But then, as happens in toddler land, catastrophe! Regardless of the cause - was it the legs of the chair or Son’s own feet - but suddenly: Thump! Son’s face makes unpleasant contact with the seat of the chair. Justifiable tears start to stream down Son’s face and Mummy swoops in for a cuddle. Concerned Sales Assistant asks if I require First Aid help. “Don’t be silly”, I say, “It’s only a bump. Look, he’ll be fine”. And then I look. And see the blood pouring from his mouth. And yes, apologies to the squeamish, but I do mean pouring. Practical Mother of Other Child rushes to get wipes and tissues. Alerted by the crying (Son’s, not mine, she says defensively), Department Store Supervisor appears and, after quickly assessing that it wasn’t the range of shoes causing the pain, calls for back-up. By which I mean not one, but three First-Aiders. Concerned Sales Assistant has found a book to try to distract Son from the attempts to wipe blood from his face but the absence of this season’s knit wear does little to placate him. Son is growing hysterical and in a last ditch attempt to calm him, I am forced to sing. It works. We wind the bobbin. And are quickly ushered away from the scene of the accident into a changing room.
Calm slowly descends on the group. The whispered suggestions of going to the children’s hospital slip away and Son’s face slowly appears from my shoulder. My Son is the most beautiful child in the world but even I’ll admit that he didn’t look pretty. The bleeding abets, and aside from a well-bitten lip, Son has not unravelled. A faint smile flashes across his face. And then I notice his Jumper. The colour way has changed to match that of his face. Match, not compliment. The original blue-green colour scheme had an extra hue, one that without its elimination would prove the death of the Jumper. Panic (again)? Moi? Don’t be silly. We were in the shoe department, not yarns, and as lovely as all the staff members present were, they wouldn’t have understood. And besides, thinks Non-Panicking-Oh-So-Cool-Knitter, this 100% merino wool has seen other organic additions, probably none worse than those when the wool was actually on the sheep.
I tightly hug Son. This day may be the last for his jumper but it’s not for him and that’s all that matters. I am warned that this is likely to be among the first of many such boy-related injuries and it occurs to me that my knitted gifts need not be restricted to jumpers, that padded helmets / face guards might be more suitable alternatives. No, I’m not wrapping my son in cotton wool, just yarn knitted with love.
It’s the end of Son’s day and, as he sleeps in his cot, Jumper, also tired and worn from the day’s adventures, it too is restored. God Bless modern yarns. God Bless everyone.