I meant to write this one a couple of weeks ago, but with Bill in Seattle for 10 days and me with the kids and work…it didn’t happen.
Of course, that’s no excuse – it really started BEFORE Bill left, but…whatever…I’m still using his trip as my excuse.
Anyway…I should have known something was going to happen that day…
I decided that all the stuffed animals should "live" upstairs, unless they were being played with. So after work on a Tuesday I summoned my children and told them I had a FUN PROJECT for us to do!!!!! (It’s all in how you pitch it to them…okay, not always, but sometimes overenthusiasm IS catching.)
I told them my idea, and showed them the little area in the corner of their room where the animals could all sleep or hang out or whatever they all do when we’re not looking. I said I would throw the stuffed animals up the stairs, and they (Alex and Julia) would catch them and bring them into the new stuffed animal spot.
They were very enthusiastic, actually. So we began. Two at a time (so each child could catch one and there would be no tug of war at the top of the stairs) I threw the stuffed animals up the stairs, and my kids laughed and giggled and raced back and forth transporting the toys to their new home.
When we had done all of the ones in the living room (collected from the whole ground floor), I sent the kids down to the basement/living room area to see if there were any down there. There were, of course, so they brought everything up to the foot of the stairs and then went up to the second floor and I threw the rest of them up.
Then Alex decided he wanted all of HIS animals on his bed so he could sleep with them all.
I remember doing this when I was little…I also remember being VERY careful to arrange all my animals so that they faced UP – so they could breathe.
Anyway, Alex put all his animals on his bed and threw a lot of Julia’s into her crib – which she immediately tried to pull back out – she doesn’t like to be crowded in there. It kept them busy.
And such was the enthusiasm about this change of scenery for the stuffed animals, that when it came time for Julia to go to bed, Alex VOLUNTEERED to go to bed too.
So – okay!! So up we went, Alex went potty, I changed Julia’s diaper and got her in her jammies, Alex got in his…and there we were, on Alex’s bed, for story time. I started to read "Where the Wild Things Are" – and yes, the wild rumpus started.
Julia loves to jump. Jump and jump and jump. On anything. And doesn’t care about silly parents telling her not to.
So she jumped. And I kept saying "Julia, sit down. Julia, sit DOWN!" and she laughed at me and jumped that ONE MORE TIME…behind me…and sprang forward…and her mouth met the footboard with a yucky soft thud…and then the silence…and then the screaming.
And the blood. She’d split her lower lip inside and out. A real gusher. Brought her downstairs and hollered for Bill to come and help, though there was really nothing for him to do as she wouldn’t let go of me and after mopping up her mouth with my other hand (and paper towels) the bleeding slowed down considerably, and she stopped crying.
But still – that gash on her lip…so off we went, Julia and I, on our first (and probably not last) trip to the emergency room.
It wasn’t too busy, fortunately. And Julia pitched a little fit when I wouldn’t let her play in the ladies’ room…and I let her yell. Yes I did. I didn’t try to shush her at all. I figured the noisier she was, the sooner they’d see us.
And it seemed to work. Pretty soon some guy in greens called out Julia’s name and we followed him to the pediatric ward.
I would make a suggestion to the decorators: MORE DISTRACTING STUFF ON THE WALLS PLEASE!!
We looked at the stars-and-moons border and counted moons vs stars and noted the colors…but that didn’t take very long and Julia really wasn’t all that excited about them…especially after Mommy (for the fifth time) "LOOK! MOONS!" Yeah, mommy, the same moons you were so excited about two minutes ago….
Various people came in and gathered information from us and looked at Julia’s mouth and asked about what happened. Then, finally, the doctor and his mini-doctor came in. The doctor was an older gentleman and he was nice enough, but he was too slow. Enough with the explaining what had to be done – I’m not going to get all hysterical about some stitches – I’d just like you to do them so we can go home and my up-past-her-bedtime child can maybe go to sleep before she beats me to a pulp in her angry tired frenzy.
He would say something.
And then say something.
I don’t have a lot of patience.
And meanwhile, the intern was a younger man who SMILED REALLY BIG AND A LOT.
While the doctor was GRABBING MY DAUGHTER BY THE MOUTH and telling me (surprise!) she needed stitches on the outside, Julia looked around the rest of the room and announced:
"I want cheese!"
See that, Mr Slow Doctor????? She’s hungry now!!!
Julia, we don’t have any cheese with us.
I want CHEESE!!!
The doctor and doctorling hurried out of there to go announce the plans to the rest of the staff…and Julia continued to demand cheese.
Julia, there’s no cheese!
And then she pointed to the corner of the room and said "I want cheese stick!"
There was a cannister of individually wrapped swabs with the little plastic tube that you put the swab into after you swab the inside of someone’s mouth (or wherever). And yes, they kind of looked like individually wrapped cheese sticks.
Boy was she mad when I told her they weren’t cheese sticks. While she was screeching about that disappointment, the doctors came back in. The doctor looked at me when Julia babbled "cheese stick" again, and I pointed and said "she thinks those are cheese sticks."
He looked at her for a moment and she glared through her little tears.
He looked at the swabs.
He said to Julia, "You want a cheese stick?"
She said "Yes!"
And so he gave her one of the swab-and-tube things.
And, lo and behold, she was happy. The doctor scored MANY points with that.
Anyway, eventually the show got on the road and they did, indeed, stitch Julia up. But first they had to swaddle her in a big sheet – like you do with newborns to keep them from flailing around and upsetting themselves…and THEN they had this heavy duty velcro thing that they strapped her into – to further immobilize her. Her sheet-encased toes stuck out one end, and her loud, open-mouthed head stuck out the other. The nurse had to sort of lie on top of Julia to hold her still, and hold her chin up at just the right angle so the doctor could inject the novicaine. (however that’s spelled). I held Julia’s toes and patted her on the shoulderish area and kept telling her over and over that she was being a very good girl and the doctor was going to make her all better and it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, pretty soon we’ll go home and see daddy. And the smiling intern stood there not really knowing what to do until the nurse basically grabbed his hands and made him help hold Julia’s head still.
She screamed a lot. "MOMMY! MOMMMMMMMMMYYYYYYY!" and when I mentioned the part about seeing Daddy soon, she changed that to "I want DADDDDDDYYYYYYY" (because obviously Mommy’s not doing much to stop this man from sticking a needle in my lip!!!!)
It was probably over in a couple of minutes, but of course it seemed longer. And partly because impatient me felt like the doctor was taking forEVer to make those three little knots.
But anyway, eventually he was done and Julia was freed from her straightjacket thing, and she even was given an orange popsicle, which she enjoyed immensely.
She learned nothing from the experience, however. She tried multiple times in that room to jump up and down on the gurney. She still jumps wherever she can here. But she is only two. She doesn’t associate the jumping with the pain.
Now…cut ahead a few days…the doctor told me to bring her back in about 4 days to the express care wing and they’d snip the stitches. Okay fine. I figured I’d do that on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday morning I wrote about below – somewhere – where I took Bill to the airport. Later that morning when Julia woke up I went in to get her out of her crib…and the stitches were gone.
I looked all over her mattress, on the floor…gone.
"Julia? Where are your stitches?"
"I got a boo boo!"
"Yes…I know that…"
My sister suggested that Julia chewed them off. That makes sense. She was playing with them a lot and sort of chewing on her lip. But still. All three stitches, gone. And no – they were not the dissolving kind.
Well – no complaints here – saved us an afternoon trip to the hospital.
But still. She chewed them off….
And here she is, the morning after the accident.
Oh – and that night? When we got home from the hospital? We watched part of one of her "Dora the Explorer" DVDs…and Julia hurled herself off the couch at the end so she could dance with Dora and Boots the Monkey after they’d accomplished their mission for the day.
Jumping up and down, singing along, and laughing.