On the last day of vacation the girl took a digger. Her monkey-style branch-to-branch mode of travel failed and while reaching for her next hold, she swung face-first into a bit of jutting wood and split her lip. She wept, of course, so did I.
Her mouth was a mess. She looked like The Joker, with the addition of a red arc of a scratch from lip to chin. Her onesie had thumb print-sized blood splotches.
Urgent care, no urgent care.
By the time the question was weighed the bleeding had stopped and she was back to pointing indiscriminately at things and saying "Dat?" Still, the lip looked bad, the cut deep. If we didn't go, would this be a thing, a scar? Would she nickname herself Wonky Mouth and have it printed on the back of her jerseys? "Which one invented brain internet for her science fair project?" "That one. The girl with the lopsided lips."
Or is this some sort of first-time-parent-ism that the urgent care docs cackle about, doing imitations of our breathless worry while they later snack on brownies in the break room? "And then she's all (heaving breath, heaving breath) do you think she needs stitches?"
But we are first-time parents, you know, so we owned it.
The doctor ruled that she would give her a single stitch that would eventually disintegrate. It would keep the alignment of her lip intact. She swaddled the PBG in a blanket, to the girl's scrunchy red-faced shrieking horror, cleaned the lip and re-assessed.
Nah, she said. Guess not. If it healed weird, it could be dealt with later. It'll be fine within a few days, she said.
I unswaddled the very angry baby.
By the time we got home, it had improved. I felt like I was watching regeneration.
"Can I see a photo?" Ma Pista messaged me.
It didn't translate. It looked like a paper cut.
The PBG can no longer say "Mama." It just went away. It used to be, at the very least, her battle cry. But she's lost the M sound. On the other hand, she's got "Dada" down 100 percent. She does this thing where she chants: Da-DA, da-DA, da-DA! sometimes throwing in little claps.
(Lest Chuck get heady, she now calls almost everything "Dada.")
I've recently had the opportunity to socialize with people who are also carting around tiny mites and so at least have one thing in common with me.
This is good.
This is exciting.
This is a reason to take your child to a school parking lot far away from civilization so that she can not care about a fire truck, an ATV, a police car, a bus. Far, far away where I can deny her the event's highlight: the boiled hot dogs. (So good with mustard). Baby school. Transportation night.
But I'm weird. I hear myself talking to other parents and I always feel like I'm lying or at the very least acting like a completely unrecognizable human being. I spend a lot of time whispering to myself "Calm down, Crazy. Just be cool."
"I think I just billed myself as a reformed party girl," I texted Chuck from the parking lot.
"You are," he responded.
Today I ambushed the neighbors, who have girl a few months older than the PBG. I spoke rapidly and seemed to know things about them that a person shouldn't know. There really wasn't time or space to say "It's called observing, not spying!"
"She's pregnant and I actually said to her 'Way to get back up on the horse,'" I texted Chuck, red-faced and hiding on our deck.