Fountains Running Red

Three days-smays. No-one’s counting! *ahem*

The linen on our bed was changed yesterday (that refreshing bi-annual event!) as Harry had up-emptied some of his chocolate milkshake on John’s half of the duvet. I was busy and had vaguely considered leaving it (it wasn’t my half, after all) to dry but I did eventually drag off the fitted sheet and duvet cover and cart them downstairs. John put fresh linen on at bedtime (leaving the bed unmade-up is a cunning ploy on my part: J almost always retires upstairs first – to be confronted with the inescapable prospect of mild domestic drudgery for the next 3 minutes if he wishes to sleep between sheets) and the world continued to spin on its axis. The mischievous sprite who jerks the strings of my life, however, had taken note of the fresh – white – linen, and promptly nipped out from behind the cosmic skirting boards and sliced open a blood vessel in Harry’s nose.

I heard a series of puzzlingly wettish-sounding coughs around midnight, shortly after I’d peed him (place 95% asleep child on potty, murmur gentle get-on-with-its, wait for tinkly sound or urine smell, replace child under duvet) but his chest is currently sounding like a badger colony, so I thought nothing of it until a small, very red figure appeared on the bed, uttering vague complaints, clambering clumsily over John’s drowsy form towards me. Erk. And double-erk.

I am not prone to nosebleeds; I think I’ve had 1 in the last 30 years. Harry’s never had one before, and it was an absolute humdinger. I concealed my alarm under march-into-bathroom-hold-nose-sit-on-towel practical type-activity, but he was choking and frantically swallowing blood as the fat, splattering drips came faster and faster, and I began to furiously consider how to stanch the tide. My knowledge of ENT anatomy – never a well-padded entity to begin with – fled from me completely, and I found myself feverishly wondering if he could somehow have accidently severed a tonsil with his tongue, dislodged a sinus by coughing or be inexplicably haemorrhaging from his… his… epiglottis?

Harry – sleep-dazed and confused – justifiably considered current events to be sucking hairy donkey balls, and, becoming tired of standing over the toilet watching his life-force pour from him in a steady cascade of tiny haemoglobinal water-bombs, hurled himself at my kneeling, naked form, and gripped determinedly. Which stemmed his distress a little, but now meant that the red river was dribbling down my back. The bathroom already resembled a worryingly flamboyant crime scene, and although I am unfortunately quite accustomed to sitting dejectedly in a bloody puddle, I made the discovery that even the inhabiting of bloody puddles can have a sliding scale of desirability and I had found the bottom, no pun intended.

Well, we all survived (although Harry’s official school photo (today, naturally) looks slightly red-hued-of-nostril); John had been busy changing Harry’s liberally bloodsmeared bed linen – two beds in one evening! – but I kept him sleeping with us on the off-chance he started fountaining again, and what with one thing and another, the attractive new polka-dot pattern on our duvet didn’t become apparent until morning.

I fear John is about to set a 3-times-in-24-hours personal best in bed-making.

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