So the call comes around 2pm.
You know the call. The one you hope you never get.
“Hi, it’s the school here. Flea has had a bit of an accident.”
The teacher explains that somehow, during PE, Flea was hit in the head with a hockey ball, it’s quite a nasty bump, and the nurse has recommended we go to A&E. Can I come and collect her?
I ditch everything (including the new puppy who came home on Wednesday evening – thanks Lindy for emergency puppy-sitting) and jump into the car.
When I arrive at school, one of the teachers brings Flea to meet me.
I manage to establish that she was hit hard enough by a hockey ball that she fell over. She didn’t lose consciousness. She hasn’t been sick, but she is dizzy.
She’s deathly pale, with a nasty bruise and a bump the size of a Creme Egg on her forehead.
“We’ve had an ice pack on it, and the bump has really gone down a lot,” says one teacher, prompting me to wonder just how bloody enormous is must have been in the first place.
I can tell from Flea’s little face that she’s trying desperately not to cry in front of other people. Flea HATES to cry in front of people – it’s her Northern genes, I’m sure of it.
I manage not to say what I’m really thinking to Flea’s incredibly lovely class teacher who is trying to tell Flea that he’s put her homework into her schoolbag. (What I’m thinking is, “I couldn’t give a TOSS about homework, my baby is broken and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT,” but I accept that wouldn’t be especially productive or accurate if I said it out loud. It feels true, though, in the moment.)
We head up to the local A&E department, ice pack in place, Flea by now letting herself have a good old whimper. I feel like having a good cry myself, to be fair.
I try and keep Flea talking, vaguely aware that I should be monitoring her for signs of confusion, but she says it hurts when she talks and can we please not talk. Would it be okay if I just held her hand?
We sit in A&E and by the world’s biggest stroke of luck, we’re seen almost straight away. Everyone is really kind with Flea, and the nurses and doctors do their very best to blow her hair out of the way so they don’t have to touch her head.
A few tests and Flea’s given a clean bill of health – the bump is continuing to go down, and there are no signs of any neurological problems. It’s just going to hurt for a while. And be a monster of a bruise, it looks like.
Luckily the A&E doctor confirmed Flea’s suspicion that the recommended treatment protocol for a head injury of this type involves large quantities of chocolate ice cream.
She didn’t say it, but I took it to mean we both deserved copious amounts of ice cream.
Better safe than sorry.