Last night might have been an exception.
I felt calm, cool and collected. I didn't panic. But, in retrospect, I was moving way too fast and barking orders at people. What I needed to do was hit the pause button for a minute, assess the situation, and proceed in a slightly less hypermom manner.
Matthew fell roughly five feet from a wooden landing and broke his fall, on the bleachers, with his lip. I heard the thud and had turned to see what all the commotion was before he started crying. I sprinted to him but another mom got there first. She thrust a napkin onto his lip and hollered for her husband to get her a wet one. I reached him and saw, through continuous spurts of blood, that his lip was mangled. A huge chunk hung off. The split, not clean but fracturing off in two or three different directions, was deep.
I yelled down to Troy, "We're going to the ER." The other mom put a wet napkin on his lip.
I scooped him up, Troy gathered our belongings, I shouted for my friend to, "PLEASE BRING GARRETT HOME FROM PRACTICE AND I'LL GET HIM FROM YOU LATER!" I'd like to think that it was more, "Can you keep Garrett for me?" and less, "YOU WILL TAKE HIM TO YOUR HOUSE AND CARE FOR HIM, PROVIDING FOR HIS EVERY NEED, UNTIL MY CHILD'S LIP IS BACK IN ONE PIECE!" But I'm kind of afraid it was more of the second. Good thing she's one of my best friends and I don't typically demand things of her. Or, really, ever.
Once we had buckled Matthew into the car, and Troy had taken a booster seat to my friend, my husband turned and said, "Remember when Garrett bit his tongue?" It was our decade of married life telepathy at work. He said, "Remember when Garrett bit his tongue?" And I thought, They aren't going to do anything about this lip. They'll just look at it and send us home.
But how would I know for sure? I had just taken him in to urgent care on Saturday for humongous bug bites that just kept getting bigger. What kind of mother takes her kid to urgent care for bug bites but skips it when his lip is hanging open? I called my friend who works for our pediatrician. I explained the wound. She assured me that they wouldn't stitch the inside of his lip. So we headed back in to watch the last half of practice.
I apologized to my friend for being so demanding. She forgave me. She's a good one like that. Also, I don't think she really felt slighted in any way. So that helps. I snapped a picture of Matthew's lip with my phone. "Stick out your lip, Buddy."
"Hmmm. No. It looks way worse in person than it looks on my phone. Stick it out some more."
There. That's it. I mean, it looked even worse in reality but this picture is at least close. It shows the chunk of lip that was just kind of hanging there, anyway. I'm aware that it looks like his tongue. he's just really good at flipping his entire lower lip out. He's perfected it with his Hi-I'm-the-baby-and-I-can-get-what-I-want-by-sticking-this-lip-out-and-staring-at-you-with-my-big-sad-chocolate-eyes pout.
I decided to take a picture of it just before he went to bed last night. Some of the swelling had gone down and it was cleaned up a little bit.
At about 11:00, I went in to check on him. His lip at somehow opened again in his sleep and his lips were stuck together with a sort of bloody adhesive. The corners of his mouth had pools of dried blood. We woke him up and cleaned up his lips. It still looked really gross and I was wondering if I'd have to keep him home from preschool.
But then he slept for eight more hours and when he woke up his lip looked like this...
I love watching the body healing in the miraculous way God intended it to. Within fifteen hours of traumatizing his lip, the gaping hole had filled. A white covering was stretched across the wound. It's tender and swollen and frail, but already well on its way to complete recovery with absolutely no medical intervention.
My personal nurse/friend called this morning to see how he's doing. She said that by tomorrow we should see incredible improvement. "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14