The Day the Stitches Came

November 6, 2015

Everyday you parent a toddler is a day closer to the abyss of total insanity. You pick yogurt out of someone else’s nose while having to explain why you don’t put yogurt up your nose. You dodge bullets made of pasta bolognese and sautéed broccoli. You break up fights between two tyrannical parties that are arguing the same side (they just don’t know it because they’re crazy) and you worry constantly, about everything. About nothing. About everything. A day in the life of a parent might as well be a day in the life of a mental patient. And then there are some days that put those “normal” parenting days to shame. To shame, I say.

The Day of Stitches

On the Friday we were leaving for Jarabacoa I had finished up one of those weeks. You know those weeks –  all parents do. The kind of week when you have a migraine the day before your husband has to go away for work. The kind of week when you spot a cockroach in your kitchen drawer so the whole damn house has to get bombed to the ground as far as you’re concerned. The kind of week when because the whole house will be cockroach poison bombed you aren’t just packing for a weekend anymore but also prepping your home to avoid everything getting poison cockroach bombed – and then you have to pack the car by yourself because again, Husband is gone, and then calculate back-up plans for what happens if during the drive with the kids and both dogs and no Husband to a place you’ve never driven to before with uncertainty about the accuracy of Google Maps – you get another migraine.

Needless to say when I woke up Friday morning, after that kind of week, I was looking forward to leaving it behind and heading for the hills – literally – Jarabacoa is a mountain town in the center of the island. I decided to get in a few hours of work before leaving. In hindsight, I should have known better. It was that kind of week, after all. Within 45 minutes of leaving the house, our nanny was calling me; a bad sign since she never calls. She delivered the news quick: Daughter pushed Son. Get home.

By the time I arrived home, Santiago’s chin was no longer bleeding but the small drops of blood splatter on the wall and on our nanny’s shirt was visible enough to tell part of the story. It took less than 3 seconds for me to see that the cut was too deep for just a band-aid and that I’d have to take him to the pediatrician. I said nothing to my daughter; my eyes pretty clear about my feelings as I left carrying her brother.

on the way to stitches

I arrived at the pediatrician’s waiting room by 10 and waited impatiently for some time. I hoped a butterfly bandage and lollipop would do the trick but by 11:15 I had left the pediatrician and was in the Emergency Room. Poor Santiago would be getting stitches.

Superhero Kid

Dr. Felipe Martinez had a great bedside manner. He told Santiago it was very cold and that he had to wrap him up like a burrito, nice and tight, so that he wasn’t cold. Then he told me to “hug” Santiago well to lessen the moving. “This is going to hurt you more than it will him, Mom.” Maybe. But the needle he administered to numb Santiago’s chin seemed to hurt him a good amount. I held on to that poor kid for dear life when he screamed in pain and like any mother, wanted to die in the process. With the worst over, the doctor began stitching. I made the mistake of looking, not a good idea at the time. In fact, watching someone needle and thread your two-year-old’s chin is never a good idea. He wasn’t in any pain but I threw myself back over his body again, more for my benefit than because he needed it.

Getting stitches

When it was over, they gave him a lollipop and a latex glove and he forgot about the whole thing. Me? I got nothing, though a valium would have been helpful.

I guess I could jot that down as a notch in the belt. Getting stitches… check. As if maybe now that it has happened, it will be easier next time. Somehow, I doubt it. Somehow I doubt that this parenting thing will ever get easier.

After Stitches


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    1. Oh, my goodness, I hope Santiago is alright! I’d be concerned about concussion but if he is acting normally now, I’m sure he is fine. The worrying takes on a different role, I believe, as they get older and you worry about them as young people finding their way in life. But it is all part of it and we grow with them, too.

    1. Thanks! And this weekend he fell and hit his head. Then threw up and was out of it for a few hours. Wisdom teeth… ouch! Poor girl – how painful. Poor mom, too. Parenting is physically hard but it is the emotional part that is truly exhausting. I wanted to cry all day yesterday and was nauseous with worry. And I know the worrying will get worse the older they get. Oh boy!

    1. Oh, poor Santiago and poor you for having to endure watching your child hurt! That would be awful at such a young age. My daughter had 4 wisdom teeth removed at one time at age 16 and it was awful. I can only imagine watching your two year old in pain like that. You did well!!

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