One fine spring day, as I was cleaning out the kid’s school supplies in preparation for the start of a new quarter (I homeschooled at the time), my oldest came running up with huge eyes and a ghost white face. My stomach immediately dropped. My oldest daughter is not usually fazed by much, so seeing her so alarmed definitely meant that something horrible had happened. Possibly something was on fire, or there was blood everywhere. A trip to the Urgent Care extra Las Vegas may be in order.
“Mom!” she gasped, “Thing Two has fallen out of the window!”
Thing Two being my youngest daughter; my two youngest had somehow acquired the dual nicknames of ‘Thing One’ and ‘Thing Two’. I’m sure they will one day insist on being called by their own names, but you know how nicknames are. Especially the ones that just show up all on their own. I dropped what I was doing, and asked, very carefully, “Which window?”
“The second story one by the computer,” she informed me, explaining that the five of them had been clustered around the one computer playing video games together. The youngest had crawled up behind them and sat on the open window sill, where they proceeded to ignore her in preference for orc stat points or whatever it is they were doing, until—
“And she just let out this little surprised gasp-“ she illustrated with a sharp and startled intake of breath as we ran out the front door and around back, “—and was gone! Just like that.”
Thing Two was lying on the grass—thankfully soft and wet grass, as we’d just had three days of rain—crying. I didn’t want to pick her up; there was too much risk of inflicting further damage. But my husband had our only car, and I didn’t know anyone in the area… I carefully examined her, crooning reassurances, before deciding that she would be all right, as she was moving around on her own and seemed more scared and winded than anything.
I took her straight to the Urgent Care extra Las Vegas immediately. While sitting in the waiting room, I noticed that while she wasn’t crying anymore and was playing with the toys they offered, every time she tried to crawl on her left arm she would collapse. I pointed it out to them, at which point the staff at Urgent Care extra Las Vegas whisked us away to the back, where they x-rayed her arm and determined that it was, in fact, broken. A short and entirely harrowing interlude later, they had set and wrapped her arm with strict instructions to watch how it healed and to make sure she came back for a checkup within the next two weeks.
I took her for ice cream and painted her cast a bright pink at her request, saving the lecture about open windows and situational awareness for another time, when I was less aware of the many horrible ways that day could have gone much, much worse.