Years ago when we lived on West 114th, all 11 of us stuffed in that little house, my sister Anne was left in charge of babysitting us. Then one day our littlest sister Kelly, jumped out the tiny window in the garage and used a dog leash as her rope to play G.I. Joe jumping from a plane , she had hooked the loop handle over a nail on the back garage wall and jumped out the window yelling “HiYAAAAA”. then “OWWWWW”, as the hook at the end of dog leash had buried itself in her palm.
She was dancing with pain at the end of the leash and crying and I was struggling to get the handle of the leash off the nail. After she was released she raced into the house and went screaming right to Anne. And when Kelly opened her hand up and showed her the wound to Anne, it took everything Anne had not to pass out. The sight of blood was just not Anne’s strong point back then. She then called my Father at work at the 3rd district Police station and asked him what to do and he told her to rinse it in cold water and wrap it up in toilet paper (the only sterile thing he could think to wrap it with ) and either he or Mom would take her to the Emergency Room when they got home from work. Turns out you should never wrap a wound with toilet paper, it melts into the wound and has to be picked out. That’s the 1st thing they wanted to know in the emergency room at St. John’s, who’s bright idea was this? I don’t know who fessed up or what was said but from then on toilet paper was out of the first aid kit.
Or how about the time when running through the living room Will took a tumble into the corner of a table and poked a hole in that big old head of his. Or how about the time Kelly was trying to skin the big frozen Chocolate fruit and nut egg that was left over from Easter. It was rock hard, and while trying to get the chocolate skin off that egg she poked that huge barbecue fork into her leg.
Then she came into the doorway of the living room and tried to get Mary Ellen’s and my’s attention away from a Saturday Horror flick long enough to get help… and we kept shushing her and telling her to get away from the front of the TV. It wasn’t until the commercial that we really looked at her standing there with that huge fork sticking out of her leg. Then we wanted to talk, ask question but she passed out, so we went for help.
Or the time Anne tried jumping out of the top bunk bed and ended up with a ton of stitches in her leg? Her friend came downstairs and told Mommy that Anne wanted to see her upstairs, my mother just looked up from sorting laundry and cooking dinner and said , Anne would have to come down if she wanted her. Well the friend being an only child had no clue that unless you told my Mother just how serious the injury was there was no way she would stop her work to go running every time a child requested her presence. I think not. You better be bleeding or strugglingto breathe before asking Mommy to stop her work and come see about you. So one if us ran up and yelled down to Mom, “She’s really bleeding!”. Mom fairly flew up those steps.
Later that same day Kate took a tumble down the basement steps…she lay there crying out for help till she finally realized none was coming, she dragged herself up those steps like Blanche in “Baby Jane” only to find us all glued to the TV in the back room totally oblivious to her crying out. Then to top it off she couldn’t go to the Emergency Room , because we’d already been there twice that day and Mom swore she didn’t care what happened she was not going back there again, and she meant it. Period.
But the best was years later, when Dad (long since retired from the Police Department) saw on TV that they had come up with this spray substance that they would use at the scene of a crime to discover old blood trails. Cripes, he said…after raising nine kids there wasn’t a room that didn’t have a few trails…”If they ever test this house for blood, It’ll look like a mass murder!”
Ah, for those sweet, tender hilarious days of my childhood! Hiyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!