Thursday, August 9, 2007

I should have been more prepared. After all, it's been a loooong time since our last ER visit.

As I was concluding a phone call with my sister this evening, I heard a scream. That part wasn't unusual. What was unusual was the sudden sight of George standing in front of me, screaming, and looking a lot like Carrie in the final scene of the movie by the same name --- but with the blood pouring down only the left side of his face.

As the story went, someone (of the male persuasion) threw a matchbox car at his head. The rest is, as they say, history.

I held a compress on it for a while, then put a bandaid on it, then said some prayers because it was rush hour and I REALLY didn't want to head to the ER with all four kids in tow. But, after an hour, the blood was still coming out from underneath the bandaid and George was wandering around saying, "I don't feel well. I need to go to the hopstital."

As a compromise, we went to our favorite pediatric urgent care facility. They can do stitches, and the wait isn't nearly what you deal with at the ER (plus, you get to avoid the adult victims of everything from a gunshot wound to the Ebola virus, which is always a bonus).

Unfortunately, while I thought this was just a minor laceration, the doctor at urgent care didn't agree. "It's pretty gaping," he said. "You need to head over to the hospital ER. They'll need to stitch it and stitch it well so he doesn't get a bad scar." Super.

We headed over and they got us in right away somehow.

After having been asked for the sixth time (by the sixth person) how this all happened, I suppose I was feeling a bit defensive about the fact that one of my children had done this to the other. After all, it's far easier to blame it on the neighbor, the protruding oven handle, or the broken sidewalk. So, when the poor nurse politely inquired as to the course of events that brought us to her triage area, I responded with something along the lines of, "ONE OF MY KIDS DID THIS TO HIM. OKAY? THERE ARE FOUR OF THEM. AND THEY ARE ALWAYS FIGHTING. AND TATTLING. AND FIGHTING. AND TODAY, APPARENTLY, THEY WERE THROWING THINGS. AND ONE OF THOSE THINGS MADE CONTACT WITH THIS POOR CHILD'S FOREHEAD. AND NO, I WAS NOT WATCHING SOAP OPERAS WHEN IT HAPPENED. I WAS ON THE PHONE. AND IT WAS BUSINESS. SORT OF." Poor woman. She responded with, "Oh, I get it completely. I have two boys. They are always fighting.

I don't think she does get it completely. I think I told her as much. I don't think she gets that the other day, one of my kids (who shall remain nameless) threw a rock at his sister's face. I don't think she gets that there isn't a single toy in my house that it played with as intended. I don't think she gets that my daughter wants to raise a panda bear in our backyard. But she's a nurse, not a therapist, which is, I'm sure, precisely what she was thinking in that moment.

She noted that she could easily glue his head back together and avoid stitches. Super. She asked him if he could lie down and he just said, "Yup! Sho!" (which is how he says "Sure). He made not a peep as she cleaned and glued. When she was finished, he actually said, "Tank you. Tank you, Mom." You're so welcome, dear.

And as we left, I realized that perhaps he took the old advice about always having on clean underwear in case you have to go to the ER to the extreme. It became clear (since his pants were practically falling off) that he didn't appear to be WEARING underwear. I said, "George, are you wearing underwear?"


"Why not?"

"Because I don't need to, Mommy."

I was too tired to respond. Who cares.

Time for ice cream. Thank God for ice cream.