What She Sees In Me
We’ve been taking a gymnastics class this summer that has provided me with plenty of Mommy Diary fodder, but I’m afraid the only thing I’ll really remember about the class, aside from how precious she looked in her ponytails and pink leotard, was our bonus trip to the emergency room.
The class is in the late afternoon, so my daughter is still pretty keyed up when we get home. Last week, my husband was at a business dinner, so we came home and ate hotdogs and watched Sponge Bob with no daddy to frown at us. They had learned a wall crawl technique for doing headstands, and had done lots of forward rolls in class, and she was practicing her technique on the chairs, the couch, and an old yoga mat.
I put her to bed with my usual litany of instructions: put those toys away, turn off that lamp, don’t jump on the bed, etc., and had just started washing the dishes when I heard the watermelon thud. You know, there are all kinds of mysterious sounds kids make – my daughter will often anticipate my concern and call out, “I’m okay, Mommy,” before I’ve even had a chance to ask what the noise was when she’s out of sight.
But there’s that ripe fruit sound that you just know means trouble. And that’s what I heard. As soon as she saw me, she said, through her sobbing, “I was practicin’ my gymnastics on my bed.”
So fast forward through the blood and tears, the quick realization that we’d have to go the ER, the wait – which she handled just fine – and resume play in the exam room with two nurses, a physician’s assistant and me, all trying to keep her calm wile the doctor put three tiny stitches in my baby girl’s chin. With her screaming like I’ve never heard before, and don’t ever, ever, want to hear again. I sat by her head, holding one of her hands and pressing the other one on her chest, and I just kept saying, over and over, “It’s okay, honey. Mommy’s right here. I’m right here with you.”
By the time we got home, two hours after the incident, and dealt with the comedy of my husband’s reaction to the bloody cotton balls everywhere and our unexplained absence, she was fine – a little wobbly and tired, but animatedly telling him all about her evening.
Later in the week, we went to visit my parents and my mother was asking her about the experience while they played with her favorite stuffed dog. “Maybe Doggie needs some stitches, just like you,” my mother prompted. My daughter loves to doctor people, so she embraced the game pretty quickly. And when they started to stitch Doggie’s chin, she said, “It’s okay, honey. Mommy’s right here. I’m right here with you.”
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