows exactly what she got cut by–some thorn or glass as we walked to the campus from the last bus station. When I saw it, I knew it was worthy of stitches. I cried there on the street, so upset I could not help her. We just had to keep walking to get onto the safety of the campus. Some sweet local ladies helped us with our bags, since now Mary could not carry hers, and Annie was dangerously close to the cars on the street. We were sort of vomited onto the perimeter of the campus–bags, purses, dress up masks, water bottles, dumped onto the private property of UD. The ladies left us, and I got Mary some wipes to stem the blood flow until we got up to the room. I got nauseous, dealing with all the blood. I disinfected and butterflied it with my well-worn First Aid kit (ransacked during the glass-in-toe episode). I had nightmares that she was not up to date on her tetnus and that she was permanently brain-damaged. I woke her in the night several times, to check on her.
In the morning, I determined that she was not responding to the butterfly, and should take her to the ER. So Randy I. who was thankfully here on campus, fluent in Italian, had a car at his disposal, and a daughter who could babysit my other daughters (Yes, a MIRACLE!), took me to the hospital.
Two hours later, we had returned Mary to the campus with one stitch–given without anesthesia (MEAN Italian doctors!!!). While the gash warranted about 5, the doctor chose to give one stitch so that pus could drain from either end.
The doctor acted as though I should have come in the night before. I felt like it was overkill to go in at all. It is all so hard to discern! It was as stressful as anything I have been through in quite a while!
Just to top it off, Clare has a bloody knee; Leigh dropped a glass jar; Annie grabbed a knife (that she could not have reached one month ago–growing before my eyes!) and slit Clare’s finger. Gosh, I’m on my second First Aid kit, and both are ransacked!
I did throw a true fit when Clare picked Annie up to let her see out the second story window. We have had a firm “Feet on the floor” rule for all heights. Somehow, this rule just could not get through Clare’s head. It is like Aristotle’s description of our minds being like wax, sometimes soft, and sometimes hard so that it does not receive impressions. Her head was hard as stone on this topic, and she has been reprimanded over and over. So yesterday, with all the other health and safety issues, I really made a scene.
The strange thing about Clare was that, when we recovered, it was like she was happier and more relaxed than ever. She responds so well to such harsh treatment! Jake, on the other hand, shuts down. It is so strange that different children have such different brain chemistry. Well, what ever it takes to keep these children alive and healthy!