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.