This weekend we experienced another parenthood right of passage: stitches.
Maybe it’s not a right of passage for everyone, but given my accident-prone childhood, and given the medical history of our third child, I figured it was in the cards for us.
It happened on the boat. Imagine. We were out for an early afternoon boat ride to celebrate the all-too-soon-end-of-summer. We stopped in a little cove to duck from the waves and jump in the water to beat the heat. We’d packed a picnic, and some of the hoodlums began snacking, and throwing unwanted bites into the water. Imagine their surprise that some fish found their discarded bites a wonderful treat! Suddenly, all the children were in the same corner of the boat, scrambling to get a glimpse of this wild creature-to see it in its element. Why do children do that? They lose their senses in the mob mentality when there is an animal, cartoon, insect, or interesting speck of dirt. I think children start stampedes. I can see this stampede happening in slow motion. The adults were chatting quietly in the water; the children were scrambling. As the children scrambled, one of them lurched backward and screeched in pain.
The screech came from my eight year old. I took the shriek and pain-tortured fit with a grain of salt, because this particular child of mine has an actual negative threshold for pain. He’s the boy who cried wolf. He’s the boy who could have a hang nail or a broken bone, and we wouldn’t know based on his reaction. He screams loud. Very loud. And cries. A lot. And, he’s really, really, really loud. But, for the sake of argument, I checked out the injury.
O. My. Goodness.
I thought his toe was going to fall off. It looked sliced in half. I felt the color drain from my face and all the energy leave my body. My head actually dipped as I neared the fainting mark, and I promise, I’m not a woozy type of person. Not usually anyway, but the sight of my own child’s maimed appendage took me over the edge. He went from having a perfectly shaped and formed toe to a sliced open, bleeding, hanging from a thread toe. As the screaming continued, we loaded up and headed back to shore. Luckily, our friends arrived just as we needed them, and with seamless teamwork, we were able to ditch half our kids and our dog, grab the injured kid, their car and head to the doctor. The doctor was amazing, and had our little man laughing through his pseudo-labor-breathing-pain-managingtechniques. We were back home and comfortable within two hours from the time of the original disaster.
So, we survived. He survived. He’s sewn back together, and other than the ebb and flow of throbbing pain from his toe, he seems to be recovering well.
He’s got eight days of handicapped toe syndrome, and then life back to normal—well, Scroggins Normal anyway.