If you read about my son’s first entanglement with getting stitches a few months ago, then you know that this is not a new experience for us. Consequently, it still sucks!
Being an NYC kid, my son does not get as much exposure to walking up and down steps as a suburban child might. That said, he still enjoys the opportunity when it comes his way. The other day he was climbing the concrete steps on our playground – as he likes to do on a daily basis. He had his right hand out and was using the wall as leverage in making his ascent. I was right behind him to make sure he did not fall backward. On the final step, he lost his balance, and tipped over to the side nailing his mouth into the concrete. I saw the blood, but most bleeders in the mouth look a lot worse than they really are. As I inspected his mouth more closely, I was trying to make sense of the cut on the outside of his mouth as well as the gash on the inside of his lip. “Crap, I can’t believe he did that.” One of his bottom teeth managed to puncture a hole right through his lower lip and came out the other side (sorry to the squeamish for this visual).
The next hour was a bit of a blur. We headed straight to our Pediatrician’s office two blocks away (one bonus to living in NYC) to get the acknowledgement that what I was looking at was in fact true. We were seen within minutes & given the counsel that this “gash will require some sutures.” Then, most parents would whisk their child off to the ER at the local hospital. Not this dad. Nope, one advantage to having gone through this miserable process before is that we have a great pediatric plastic surgeon on speed dial!
We strolled another fifteen blocks to visit our plastic surgeon. This guy was the man! It was after hours – he was doing some paperwork in the office and his staff had gone home for the day, but he still welcomed us in. In & Out in 30 minutes with four new dissolvable stitches. Similar to last time, my son was a champ. The plastic surgeon noted that without his staff to assist, if my son was “difficult,” we would have had to do the brief procedure at an ER with some extra sets of hands. Jake rolled with the punches and I tried to as well. The kid is not even two yet, and already two episodes with stitches. I certainly hope this not a trend or a precursor of things to come.
Being the dad that I am, I took Jake back to the scene of the crime the following day, and kept practicing going up & down the steps on the staircase. Gotta move on and face our fears…
Dads – a few lessons learned here: Be careful. Accidents can happen even when you are closely watching your child. Most importantly, find a good pediatric plastic surgeon and have their number in your phone in case something like this happens to you in the future.