Monday, June 24, 2013

Let Us Now Practice Writing a Scene From the Past

"Mooooooom," I hear my seven year old son yell from the bathroom. He's taking a shower in the middle of the day because he suffers from Encopresis, a kind of constipation complication which weakens the muscles in his colon and makes it impossibly hard to control bowel movements. He suffers, but as the one stuck cleaning it all up, I suffer, too. It's not my favorite job, poop cleaning.

I ignore his wails. He has a towel, change of clothes, everything he needs. And I want to finish reading this very funny blog post about a cat.

"MOOOOM!" The higher pitch of this yell catches my attention. He starts screaming.

Panic explodes through my heart; I know something is wrong. I run down the hallway and open the bathroom door.

A cloud of steam hits my face. The shower curtain blocks my view, but my son is still screaming hysterically.

I pull back the curtain and see him slipping, as he tries to stand up. The right side of his head is covered in shiny red blood. More blood is smeared along the wall and is making tiny rivers in the bottom of the bathtub, towards the drain.

For a moment, I am frozen. I want to call for my husband to help, but he is at work. I realize I am the only one who can help my bleeding baby. "It's okay, sweetie. I've got you. Canon, baby, calm down, take a deep breath," I am talking to myself as much as to him.

I take a deep breath and locate the first aid knowledge in my brain. Apply pressure to the wound, that's what you do, right? Yes. 

I see a washcloth, saturated with water and blood, by the drain.

As I reach for it, I wonder if it should be sterilized or something first, but I wring out the bloody water and gently wipe my child's forehead, trying to find the wound. 

Head wounds tend to bleed a lot, my brain reminds me.

I glimpse a small, gaping chunk of flesh, about an inch long before more blood flows out and covers the area again, but I know where the wound is, and I hold the washcloth against it.

He screams again.

"Sorry, sweetie. Sorry."

"There's soap in my eyes!"

I realize there is a blob of suds in his hair, mingled with the blood. I know the warm water of the shower is probably not helping to slow the blood from pouring out of my child, but I have to get the stupid shampoo out. "Canon, hold the washcloth right here on your head, okay?"

He was still crying, shaking. It's never easy to see your blood pooling around you, I'm sure. I help him put his hand on the washcloth to hold it against his head, then aim the shower and ruffle his hair to get as much of the soap out as I can.

I reach over and shut off the water. The shower valve clicks down and releases its last few drops. I look at my kid and notice his blond hair is mostly red now. I'll have to clean that up later.

I see the towel sitting by the sink and his clothes piled next to it.

I grab the towel, shake it out, and wrap it around my shivering, shuddering, child, then lift him carefully out of the bathtub.

He inhales quickly and whimpers with the exhale.

I put my hand on the washcloth and he grips  the towel tightly around him. I carefully peel back the washcloth a little to see check on the wound. It seemed so small compared to the amount of blood. I cover it back up with the washcloth.

I look again to the tub. It looks like a brutal murder scene.

"What happened, baby?"

He inhales a series of short quick breaths, "I hit my head."

"You sure did, baby," I kind of laugh, kind of cry, and pull him close for an awkward hug, while still holding the washcloth to his head.


So, what do you think? Was that scene written well? Were you captivated? Could you feel what I felt? Canon's ok, now. He has a little scar, but he didn't need stitches or anything. His encopresis is mostly better. Canon just read the scene and only gave it a so-so. Sheesh.

1 comment:

  1. I give it an 8 out of 10. I definitely felt like you conveyed your feelings well. I could feel your frustration/concern/exasperation very well.