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We recently celebrated the Mid Autumn Festival which is arguably the second biggest Chinese festival in this part of the world, Chinese New Year being the first. Mid Autumn Festival is essentially a harvest festival, with a lot of excitement centering around the moon and the legend of Chang E, the moon lady. I know this because the kids were told the story at school and we bought a very nice book about it. Kids usually take lanterns and go moongazing. Our kids had a lantern parade at school for which I got Mimi a traditional lantern in the shape of a rabbit (supposed to be the pet of Chang E). I forgot to get Nene one, and he very sweetly volunteered to take a chicken that he had made last year.

The long weekend started off well, when I decided we would go to the beach. We spent a good two hours of Saturday morning basking in water so clean that we could see the fishes swimming around us. V caught one for Nene in a bucket and he spent half an hour staring at it, trying to feed it seaweed and finally releasing it.

In the afternoon, our estate had a fun fair for the kids where for the princely sum of HK$25 they could try their hand at a range of games, including a bouncy castle. Regardless of whether they won or lost, they got little stuff like pencils or card holders. It was very well organised and for the nth time I thank my stars that we are fortunate enough to live in this building.

On Sunday, both our helpers were off and Mimi ended up not sleeping in the afternoon. Things were going peaceably enough when at 5 pm I decided to take a bath and asked V to watch the kids. Suddenly, I heard Mimi crying and V shouting. I didn’t think much of this because Mimi crying is a regular thing. Then Nene came into the bathroom saying Mimi is really badly hurt. I rushed out to find that Mimi had gashed her head and was bleeding badly.The irony was that I had just been congratulating myself on how I knew when to panic over a crying child. (Though later when I told V that I didn’t hear the shrill cry of a child in distress, he said she had initially been too shocked.)

She calmed down fairly quickly, and I would have left it at that, but V pointed out that the cut was deep and would need stitches. I was skeptical because my rule of the thumb is that if the child seems fine, leave it. Since it was a festival, our regular doctors were closed but again, we have a choice of three doctors in our immediate vicinity so got an appointment fairly quickly. One look and the doctor said we need to go to the casualty of the hospital, most likely for stitches. He was kind enough to not charge us.

Again, being a holiday, it was the worst possible day to get a taxi. Our security guard suggested there was no point calling one but we were likely to get one at the building roundabout as there were a lot of guests coming in. We managed to flag one down, but he initially said no. However, when V requested him explaining that we needed to take a child to the hospital, he agreed and drove us at top speed. I heard him call someone probably his wife, explaining the would be late.

We had a long wait at the hospital to even see the doctor, as is the case in emergency rooms. Mimi had calmed down by then, helped by the appearance of the iPad. The doctor on duty turned out to be a nice guy, but he also recommended stitches.

Then came the worst part of the night. We had to wait a hour longer till insurance cleared our claim and/or the doctor got free to do the stitches. By then Mimi was absolutely fine and I had to stop her from frolicking too hard lest she hit her head again. However, once we went into the room, they bundled Mimi into a towel and basically told V and I to clear out. I had heard about this from another friend who is quite a fighter and I had no choice but to leave. Thankfully, Mimi seemed ok, but obviously, a child alone being stitched up is NOT a nice thing. It was a 10 minute procedure but she screamed and sobbed the entire time. I had to leave the area as I couldn’t bear to listen. Hospitals do this for their ease, so they don’t have to deal with parents freaking out but I believe it’s a human rights issue. I think most parents would get a grip – or could be made to leave – and be strong for their child when needed. Instead I was outside crying for my child. Mimi was traumatised when she was handed back to me.

Since then she’s been fine save for wanting to remove the bandage on her forehead, which I think is more out of vanity than any discomfort. She’s been a bit more difficult to handle than normal, but healthwise seems fine.We bought her Elsa and Anna dolls (and Nene got a minibus just because) as a special gift.

We have to get her stitches removed on Saturday and I hope we can stay with her. Nene’s friend’s mom told me that when they tried to kick her out of the room she flat out refused and finally they let her stay. I had misremembered what she said, and now I feel guilty, but the fact is I wonder if they would have let us stay and what we could have done if they didn’t. Anyway, wish us luck for Saturday.

And of course, while all this drama was going on, I got my period.

Update: A week later, we were due to visit the hospital when Nene injured his foot. I couldn’t believe it because we were all sitting around and he didn’t jump, hit his leg or anything. V noticed that he could have twisted it. But the way he was going, it seemed like a fracture. So we had the embarrassing duty of telling the doctor who checked Mimi that our other kid needed attention too. I’m grateful that he didn’t call the cops on us. Thankfully, an x-ray showed no fracture but the doctor said sometimes hairline fractures don’t show up, but that they tend to heal on their own.

The removal of Mimi’s stitches was more peaceful and they allowed me to stay with her. Nene’s foot has thankfully healed without further intervention, though in a day or two he has started jumping around, even though he is still favouring that foot. Obviously more than a day’s rest is impossible with kids.

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