That’s Definitely Gonna Leave a Scar

The phone rings at noon. Seeing my daycare provider’s name on caller i.d. makes my heart skip a beat.

First thing out of her mouth, “Berit, you should come get Roy right away.”

Heart resumes beating—much faster than usual.

“He ran into the fireplace and cut his head open. He’s going to need stitches.”

Oh, baby boy. I toss “Trucks,” “Goodnight Moon,” his stuffed loon (aka Looney) and sock monkey into his bag and rush out the door. When I arrive, he’s sitting on her lap, looking at a book as she applies a paper towel-covered ice pack to his head. She removes it so I can see the bright gash above his right eyebrow. Uf. She’s right. He’s going to need stitches.

Our fabulous family practice doctor squeezes us in immediately, as he’s done every time Clint’s needed stitches. I’d really been hoping that in this realm, my son would not follow in his father’s footsteps, let alone before the ripe old age of two.

I keep Roy calm during the cleaning and prepping with the books and toys, but then we must get down to business.

“You’re in charge of his hands,” the doctor instructs. As much as I don’t want to be the one holding my baby down as pain is inflicted upon him, I comply. Roy screams as the anesthetic needle goes in once. Twice. I can’t look. “Hug? Hug?” poor guy wails. The doctor OKs a round of hugs before the real work starts. It’s so incredibly hard to pull away from his clingy little limbs.

It takes a very long time to put four stitches in a strong, wiggly toddler. He cries, and I want to, but I focus on keeping my face calm and reassuring—quite a feat in the face of his pleas for hugs and Daddy. Moments after the stitches are complete, his head is on my shoulder, his body limp and sweaty in my arms. He falls asleep on the car ride home, after which I smuggle him up to his crib, where he’s been sleeping ever since.


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  1. by katie d.

    On August 23, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Oh no!!! I teared up at the part where he was asking for a hug. What a sweet, sensitive little boy. I can’t imagine how you held it together for all of that! I bet you feel like you need a “hug? hug?” now too. xo

  2. by Eileen

    On August 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    So sad! Big hugs to you both! Sounds like you both came through it great though.

  3. by Berit Thorkelson

    On August 23, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks, ladies. He is a huggy little boo. Recovering well, both of us…

  4. by Joanne

    On August 24, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Berit! Emerson broke a bone in his foot jumping off a climber at daycare right after his second birthday. We got a x-rays, a bright orange cast, he handled it like a pro. Two weeks later, while camping over the 4th of July, he tripped over a tent stake (while hobbling around on his casted leg) and landed on another one. A gash opened right under his chin and off to the ER in Northfield we fled. Joe went, actually, held him down, talked him through the whole thing, got 3 stitches and whilst wearing a t-shirt that said, “I do my own stunts”. I tell you this only to demonstrate, it happens, it’s heartbreaking, and I can barely see Emerson’s scar now. Sounds like you need the hug.

  5. by Jill Cordes

    On August 24, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    oh man, this is heartwrenching. I can’t imagine. But you were so good and calm. And the picture of him looks pretty bad ass, I must say! Poor baby boy.

  6. by Anti Jen

    On August 25, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Oh, man. I dread those tough doctor’s visits. For Sam, it was his hard-to-draw blood — once when he was 18 months, they tried to draw it from A VEIN IN HIS HEAD until I had to get all Shee-Rah and tell them to find another nurse. With Zadie, she struggles with shots–once I thought it would work best if I just didn’t tell her what was going to happen, and she starting screaming “Shark! Shark! Mommy a shark is biting me!” Poor kid; Mother Fail.

    Holding down your baby so they can’t move is harrowing. Glad it’s over, and everyone’s doing well.