#179 In which our hero momentary shrugs off his parental obligation, with disastrous results.
Little drama on Saturday.
Macey (who, you will remember, is 1 1/2 ) has been a little fussy lately, and started getting up three, four times a night. We suspected that she was a little under the weather, mostly because everyone else in the house has been or currently is sick.
But, couple of days ago she started pawing at her ear, which is a classic sign of an ear infection.
Ear infections, we’ve heard, are approached with dread by many parents. Mostly because of their frequency, I guess. We’ve been lucky in that Lily have NEVER had an ear infection, and if Macey was getting one, it was early (i.e., she was not yet the screeching banshee that children apparently turn into).
So we bundle up the entire family Saturday morning and head over to the doctor’s office. We get shunted off to a exam room and wait for the doctor.
And wait. And wait.
We’re waiting about a half hour, which isn’t that bad considering we just got the appointment that morning, but the girls are bored and we’re anxious to get our drugs and go.
Lily is playing with the Scientist right outside the open door, and Macey is playing with a plastic chair in the room itself. She’s pushing it around, sitting on it, getting up, pushing it around some more… no big deal. So I’m not really concerned when she climbs up on it backwards (that is, she’s kneeling on the seat and holding the back with her hands).
Of course, what I realize far too late, is that no chair is meant to be stable this way, and Macey topples over, face first into the tile floor.
I scoop her up immediately, but she’s already screaming. And in a scene far too reminiscent of just a month ago, her mouth is covered with blood.
She managed to bit right below her lower lip, two very clean cuts in the exact shape and position of her front teeth. As I hold her, The Scientist runs to the nurses station to fetch help.
The nurse, according to my wife, is awfully dismissive, and says, “Okay, mom, just calm down,” in a snotty, “oh-lord-another-spastic-parent” fashion. The Scientist doesn’t go in for that sort of shit, of course, and replies that they need to get a doctor in here now or we’re just going to the emergency room. If our roles had been reversed, I’m sure I would have employed some more colorful language.
Finally the doctor comes in --
A word about this doctor.
We go to a practice that has four doctors, three men and a woman. We have a primary pediatrician, of course, (one of the men, who’s really great with the girls) but we take whoever is on call when we need to see someone right away. We like all of the doctors, but one of the men is this stilted, stiff, rather monotone guy who doesn’t seem to relate to children very well. All I’m saying is that if I had to pick one of them to be a robotic infiltrator… well, the choice wouldn’t be hard.
So, of course, we get the dull guy -- who’s a very skilled physician, I’m sure -- but we want someone who will show some sort of emotion and reassure our children.
Or, in this particular case, us.
But he’s all matter of fact, “Okay, let me see the lip. Um hm. All right. Um hm.” I think I’m looking for a, “it’s not as bad as it looks, she’s going to be fine,” etc., but I ain’t getting it.
We talk about stitches, but with this position on her lip she’d probably chew them out, making it worse, so we finally decide against it.
Oh, and she did have an ear infection, for which we get some magical pink antibiotics.
We go home and put everyone to bed. And Macey? After some Motrin, pink stuff and a nap… she’s the happiest she’s been in a couple weeks. Amazing. Her lip doesn’t even swell up.
And of course, I’m guilty as hell about not watching my child closer; neither of us want to be hovering parents, but there’s no escaping the fact that if I was, my youngest wouldn’t have busted her face like that.
Macey, daddy loves you very much. And always remember that, um, scars give you character.