On Tuesday when I was driving Lucy home from school, she asked from the backseat, apropos of nothing, "What are stitches, Mom?"
"Stitches are when you cut yourself badly enough that a doctor has to sew it together again."
"Does it hurt?"
"YES, it definitely does. I mean, they give you a shot to numb the area and that part is what hurts terribly. Then when they stitch it, it doesn't hurt anymore."
"Have you ever had stitches, Mom?"
"Yes, I had them once, and I hope I never have to again. It wasn't fun at all. I was at work, and I was slicing a bagel in half to put in the toaster for breakfast, and I sliced my finger instead. Then I had to go to the emergency room and get stitches."
[A sidenote: I was mortified. What kind of moron gets an injury needing stitches like that? When they asked me in the emergency room how I'd cut myself, I mumbled softly, "Cuttingabagelwithabigknife." After I said that, the two nurses and the ER doc held up their hands and showed me their bagel-cutting scars. The doctor said, "We probably get about four bagel cutters in here a week!"]
Back to the car.
"Lucy, don't worry about getting stitches. You probably won't ever have to." Because only rough and rowdy, athletic, sports-loving kids and inept bagel cutters get stitches, right? Not my dainty little flower who loves to read and watches "Pride & Prejudice."
Cue the music from "Jaws" right here.
On Wednesday morning, exactly ONE DAY after we had the stitches-are-scary discussion, we were rushing out the door to school, and Lucy couldn't find her coat. She ran into the living room, tripped over her own feet on the rug, fell, and crashed into the coffee table.
At first she wouldn't even let us look at it, but I got her upstairs to the bathroom to wipe it off and apply a band-aid. Darren followed me.
Mr. Better-Safe-Than-Sorry whispered to me, "That looks like it needs stitches."
Ms. Fly-By-The-Seat-Of-My-Pants-Because-Everything-Will-Be-Fine glared at him. "It does NOT. It's just a surface cut."
"Just how many cuts needing stitches have you seen?" he asked.
"I've been babysitting since I was 10 years old. I've seen all sorts of cuts. And you forget--I've had stitches myself. She'll be fine."
So I put on ointment and a band-aid, gave her a chocolate Easter egg for the trauma, and took her to school.
That evening before church, I was helping her take her shower. I peeled off the band-aid from that morning. Ohhhhhh. It was still bleeding. And looked like it needed stitches.
Darren called Lucho and asked if he minded looking at it at church that evening. I had to stay home and work on a huge freelance job. I felt terrible about this part because Lucy was crying in fear and wailing that she wished I was going with her.
Lucho looked at the cut and said, "Yes, she needs stitches. I wish you had called me earlier today; I could have done it for her."
Everybody join with Darren now: I TOLD YOU SO, ALICE.
So Darren and Lucy had to head out to Urgent Care at 8:30 at night while I stayed home with (now sleeping) Elaine and continued work on the freelance project. They got back around 10:30. Lucy came in and told me in a quavery voice, "I have stitches, Mama." She also had a bandage over the area, a hospital-issue spray bottle, a page of instructions for wound care, five Disney princess stickers, and a cherry pie from McDonalds (that last one was from her daddy).
Apparently it took one doctor and three nurses to get the stitching job done. I guess she screamed the clinic down with, "Nooooooooo! No stitches! My mommy says stitches hurt, and I don't want them!"
But she was a little trooper. She got stitches and survived. I let her sleep in my bed and watch "101 Dalmatians." I was going to let her stay home from school today, but she bounced out of bed this morning and was ready to go.
We rushed around and got her uniform on; then of course I remembered that the class had gotten all their Paw Points for these two weeks and get a jeans day today, so we had to very gingerly get undressed and dressed again.
Really though, all is well.
Lucy has several stitches around her right eyebrow.
And I was going to type, "But at least she doesn't have lice." However, as soon as I do that, she will. Such is the force of my very words, apparently.
So for now, I'm not saying anything.