August. That's when the girls got their bunk beds. Almost a full 4 months ago. I knew bringing bunk beds into our home meant welcoming unfortunate incidents and a whole new host of injuries. But I assumed it would be from one or more of the children falling off the top bunk, jumping off the top bunk, or missing a rung on the ladder.
It never crossed my mind that so many ice packs would be used on their little heads, as a result of them banging into the bars of the top bunk. That's right, folks. We administer multiple ice packs a week because the girls forget there is a bed above them. Made of metal bars. They currently both share the bottom bunk, which is a full size bed, because after learning that smoke rises...Reese will have no part of the top bunk. They giggle and carry on at night when we first put them to bed, and inevitably, one of them, usually Drue, will either stand up, or jump up from the bottom bunk and clang their head against the bars.
The explanation for their injury is always the same, "I forgot there was a bed above me".
Last weekend they all three were going to try sleeping together on the bottom bunk. Drue came into our room for something and then headed back into her room. Reese and Tate thought it would be fun to scream out and scare her. I heard them scream. A few seconds later I heard a familiar thud and Drue's unmistakable wail. By this time of the night, my patience is always a bit thinned out as I'm about to slip into a few hours of uninterrupted slumber. It is during these few hours I get a break from playing referee, maid, cook, and chauffeur.
She wailed for longer than her norm. I finally shuffled in there to re-tuck them in, and she was whimpering pitifully curled up on the side of the bed by the wall. "Do you need an ice pack?" I asked in a monotone voice. I could just make out the nod of her head in the dim light. So I shuffled downstairs to retrieve one from the freezer.
I crawled back into my bed after delivering it to her and just felt strange. Maybe I felt bad that I hadn't been more tender with her. It had just become such a regular occurrence lately, I had kind of lost my compassion for it. But I didn't want Drue to go to bed sad, so I called her into my room. She climbed into my bed, holding her ice pack to her head, and I pulled her into my lap. When she pulled the ice pack off to settle in a little more, I felt even more terrible. Her right eyelid was swollen and purple, and a bloody cut under her eyebrow was reflected in the light of my bedside lamp.
Ok, so this was way worse than her weekly bumps and bonks. I called David up there to assess whether or not the cut required stitches or glue. He assured me it did not. Then he went and got her a bag of frozen vegetables to mold easier to her injury than a hard ice pack. Of course, any type of head injury wins them an automatic pass to sleep in our bed with us. I even turned on the tv to keep her up for a little while, lest she fall into a deep state of unconsciousness. Only after I performed amateur neuro checks, making sure she was oriented and could track my finger, was I able to settle in for the night.
When she came home from school Monday she announced, "Four teachers asked me what happened to my eye!". Awesome. No really, I'm very glad they were doing their job. The sarcastic "awesome" refers to the reason all 4 teachers had to ask that question in the first place.
Hopefully, another 4 months won't go by before the girls get used to their bunk bed. Oh, and I completely skipped over the rest of the story in explaining how her injury played out that night. So the other two screamed, which scared her, but it wasn't her jumping from fright that caused her to slam into the bed. After the initial shock of getting scared, she got mad. And she wanted to pounce on them for scaring her. So she leaped into the air to land on them.
Forgetting about that darned top bunk again...