One morning, not so long ago, the husband went in to get the toddler up. As usual, she was treating us to a rendition of “Incy Wincy Spider”, one of her favourites at 6am (or earlier). Her version goes like this “Incy Wincy BIDER, climbs up the water BOUT, along came the WAIN, and washed poor Incy OUT!”. The last word is loud enough to be heard from 4 houses away I’m sure. Our poor, poor neighbours. But anyway, in he goes, one eye open and mumbling something about times when 6am was a late night rather than an early morning. I curl up and get ready to go back asleep for an hour or two (we take the 6am shift in turns). Next thing there’s a big roar out of him, “there’s blood everywhere!” he shouts “c’mere!”.
I duly hoist myself out of bed and waddle in. Sure enough, the blanket, the toddler’s pjs, her hair, and even the side of her face, are covered in blood. But there’s not a bother on the toddler herself. After a thorough examination, we find no cuts, and conclude that it’s certainly not toddler blood everywhere. The husband starts investigating. There’s blood on the cot, and streaks of blood on the door handle, so it’s apparent that a nocturnal visitor did the damage.
Leaving Hercule Poirot to it, I take the toddler into the bathroom to wash her, and happen to glance in the mirror. My entire face is streaked with blood! I have a look at my hands, they’re fine, but there’s a little bit on my wrist and up my arm. But I have no cuts anywhere? I go back into the bedroom and turn on the light… yes, spots of blood on the pillow and duvet. I summon Hercule, who still didn’t notice the blood on my face. (If he is to continue his career as a detective, he’d want to hone those observation skills). Once I point it out to him, we begin to piece the story together….
Like many pregnant women, I need to make regular visits to the loo at night. I have got so good at it, that I don’t even need lights, the whole process from leaving the bed, to handwashing, can be done with my eyes more or less shut. This is good, as lights cause two problems, firstly they can wake me up more than is necessary, so I get back into bed and start thinking about my credit card bill, and secondly they have the potential to wake the toddler… not often, but the fear is there.
Anyway, Hercule and I concluded that I had a nosebleed in the middle of the night. Nosebleeds, along with most other minor medical calamities that can befall a person, are a symptom of pregnancy. I must have woken up mid-bleed, and trotted to the loo as usual. When I got to the landing (wish we had an ensuite!) I must have veered into the toddler’s room to admire the sleeping child. While doing this, I bled all over her, her blanket, etc. etc. Then off I went to the loo. Washing my hands removed the blood from them, but my face and arms retained traces. I took myself back into my bloody bed then, and, due to the fact that no light woke me up properly, nodded quickly back off to sleep, until the dawn chorus of Incy Wincy BIDER a few hours later.
The other alternative, of course, is that some sort of injured ghostly phantom made its way into our home, and leant over the pregnant woman and child, leaving the husband alone, before heading back to whatever hellhole it came from. Possible I guess?