Having a baby is like being given a long scroll of milestone achievements, ready and waiting to be ticked off. Many of these you might expect, made up as they are of firsts – tooth, words and steps – but others are subtler, while some aren’t those you go excitedly in search of. Rather, they come and find you.
The first trip to A&E might not be something to write about in the baby book, but it’s often an inevitability for parents. This particular milestone came for us after Lorelei injured her heel and we were advised to take her to A&E as soon as possible. Aside from some crying – I mean, she did have a deep gash on the back of her foot – Lori was an angel (from the moons of Iego, I think). She was much more interested in the other kids in the waiting room and waving as they left.
Eventually our turn came, and the wound was cleaned and bandaged before we got the tired little tyke home. Now she’s on antibiotics and you really don’t want to know what that does to a baby’s stomach. Just imagine the swamp water of Dagobah, and we’ll leave it at that.
It’s in these crises that the truth of our character is reflected. Instinct kicks in and you seem to exist entirely in the present. Only after, when a peaceful equilibrium returns, does reflection occur. Here emotions can peak or fall and only when I was wiping up Lori’s blood off the floor did the reality of the situation hit me. Okay, so it’s not as if she’s going to need a bacta tank anytime soon, but our first (and, pretty please, last) visit to A&E isn’t something I’ll soon be forgetting. Fortunately for Lori, this little adventure will only ever be an anecdote we’ll bring up in the future.