There will be blood
We arrived at the Calgary airport at 9pm, two hours later than scheduled. After the one-mile walk to customs, and twenty or so minutes in baggage claim, it was about 9.30 and we still had to unearth our car from its longterm parking spot.
There was really no good way to do it. All four of us and our entourage of luggage could go out to the car (in the -12 degree weather), but if the car refused to start we’d all have to go back to the terminal with our luggage in tow. Not fun. Staying by myself in the terminal with two tired kids and a cart loaded with luggage….not fun either.
But that’s what we did.
Jason went to retrieve the car while I stayed back with the kids and the cart. Luckily G spied a ‘play’ area where some insipid video was being played on a continuous (looping) basis. And there were play spaces to occupy little minds. So we hung out there for a good while with nary a problem.
The trick was, I had to time it just right….’guess’ when (if) Jason might arrive at the terminal with the car and meet him at the curb, several doors down. Which would entail pushing the enormous luggage cart while holding the Hen in one arm and keeping an eye on G.
After twenty minutes or so, I figured we needed to mosey down to the curb area. I scooped up the little guy, pushed the cart with my right arm while receiving a modicum of assistance from my oldest. I received some excellent looks from passengers waiting for their rides to arrive. Of course, no one actually offered to push my cart, but that’s par for the course.
I parked the cart by the sliding door and tried to keep my eyes peeled for a silver station wagon, while also trying to keep my eyes on les incompetents (as Macaulay Calkin’s sister said in Home Alone).
Naturally, something had to go wrong.
The boys were having fun playing in a little alcove. Until the Hen tripped and fell on his face. It seemed like he might have nicked the edge of a nearby post, but I wasn’t sure. But I knew when I picked him up off the floor there was going to be blood. I just didn’t know where the blood would be coming from.
From his forehead.
He had a three-quarter inch gash in the middle of his forehead. Which was bleeding rather furiously. And I could do nothing. I couldn’t abandon my cart. I couldn’t push the cart and a bleeding child to the nearest bathroom – I couldn’t even see a sign for the bathroom.
So I found a pair of blue fleece sweatpants and pressed them to his head in an effort to stop the bleeding. Luckily, the pants were clean. The Hen was wailing fiercely, and none of the people around me tried to help – other than clucking sympathetically, or staring at our little spectacle.
About five minutes later, Jason walked in the door and my calm, keeping-it-together demeanor vanished. Fortunately, the gash had stopped bleeding at that point, and the whimpering Hen fell asleep (in our frozen car) a few minutes later.
At 10.30pm, we pulled up to the front of the house. The sidewalk covered in snow, mail pouring out of our mailbox, a chilly smelly house and the evidence of our hurried exit in full view. Bah humbug.
We changed the Hen out of his bloody pj’s and cleaned off his forehead, which set the wailing in motion again. His hair was caked with blood, and I knew I wouldn’t have the stomach to see that first thing in the morning. So I did what I could to remove the red stains from his blond hair – without immersing his head in water.
He fell asleep right away.
The next morning, his daddy greeted him with ‘Hello, Blagojevich.’ Apparently blood in the hair has the same effect as gel. He had hair the likes of which we’d never seen.
The ‘puff’, coupled with the bandanna-like green band-aid on his forehead made him look like an extra in Flashdance.
Whenever I snuck a glance at him, I’d sing ‘What a Feeling.’