Maddie’s first trip to the Emergency Room.


Our beautiful, darling, photogenic little baby girl now has a kick-ass booboo above her right eye.  The other kids in the playground don’t mess with her anymore.

On days when she doesn’t take a nap, loopy time becomes ever more dangerous.

One day two weeks ago, Maddie didn’t take a nap.  We were finishing dinner, and loopy time was beginning.  She was yelling and playing at the dinner table, and I wisely decided to engage her in a monitored activity.  Dancing around the coffee table with me.  We’d done this countless times before.  We put on a little Psyche Funky Jazzadelic (her favorite album), and start waving our arms and bounding around the living room.  Around the solid glass coffee table.  (See this coming a mile away, doncha?)

Crash! (pause) Waah!!

She’d tripped over the rug or her own feet, and her face met squarely with the coffee table.  She was dancing right behind me, so I didn’t see it happen.  The table didn’t break, and Maddie was standing up from the fall.  I snatch her up, hoping that this wasn’t going to be a big deal.

Lillian comes over, and notices the blood pouring onto my shoulder from her face.  Note to prospective parents: 

Faces bleed a lot more than you’d think they would.

 Lillian’s a nurse, and had the presence of mind to clean and bandage the wound right away.  The cut was pretty deep, so we decided to take her to the Emergency Room.  My parents were in town, so they volunteered to watch Aaron while we rush Maddie to the ER.  We get there, it’s full, and we wait a few minutes for the triage nurse.  She doles out this little tidbit of information as she looks at Maddie: “This is the fullest I’ve ever seen the ER be.”  Great.

While we wait in line I sit on floor, holding Maddie.  My shirt is soaked in blood, Maddie’s shirt and bandage are soaked in blood and tears, and one of the other prospective patients goes up to the triage nurse, looks at us and says, “Umm, we can come back tomorrow.  We don’t want to be in line ahead of those who really need it.”  If I weren’t so happy to see him leave, I would have told him it was the nurse’s job to make sure Maddie’s head trauma gets seen before his little ache.

Luckily, the Minor Injury Clinic does stitches, so it’s only a three hour wait before Maddie gets seen.  (There’s another story about how Lillian has to leave us, go get Aaron, and return to the ER, because my parents have to leave for LA the next morning.)

You get to know certain people in the ER.  And it’s fun guessing what everybody else has.  The lady next to me was sure this one girl was in for kidney stones.  She just had “that look.”  To me, she just looked like she had generic excruciating pain.  We were the only ones covered in blood in the whole ER.  Kind of disappointing.

By the time they saw Maddie, she had had it.  It was late.  She was tired.  (No nap.)  She was in pain.  The wound was scabbing over, and strangers were approaching Maddie while pointing needles and tweezers at her eye.  The one that already hurt!  This was craziness!  Enough was enough!

Maddie screamed and squirmed with everything she had.  Luckily, the nurse in the clinic knew a way to wrap Maddie up in a papoose (more like a straitjacket) such that it only took three adults to hold her down tightly enough for her to get her stitches.  Maddie would plead, “All done!  All done!  All done!”  Meaning, “Please be all done.  Let that be it.  Can I go now?”

It was heart-wrenching.  But it’s over.  And Lillian and I are no longer suffering visions of Maddie’s eye taking damage.  We’re not talking about removing the coffee table anymore, either.  (But I did pad its edges the very next day.)

Aside from her wound, Maddie’s back to normal.  She’s even dancing again.

Who We Were Then
  • David
  • Lillian
  • Maddie (2 years old)
  • Aaron (0 years old)