The Great Taco Debacle


Tonight during dinner, I heard the familiar sound (in our house) of a plate/cup/glass/something breakable, shattering from the kitchen, I calmly got up to survey the damage.

“Braden, come out of the kitchen, and put your shoes on.”

And then I saw it. The blood. Lots of blood…gushing blood…blood on the floor…blood in the kitchen…blood on the door. (I see a future Dr. Seuss book title in the making.)

Let me set the scene for you. Mike was at the dentist. Braden and I had just returned from a foot massage where the masseuse called me “so fat,” but alas…that’s another story for another day…and Braden decided he wanted to eat dinner- NOW! I mean, it was tacos, so really, who could blame him?

Braden loves tacos, but he is also going through a bit of an obsessive-compulsive mode these days. So, he was dishing up taco #3 when the incident happened.

Did I ever mention that when I was a child, I wanted to be a pediatrician? I loved children and thought I’d make a fantastic doctor.

Cue the blood.

“Braden, sit down,” I tried to calmly yell as he was running all over the living room. He sat down. I started looking at his legs and feet. Blood was gushing, yes gushing, out of his big toe. First Aid training kicked in. I applied pressure to the wound and tried to stop the bleeding. As I was doing that, blood seemed to be pouring from multiple places around his toes. I thought I saw a large flap of skin on his second toe.

I started gagging.

“I can’t do this on my own,” I thought. I called my friend B who lives down the road. No answer.

“It’s okay, I can do this,” I calmly told myself.

Then, Braden decided he really wanted another taco, and he ran back into the kitchen!

“No, Braden, no! Come out here. You’ll cut yourself again.”

He ran out. More blood. More wounds? Good God.

I applied pressure…stopped the bleeding.

He got up and ran back into the kitchen and got a plate. If he was going to have more food, he needed a plate, right?

“Stop, Braden!”

“OMG, I really can’t do this on my own.”

I called my friend M. No answer. I called my friend L. No answer. I considered calling our school’s doctor. But then I thought I just might be overreacting.

When Braden gets into an obsessive-compulsive mode, nothing will stop him. Not rain. Not hail. Not sleet. Not snow. And not bleeding feet. I couldn’t contain him, and I honestly didn’t know what to do. I thought that the only way I could get through it was with some help. But my friends were busy…and I so get that.

“Pull yourself together, Lori. Seriously, this is NOT a big deal.”

So I brought him into the kitchen, sat him on the floor, gave him a taco, and started cleaning up the broken dish. I cleaned up the dish. I cleaned up the blood. I got the coffee ready for tomorrow. And Braden sat on the floor in the kitchen eating his taco. Happy… Bleeding.

Mike finally got home. Since when does a cleaning take so long anyway?

I described the living hell I had just gone through. We brought Braden upstairs to take a shower and clean his wound-riddled feet. I wasn’t sure if we would need to take him to the hospital for stitches or if we would be okay taking care of them all on our own.

Braden sat patiently in the shower while I washed his feet.

“Wait. Where are the wounds?” Mike says.

“Here is the main one… the one that was gushing,” I showed him. The culprit was a small puncture…about 2 mm in diameter.

“Well, there’s lots more,” I assured him. “Skin was flapping on this toe here…wait. Was it this toe? Or was it that…? Hmmm…nope, no skin. But there surely must be more. I mean, there was so much blood.”

There weren’t more. One small wound…so much blood.

When you have a son like our Braden, sometimes every little thing becomes something big. If he needs a cavity filled, he needs to be put under sedation. If he gets a shot, four people have to hold him down. Nothing is easy and, as a parent, we begin to feel that there is no way we can do this alone. But when it comes down to it, we can.

I did…tonight.

Despite the gagging and dizziness over the sight of blood, I got through it. I’ve already had my friends who I called reach out to me and promise to be right over. I told them I’m fine…Braden is fine…and I just overreacted. I’m so thankful to have people surrounding us who will help out in times of need. Luckily, tonight, I really didn’t need it.

Remember when I said I wanted to be a pediatrician? HA!


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