Thursday, November 19, 2009

Turkey Trot Trauma

Una-Christmas 1987


Her first Thanksgiving qualified as a bloody disaster.

Turkey? Check! Family & Friends? Check, then check, again! Pretty party dress for the hostess? Oh, but of course! And although we were psyched to the eyeballs to watch our Texas Longhorns ride herd over those nasty Aggies, I don't remember the score. Heck, I don't even remember the game. I'm pretty sure I didn't have time to watch.

Time stood still for me just as I was taking the 25-lb. turkey out of the oven.

A yelp. A shriek. An interjected, "What the effing hell?!?"

I don't remember who invited the dog to my daughter's first Thanksgiving feast. Mr. Fairway said it was moi.

It doesn't matter now. What mattered then was getting the almost-10-month-old to the emergency room. Quick.

Ella Numera Una was a pull-up girl. Well, yes, she did graduate to Pull-Ups when she left diapers behind. But shortly after she learned to crawl, she started hoisting herself up to the standing position. Didn't matter who, what, where, when, why or how, as long as she could get upright, she was all right.

Until she pulled up on Barney. Barney, the older, grouchy, scruffy Westie.

Yup, a Toto Dog~As in the Wizard, Dorothy & Toto, too~snapped at my eldest. Took a chunk out of her upper right lip. She shoulda known better than to have pulled up on his hindquarters. And in the poor dog's defense, he didn't know she was just a curious toddler, trying to stand tall with the big folks.

I don't remember much after that. The turkey made it from the oven to the stovetop, I think. Adrenaline kicked in, and I drove my tiny, howling chica to the ER. Mr. Fairway stayed behind with the guests. I don't know if they watched football. I don't know if they even ate.

Fortunately, we hit the hospital at the right time. The doctor on duty had just finished his residency at Children's Hospital in Cincinnati. He knew that babies needed special care & teeny, tiny needles.

I do remember 22 stitches inside her lip & 47 stitches on the outside. I had to hold a bleeding (note to you who've just embarked on the mommy track~head wounds gush the most, which is a pretty freaky proposition. The good news, though, is they're usually not as bad as they look), screaming toddler down while the good doctor completed his handiwork. But when it was all over, the doc had encouraging words for this newish mom.

"By the time she's old enough to notice, no one but you will be able to notice."

He was right. About the stitches & the resulting scar. I was wrong, about inviting an old, cranky, excitable dog to a fiesta full of animated humans.

The proof is in the pictures, I guess. The Superior Snap above was shot about 3 weeks later, around Christmas. You can see that Ella's upper right lip is swollen & she's got a tiny, upside-down "V" etched there. And if you look at the kid now, you'd never know the trauma she's seen.

I was told later that the turkey was perfection, although no one wanted to eat much. The Longhorns won, I think. And I had to throw away my pretty party dress.

Too much blood.

26 comments:

Alicia said...

i didn't even notice it at all!! but man, that must have been scary! my middle boy had his first gushing head wound on thanksgiving too!! creepy!

quilly said...

Well, the day might ohave been a disaster, but all these years later it makes a great story!

Cairo Typ0 said...

The first thing i noticed was the awesome Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. :)

That must have been so scary!! Poor thing! :( I'm glad she didn't grow up to be scared of dogs because of that.

Sarah said...

You can't see it at all and your daughter is beautiful!
What an event, though.

pixielation said...

poor baby! But I can hardly see anything, so she's so lucky. Even the best behaved dogs can do terrible damage if they've been hurt by a small child. They don't know any better, and don't mean it. But that doesn't make it any less horrifying.

I'm glad she wasn't too badly hurt.

parentingBYdummies said...

I didn't notice it either. That stinks, though. Some of our worst injuries have involved a dog. Love them to death, but they just can't really handle a lot of excitement. Kinda like me!

Fierce said...

Ella's really lucky, I didn't notice any scars on her, just the rag dolls. And there's an evn brighter side, she won't remember unless you tell her! Yay for toddler memories! lol

Chrissie said...

you know what's funny...is that i'm currently writing my legal memo on dog bite cases. in illinois, but i bet the standard is the same everywhere else. you could've sued for the dog bite, because even if there was provocation (pushing up on the dog) the reaction of the dog was vicious and out of proportion. thanks law school.

Sarah said...

omg how traumatic. i thought the turkey was not cooked at first. but she's so cute even with the stitches!

June Freaking Cleaver said...

May that end the tally of holiday mishaps. Looks like she didn't suffer any long-lasting effects.

Kristin said...

OMG, how did you hold it together? My dude has only bled once, no stitches involved, and I called my Mom at work sobbing. Ah ha

knit1kids4 said...

What a story! Not a first Thanksgiving I'd want to have.

Before I was a mom, I had a child in my class (4 years old) fall and bite THROUGH his lip. I had to take him to the hospital and hold him down till his mom arrived. Yep... that was horrible!

The Blonde Duck said...

I would have been terrified! And I hope you never invited the dog again!

I'm with Cairo Typo. I noticed the dolls first. :)

Lora said...

I noticed the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls as well! Such a cute picture!

Thanks for visiting me today :0)

Helen McGinn said...

Oh wow! I clicked on that link and thought "where is she?!" She's all grown up now! That must have been traumatic. Poor wee lass, poor you and poor Toto. xx

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Sad the dog bit her and kind of put the bosh on your Thanksgiving. Sad about your dress too! That was sure a lot of stitches! Nice the scar isn't noticeable anymore.

Here's a link to my writer's workshop post on this same prompt:
http://karen.pnn.com/articles/show/54124-a-thanksgiving-to-remember-writer-s-workshop

kys said...

Poor little thing! I'll bet you were in a panic, too! That is a story your family will always be telling this time of year.

Susie said...

What a nightmare!

Noelle said...

we spent a thanksgiving in the er with a 2 year old that got stepped on by a herd of stampeding pre-teens and broke her foot. try splainin' that one to the doc! ;)

Christy (Columbia Lily) said...

holy moley!! A Thanksgiving to remember.

blueviolet said...

Wow, that kind of day is never forgotten!

Tracy P. said...

Yikes, Melissa! Those mommy adrenaline rushes are a long and tough recovery. Thankfully of longer lasting impact than a few (dozen) stitches.

mama-face said...

47 stitches on the outside? That would be traumatizing. We've had a few holiday ER visits (always the same kid, hmmm), and one of the worst parts about it has been the WAIT. Seems a lot of people are injured on holidays.

I think that many stitches would be worse than the wait though. Ouch.

Miss Jo said...

Ouch. I had only 10 stitches on the outside of my upper lip as an adult and I was miserable. That Ella Una was probably quite surprised. She'd pushed up on her parents', aunt and babas, why not the dog ? I like Chrissie's comment and her legal analysis too !

Christine said...

What a nightmare! Who knew that a wee baby lip could hold that many stitches!!!
I'm sure that event was talked about for many Thanksgiving dinners afterward. Wow.
Glad she healed up & you only notice her beautiful smile!
Thank you for the SITS visit...I love company!

Maya said...

Thank goodness that doctor knew what he was doing!! How traumatizing for you and her

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