Thursday, May 20, 2010

on the matter of split lips and white shirts

Yesterday, I left the clean laundry in the family room, folded and sorted on the coffee table trunk and arm of one sofa, as well as an empty basket, and a full one waiting to be folded, while I took a minute at the computer, and to discuss dinner options of pizza or leftovers with Grandma in the office.  Our tv/family room is a fairly small space crammed with big furniture.  Toots was hitting the dinnertime wind up all kids go through every night, known as the witching hour.

I figured, even though a lot was precarious in the room, Mr. Cynic was there, so I could walk away for ten minutes. 

Next I hear is the rhythmic cry scream of a downed Toots.  I go in to see what happened and comfort her, and there she is on the floor on her back, empty laundry basket on top of her.  Mr. Cynic has not moved from the couch, but he's fifteen, I can hardly expect him to, honestly.  He says, "I think she pulled the basket down on top of her," when I asked if he saw anything. Yea, I got that much on my own.

I don't see anything right away, hug her close until she calms down, during which red spots magically appear all over my white shirt. But first concern is to calm her down, then check for wounds.  Stroke hair, do not feel unusual bumps.    Eventually she does calm down, and I assess that the blood is coming from her mouth. Miss sucky fingers does not let me get a good look, though.  and I think, mouth wound, let a doctor do the dirty work.  She can be mad at him/her for the poking and prodding.

Look at clock, of course, not only is it approaching dinnertime, but the pediatrician has just closed.  Get insurance card out of purse, call the number that usually sends me to the ER for the kids and calmly tell them she does not need the ER, an Urgent Care place will do just fine, looks like she may just need a stitch or two.

Arrive at Urgent Care.  Toots is very excited by this sudden turn of events out of the ordinary dinnertime rituals.  She greets everyone in there with, "I got a boo-boo, I have to go see the doctor.  Mm-hm.  Yes, I do!" 

We check in and wait.  She tries out every seat, saying to the nice woman who held the door for us on the way in, "This one is too small.  This one is jess right.  Mmm-hmm."

She wants to hold the ficus tree, she runs and runs and runs making silly bouncy noises while bobbing her head with every step.  She counts the ficus leaves.  Everytime the door to the inner sanctum opens, she want to go see the doctor.  She leans on the glass entry to watch the traffic go by.  She greets everyone coming in.

We are called back, and go through the motions of weigh in and questions with the nurse. Then Toots told me to "Open wide and say AAAAH!" as she pried my mouth open. She tells the nurse 'The basket huwt my wip."

Doctor comes in rather quickly, nice change from the pediatric office or ER.  Toots is quite wiggly now, but he manages to check all her teeth, none knocked loose, and her eyes to make sure she didn't get another more serious bonk on the head.  He looked at the chart and said, "it says here no bleeding"  I said, "Oh she bled, most of it must have gone down her throat, but look, "  and I showed him my shirt, bodice and sleeves covered in bloody smears.

All in all she was fine, just a fat lip, which is still apparent today. My white shirt, however, probably can not be saved.  Except for posterity. 

So now, I remember why I do not typically own white shirts.  In sixteen years of parenting three younguns, each has split open a lip or forehead on a white shirt of mine.  It is good to hold your kids close when they get hurt.  Just don't wear white until they move out of the house.

Mr. Cynic, forehead, age 4, jumping off a stone wall into a parking lot, and younger, eyebrow, jumping off a sofa arm into a doorframe. He still has a space in his eyebrow from that one. My white shirt, both times, goners.

Captain Comic, age 2, running in socks on New Year's Eve through another family's marble foyer, tooth all the way through his lip. ER determined there was no way they could stitch this kid's lip back together, because he freaked with them just trying to get a look at it.  Three of us had to hold him down for the doctor. My white sweater, goner.

And now Toots.  White shirt, goner.  They are just about the only 4 white shirts or sweater I owned in a lifetime of parenting. 

These things always seem to happen at dinnertime, too. 


  1. children are wired with impeccable timing for crises like these! ours almost always happen at 5:01 pm on fridays.

  2. oh good! so it's not just mine! lol!


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