Yesterday was a very ordinary day, in Australian parlance.
Meaning, one of our worst ever.
On Galactic, we make coffee in a stove-top espresso pot. Yesterday morning, the kids woke us up well before first light, just like they do every morning. Alisa got out of bed, got the coffee going, and got Eric out of his bunk. When the pot boiled, I told her "I've got it," and turned the stove off, then stepped into the shower. But I didn't pour the coffee - I just left it on the stove where it had been, without either locking off the stove gimbal or tucking the top-heavy espresso pot behind the tea kettle, where it is more secure.
Alisa started changing Eric's diaper. And before she even realized that he was in the galley, Elias did something he's never done before - he tried to climb up onto the counter next to the stove to reach down into the under-counter storage space where we keep the cereal. He put weight on the stove, which, since it was free to swing on its gimbal, spilled the just-boiled pot of espresso down his leg.
I came running out of the shower. Alisa already had Elias' PJs off. We could see immediately that it was a bad burn. The outer layer of skin had peeled off his thigh in one large sheet.
In the past, I've thought that I do well in a tight spot. But I don't think that I did a great job for Elias in the next 10 minutes or so. Alisa had the right immediate idea, to get cold water on the burn. But when we finally got to the ER, and I saw how long they continued to apply cold water, I realized that we hadn't cooled it down nearly long enough.
I wasted some time finding and applying the silver sulfadiazine cream that we carry, when we should have just been cooling the burn off and getting him to hospital.
And then I had the waking-nightmare experience of not being able to find the car keys, anywhere. Alisa finally remembered that I had hung my pants up to dry in the cockpit the night before, and the keys were in the pocket.
That's really just the tiniest detail of the whole event. But I cannot forget the completely helpless feeling of not coming up with the keys.
I finally carried him off the boat, and we pulled into the ER entrance eight minutes or so later.
I'll be glad when we can stop remarking how good the ER staff is at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
I'll also be glad when we can stop remarking what a tough little guy Elias is. After his hour of agony was over, and he was bandaged and afloat on a sea of analgesia, he kept telling me how happy he was...
So now he's a day and a half into his hospital stay. The burn runs from his hip to his calf, about 8% of his total body surface area. He just had the bandage changed for the first time earlier today, and the burn nurse tells us that we should expect him to be in hospital for 7-10 days.
Poor little bugger.