Liza Versus the Sidewalk

It happened when none of us were looking, and it was my fault.

We’d gone out shopping on Sunday because it was tax-free weekend and I needed pants. How could I resist the lure of tax-free pants? On the way back from pants, we stopped by Michael’s so Misty could buy some yarn to knit Liza an amigurumi animal that will certainly look nothing like Hello Kitty, a product of the fine Sanrio corporation.

Come to think of it, maybe it was Hello Kitty’s fault.

I stopped outside the store, entranced by wooden dinosaur kits. Misty came back outside to find me, trailed by Eli and Liza. The next thing we knew, Liza was wailing loudly.

Misty picked her up from where she fell, and I took Liza from Misty. “Oh, you’ve cut your lip,” I said, looking at the fine line of red just above the right side of her lip.

“There’s a lot of blood,” Misty said.

“I hope her teeth are okay.” I gently lifted her upper lip and quickly realized that, one, there was indeed a lot of blood, and two, that was because the corner of one of Liza’s teeth had gone all the way through her upper lip. The cut I was seeing on the outside was where her tooth had poked through.

The pediatrician confirmed that we should go to the ER and get some stitches. Every time I said the word “stitches” or “hospital” on the phone, Liza went into hysterics. Not even her beloved Ellie the elephant could calm her.

Huntsville Hospital has a pediatric ER, which means that there are old Playstations in the lobby and Disney Channel on the TVs. Two efficient triage nurses had us in a room in five minutes. A short time later they taped a cotton ball to her upper lip with a numbing agent on it. I was excited. “This is going fast,” I said.

Two hours later, I took Eli so he could get something to eat and I could return with food for me and Misty. That meant, of course, that I missed Liza getting her stitches. Misty and a nurse held her down while the doctor sewed and Liza screamed. I imagine it was a lot of fun.

Liza in her hospital gown with Ellie the elephant tucked inside

She calmed down immediately after, since they gave her a small teddy bear and a popsicle. When I got back to the hospital with a cold, greasy bag of Moe’s burritos, Liza saw me, ran to the car, and promptly fell on her face again.

You know, I think I’m going to blame this on her feet.

For entertainment, I’ve been telling Eli and Liza stories of me versus various objects. There’s the story of me versus the manual typewriter, in which one-year-old me fell and split my head open on my dad’s typewriter in his office. There’s me versus the air conditioner, in which I scratched my stomach on a corner of the air conditioner. There’s also me versus the curb and me versus the street. Now Liza has a story of her versus the sidewalk. At least she waited more than two years longer than I did before having her first ER-worthy accident.

P.S. Her stitches had tiny ends on them that stuck out of her lip, which led to us calling her Liza Cat. She played with them all yesterday. This morning one of them popped loose, so Misty trimmed the long end. Evidently even that wasn’t enough for Liza, as she showed up for lunch saying, “My stitches were bothering me so I took them out.” Indeed, she now has no stitches.