When we were kids, my Mum collected antique china. Her prize collection was mounted on the wall of our living room, right above the doorway, despite having four children below the age of seven. One day, we were playing ‘Star Wars’ using lightsaber cricket stumps and my oldest brother tried to replicate the epic Jedi lightsaber boomerang throw. The cricket stump sailed through the air and smashed our Mum’s prize collection. If this wasn’t alarming enough, my baby brother was sitting directly beneath the doorway, aloof from the battle, playing with his building blocks. The plates shattered on his barely-developed skull, and blood exploded everywhere. Luckily, after some fifteen stitches, he survived, and to this day, our Mum has never forgiven us for destroying that china.
I remember my son face-planting on an Action Man figure and the plastic machine gun completely severing that thin layer of skin inside his mouth, above the top row of his teeth. Eventually, I got him to calm down so I could look at the damage. I pulled up his top lip, and found a giant tear revealing all the inside of his nasal passages, and cheekbones. I cried more than he did, I think.
My brother and I were helping my Dad strip wallpaper in our front room. It soon turned into a competition between the two of us as to who could reach and tear the highest piece of wallpaper. One of us decided it would be a great idea to involve the mini-trampoline in our pursuit of height, which I still insist was super innovative for a five year old! I pushed it up against the wall and began to generate some impressive tearing height. Needless to say, my brother wanted a go. Regrettably, this ended in him reaching such heights, that he knocked himself unconscious on the ceiling, and tore a vertical hole in his leg on a nail sticking out of the wall. My Dad had only left us for ten minutes to make lunch.
My sister had a teddy bear when she was a toddler with a bow around its neck. One night, I awoke to the sounds of her choking. Somehow, she had managed to almost garrotte herself with teddy’s bow. Although it was pretty urgent at the time, it cracks me up to relay, especially considering she still has the bear that once tried to kill her.
I had really long, bushy hair when I was a girl, and during a game of indoor off-ground tag, I climbed on top of the kitchen worktop and caught it in a length of flypaper. My brother tore it out, and half my hair came with it, leaving me with alopecia. Not exactly a bloody accident, but living with childhood pattern baldness for the next few months was just as traumatic.
My sister climbed on top of a wardrobe, fell, and caught the back of her dress on a coat hook. I was too young to grasp the seriousness of the situation, and left her there to go and play outside. She was suspended from the scruff of her neck for some minutes before my Mother found her.
When my little brother was a baby, he got the wrong end of a teething toy wedged in his mouth. We had to take him to A&E to have it extracted by a totally idiotic Junior Doctor, who gave him a lollipop to put in his mouth after?!
At Christmas time, my parents used to keep all of our presents on top of a wardrobe in their bedroom. Because they were pub landlords, they were both downstairs working during the busy period, which gave us the opportunity to sneak a peek. My older sister was always the one who climbed on top of the wardrobe to report what it was we were all getting from ‘Santa’ that year. One year, when she was getting too big to be climbing wardrobes, the wardrobe doors flew open and it fell, swallowing her up inside. My brother and I were faced with the horrible dilemma of telling our parents that our sister was trapped, slowly suffocating in heavy 1980s fabric, and having to explain why we were climbing the wardrobe in the first place. It was too much responsibility to bear, so we did what all kids do to avoid a telling off: we hid.
After school in the playground one day, my plump son elbowed his little brother out of the pushchair so he could sit in it. He was so heavy that he broke a mechanism somewhere, and it sprang shut, trapping him inside. All I could see of him were his feet and hands waving in the air. All of the other mums rushed over to help, but I was absolutely useless with laughter.
This doesn’t really qualify as an accident, but my sister once ate her own turd. She was sick on the couch after.
When I was a kid, my family used to visit this open farm where you could feed the ducks and stroke piglets and everything like that. I stuck my hand through a wire fence to feed the geese, and one got my finger in its treacherous jaws, and would not let go. My Dad had to resort to public animal cruelty, and kick it so it would release me from its clutches. Don’t ever let anyone tell you geese that aren’t aggressive.
My brother locked me in an airtight safe. That part wasn’t accidental. However, he did accidentally lose the key, and my Father had to drill holes in the metal so that I could breathe whilst they searched for it.
One afternoon, out of what could only have been sheer boredom, my brother and my cousin lowered me from a fourth story window in a washing basket with a dressing gown cord. The bottom fell out halfway down, and I broke my ankle, my wrist and my nose. That was one afternoon usefully spent.
My bro was one of those super hyperactive kids, and anything that caused any sort of heightened emotion was not for him. Once, he lost to me at a game of ‘Sonic the Hedgehog,’ smashed the TV and gave me concussion.
This one is something of a miracle. One Christmas, I was helping my heavily pregnant Mum haul an eight foot Christmas tree into the house, and it collapsed on top her. I was nine, and began crying too loudly to hear what she was telling me: her waters had broken, and she needed to get to the hospital, now! My Dad was away on a business trip that weekend, and there was no one next door to help, so I called an ambulance, who pulled my dishevelled Mum, and my new baby sister, out from under the tree; and unto us a child was born! It’s quite touching really if you think about it.
My brother got his head stuck in the wooden cannon of a pirate ship at a play park, and A&E had to saw him out, ruining the day for everyone.