Last night Tim and Ava took Tulip for a walk after dinner. I decided to stay back at home so I could stumble around the internet in peace. One friend's status update bemoaned her child's vomiting; another her boy's broken arm. And literally just as I was thinking how we'd been spared any real scares I heard a siren-like wail crash up into the house. Tim was yelling for me, saying that Ava had taken a header on the street and that it was very bad. My body went dark and I shut my eyes very tight. No, no, no. But there she was in Tim's arms, sobbing for me, a golf ball sized lump already shiny on her forehead. "I want to go to the doctor," I remember groaning, my voice like a cat about to fight. "I want to go to the doctor, I want to go to the doctor."
Tim grabbed a pack of frozen peas, I put a popsicle in Ava's little hand ("open it for her," Tim had to remind me). The emergency room is just a two minute drive and during that time Ava became rather pleased with her popsicle and intrigued about our adventure. There was no line in the waiting room and we were sitting on a hospital bed within five minutes of arrival.* The nurses were lovely; the doctor a reassuring mix of stoic and good-humored as he checked for neurological damage and gave her a full body scan. Ava, magnificent child, was alert and focussed and curious. Doc pronounced her in good shape, though warned her lump would appear worse over the next 48 hours and her dinged up eye would most likely look like that of a fighter's in the morning. As we left she spelled out the bright red letters of EMERGENCY which made my eyes sting.
She slept in our bed so we could rouse her every 2-4 hours. I, a terrible sleeper on good nights, didn't sleep at all.
Somebody shoot me up nice with a horse tranquilizer because my heart just can't bear it.
The Morning After. (Lump is happily all but gone!)
A Day of Leisure and Rest.
*Only once did I seriously come close to losing it--when the lock-jawed, idiot-face receptionist who typed with one finger wouldn't tell my child her name. "What's your name?" Ava asked her. "What's yours?" she said. "Ava, what's yours?" my baby whispered. "What's yours?" the woman said a few more times. Lady, tell her your god damned name or this clipboard goes down your throat.