Thursday, March 26, 2009

More Powerful Words

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.

Instant screams.

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.


Juliet said...

Loved it! Loved it! How true the saying about eating our own words. Happy that Lucy is doing fine.

Glad to hear that you are busy with another writing job.

Melanie said...

It feels wrong to say this made me smile because I can imagine the horror you and Lucy were feeling when you realized stitches were needed and you couldn't go with her...but it did. This one's got to go in the book. I bet Lucy will come home on a high because there's nothing like stitches/casts to impress ones peers. I too have had to have stitches and mine was after trying to open a CD with a pair of scissors while on the phone (head in shame).

Ann-Marie said...

OUCH! Poor Lucy. So sorry to hear about the stitches (and the bad timing!). I always hope things will be fine, too, instead of going to the doctor! But, at least she got a McDonald's Cherry Pie out of the whole thing. :-) Hope she (and you) are feeling better soon. Glad to hear more freelance work is swinging your way!

Kacie said...

hah! Good, sad story. When my little brother was taken in for stitches when he was in kindergarten, my dad tried to gently break the news that the docter said he'd need them. My brother nodded and settled back, "Yep, good, that's what I wanted."

That's the difference between little boys and little girls. :)

Also - I sold cutlery and knives for Cutco in college, and they actually have a knife specifically billed as a good bagel cutting knife, because bagel cutting is the NUMBER ONE knife injury. Soo... you are not alone!

Alysa said...

oh alice - i really CAN NOT believe that Lucy got stitches. it's supposed to be Mr. Jackson getting those - you know, Mr. Launch himself from the back of the couch as close as possible to the wall .... but i'm not saying anything either because I don't have time to go to the ER tomorrow for stitches. I have laundry to do!

Ann-Marie said...

P.S. - You know I am an absolute bagel nut, right? One year, Brett got me a Bagel Biter for Christmas, and it is one of my favorite kitchen products! It cuts my bagel precisely with no chance of injury. That, along with my bamboo tongs to remove bagels from the toaster, has saved me from morning cuts and burns. Here's the link to the bagel biter -

Jill said...'s kind of like how every time I have said we are finally healthy this winter someone else gets sick...Katie has an ear infection, and all I can do is laugh and remind myself never to write on my blog that we are finally healthy ! :) Glad she is feeling better!