Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Brawn, Blood, and Band-Aids

I had the pleasure of waking up at 5:30 this morning in order to take four small children in to have their blood drawn. Some of the tests were to be drawn first thing in the morning, and we had to drive half-an-hour to a certain clinic. It was an accomplishment marching four kids into the quiet waiting room, dressed, combed, fed, and calm by 7:30am. That was the high point of the visit.

Hannah began dancing and said she needed to go potty. Matt thought he smelled something foul under Toby's overalls. He took the two of them to find a restroom. I tried to fill out paperwork on all four kids, but Emma began yelling, "I wan go PAH-EE! I have pee in my bah-um!" She repeated that phrase a few dozen more times while I finished the paperwork. Then came the 45 minute registration process. The doctor's orders didn't match the tests in their system, a supervisor offered no help, and  a phone call was placed to the doctor's office. I kept peeking over my shoulder through the glass booth to Matt, struggling to contain kids in the waiting room. He shot me a "what the heck is taking so long?" look. I shot back "sorry, this really isn't my fault, I'd help you if I could."

When they finally called us back to a room, the kids had wandered into a lobby between two sets of automatic-opening sliding glass doors. Matt called for the kids to come. The girls came. Toby grinned a devilish grin and ran the other way. The glass doors to the outside slid open, Toby hesitated and they closed again, smashing his left hand. Matt jumped to the door and sacrificed one of his own fingers to pry it open again. Toby was left with a red welt and a small bruise, but no real damage. He did not consider the ice pack that they offered him to be helpful in the least.

Naomi set a brave example as the phlebotomist drew her blood--no crying, no complaining, just a couple sneaky tears that were hard to hold back. Hannah and Emma were not to be outdone in bravery, and they felt proud as they collected their stickers and their praise. Toby struggled against Daddy's grasp as soon as the ladies came near him. He screamed, he writhed, snot poured out of his nose, and he eventually succeeded in pulling the needle out of the vain with a dramatic little spatter of blood. Unfortunately this only earned him a stick in the other arm as well. This time I swaddled him tightly, and three of us pinned him down. Even so, we could barely hold his arm still enough. The phlebotomist took a stab at the wriggling vein and happened to hit it right. The assistant's eyes showed how impressed she was with Toby. "He's stronger than the three of us combined!" she said in all seriousness.

See the welt on his left wrist
We are home now, recovering. The girls' arms bear tiny prick-marks, barely visible. Their shirts proclaim their bravery with Disney princess stickers. Toby's left wrist bears a red welt and a bruise. The insides of his elbows each have small blue welts. Now and then he stops to examine his wounds, and a shutter runs down his spine. An array of Toy Story stickers evidence his courage. Wear them proudly Toby, you earned them.


  1. Uncle Bill read your blog entry tonight and after the part about him being "stronger than the three of you" he said with a laugh, "I just HAVE to meet that little Toby!" I think that there was a hint of a kindred spirit theme in the air...either that or he was thinking that Toby would make a good wrestler! Bill is just the type to be drawn towards a child with "spirit" and "spunk"!

  2. Yep, "spirit" and "spunk" course through Toby's veins. Tell Uncle Bill that Toby LOVES to wrestle. When we went to visit Brian and Janella Toby suddenly took to grabbing on to Eric's shirt, squealing, and dragging poor Eric around the house. We weren't exactly sure what he was doing then, we just thought it was funny. Now this has become a favorite pass-time of Toby's. He will attack his three-year-old cousin, Landon, now, or a two-year-old that we know named Caleb.

    Most other little kids are scared of him, but he just wants someone to roll around on the floor with him and ruff him up. Once Hannah dragged him to the floor when he was messing up her toys, and instead of being upset he was thrilled. He let out the most delighted shriek, threw her to the floor, pounced on top of her and laughed. So, yes, I think Toby may make a fine wrestler one day :)