I don’t over react. It’s just not my style. I’m cool, calm and collected in a crisis. Sort of like how James Bond would be as a parent. When my children get scrapes, I don’t freak out. I never freak out. I’m not bragging, it’s just the way I am.
At another village hall children’s party, my daughter face plants into the parquet floor. I’m calm. I pick her up and carefully check her face for injury. She seems unscathed. Just in case, I check behind her hair. There, on her forehead, is a huge lump. I’m taken aback. It seems enormous.
But it’s ok. Children get bumps on their heads all the time. I’m calm. I’m unflappable. As I watch, the lump is getting bigger. It’s literally inflating before my eyes.
My calm, rational brain says “Er… now, that is a bit freaky. I didn’t know head lumps could inflate before your eyes like that. Maybe in cartoons, but not in real life. Do they? I… I’m sure it’s OK. I’m remaining calm. The worst thing I could do now is panic. Which is what I never do.”
While I’m having these calm thoughts, another set of thoughts suddenly drowns them out. They are primordial thoughts. They sound like this: “Aaaaaaaah! My daughter’s brain is leaking out!! Aaaaaah! Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!”
“That’s highly unlikely.” My calm, rational brain tries to say. “I think you’ll find that-”
“Aaaaah! Panic! Aaaaaaaaaah!”
I rush to show the lump to her Mum. She sees the look of blind panic on my face. And the way I appear to be shaking. “I’ll take her.” I say.
“OK.” She nods.
“Aaaaaaah! Don’t panic. Remember how to drive. Don’t panic. Heart racing. Vision blurring. Daughter’s brain leaking out! Aaaaaaaaah! Out of my way, idiot! My daughter’s brain is leaking out. Why do you have to drive so slowly just because you’re old?! I will kill you!”
The minor injuries nurse is very calm. And very nice as she goes through the suspicion checklist, which I seem to pass. Then the head injury checklist. She had remained conscious. She hadn’t vomited. She hadn’t even cried that much. I start to feel foolish.
“I saw it inflating before my eyes.” I tell the nurse. She nods and smiles sympathetically.
“I saw it inflating before my eyes.” I explain to the Mums back at the party, my voice a little high. “I’ve never seen that before. I thought her brain was leaking out.” They nod and smile sympathetically.
My daughter is now charging around the party again. She has an altercation with an older boy and makes him cry.
“She seems fine now.” They say.