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.

17 thoughts on “Liza Versus the Sidewalk

  1. I feel slightly less like a terrible parent now. I know you guys are awesome parents and you also looked away for five minutes only to look back to your child wailing and needing a trip to the ER. I totally know how scary that was. Glad she’s okay!

  2. The same thing happened to me in third grade… only it was another boy’s head that hit me in the mouth and put a tooth through my lip, and no doubt a nick in his scalp, too. My mother, a dental hygienist, checked the tooth, declared it sound, and took me home. No stitches necessary. I hope Liza it OK and heals quickly…

  3. I think she looks like she has a Band Aid beard in that picture! I will be bringing things from the Krebs when I visit which should make her feel better. I might have to take her to get a milkshake, too.

  4. I will have similar stories for Em the first time she gets hurt like that. Such classics as, my head versus the hardwood floor, my hand versus the pocket knife, my head versus the fist-sized rock my cousin threw, a nail versus my foot, and last but not least, my head versus Shakespeare’s birthplace (I am especially proud of that one, although it makes that day in England a bit of a blur). One required stitches, one required a tetanus shot, and three gave me concussions.

  5. My favorite has always been me versus the stairs. I definitely lost that one. I’m glad that Liza’s okay. It’ll give her something funny to tell her kids when they get hurt that first time.

  6. Sounds as if Liza has already gained an appreciation for her dad’s life work (gravity is a harsh mistress) and her mom’s (stitching is art and science) .

    If they had used Dermabond rather than vicryl, Liza and Eli would have empiric evidence of life lesson #3, Krazy Glue Is Not For The Faint of Heart, a.k.a, With Great Adhesiveness Comes Great Responsibility.

  7. oo oo. I love the stephen vs the laser story! I like the part where ming-chien only had to let go of the trigger to turn off the laser and he just froze up. That part makes me laugh and laugh! 🙂

  8. Oh poor girl! It’s amazing how quickly they bounce back though. I love the vs. thing. I’ll have to retell Dante the stories of him vs. the peanuts (when they sneakily sneaked into M&Ms and triggered his allergy) and him vs. the glass door (when he tried to lean on it and it sneakily was totally absent, leading to a truly frightening faceplant onto concrete when he was about 18 months.)

    I always feel like my heart needs stitches after those moments of parental terror.

  9. Stephen, you forgot to mention the time when you got a chair, climbed up to the kitchen sink, got the bottle of Joy down and sniffed it like they did in the tv commercial. Needless to say, it was a very unpleasant experience when the dish soap went up your nose b/c you squeezed the bottle as you sniffed. There are few others you also forgot to mention.

  10. Poor liza! She looks so unhappy in that photo, but hopefully she will enjoy telling her first vs. story. J likes to tell Z his story vs the bean, except it makes Z want to try it for himself.

  11. I really am glad she’s okay. Every kid can put a stitches story to good use, though. 🙂 I have one from my childhood that is cringe-worthy enough that I will spare the audience. It was always good for a reaction, though.

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