Friday, December 15, 2006

Where Did You Get Your Jingle Bells?

It doesn’t happen very often any longer, but last night was one of those nights where Emma waited to tell me that she had to go to the bathroom after I got Allison strapped into her car seat and we were on the way to put her in the car. I remained patient. I got Allison back out and went back into the daycare building. As per usual, Emma had to go Number 1 and Number 2. If there was a competition to see who could take the absolute longest time to go Number 2, Emma would win hands down. I took a deep breath and sat in the employees lounge with Allison to wait. It isn’t as though we had to get any where quickly. She finally finished as one of the newborn teachers came in to use the bathroom. We chit chatted for a second with Ms. A and walked back out to the car.

After I strapped Allison back into her car seat, I turned to Emma and said, “Let’s go.” After she moved to walk around the car, I closed the sliding door. The second I let go of the handle, I noticed that her left ring finger was in the way. Although I was watching all of this in slow motion, I couldn’t stop the door from slamming shut on her finger. As her finger bent back the wrong way at the tip, I almost threw up. I opened the door immediately and caught Emma up in my arms. I couldn’t have felt worse if I tried. All I wanted to do was wipe her tears away and make her screams my screams.

Ms. A walked out of the building not long after this happened. She told me about the times she had done the same thing when her kids were little. She helped me to look at the finger to see if she needed medical assistance. She was leaning in my direction that we should head in. Emma wouldn’t bend her finger and there was a nasty gash on the pad of it. She ran back in to get some ice. Ms. A is definitely an angel.

Danny was going to make a grocery store run last night. When I called him, he had just gotten there. I told him that I wasn’t sure what to do. We decided to take her to the emergency room and that he would meet us there. As soon as Emma figured out where we were going, she started screaming at the top of her lungs again. She didn’t want to go to the hospital and she didn’t want to get a shot. As I promised her that she wouldn’t get a shot, I was praying that she didn’t need stitches. Those technically aren’t shots, right?

When we arrived in the emergency room’s triage area, there were cops everywhere. Sitting behind us was a cop and a man handcuffed behind his back. Apparently it was a rough night last night. There were several bad accidents and a shooting that left three people dead. On our walk to the waiting room after I found this out as we waited in the family room after x-rays were taken. A group of youngish men were sitting in there talking about it. “One of those guys got shot in the head,” one of them said before laughing as if it was a joke. I wished that there was a children’s waiting room there.

Thankfully they seemed to put Emma on a fast track. We were seen by the doctor by 8:30. Thankfully, no bones were broken. The laceration was nasty, but it was pretty superficial. He looked me in the eye and said that it wasn’t necessary treat it as if were not. I could have hugged him for not mentioning the word “stitches.” He told us that a nurse would come and clean it up and get her ready to go home. I was so happy! After he left, I said, “See Emma, no stitches – except the ones I’m going to give you in the belly!”

We both giggled and pretended to give each other shots until we heard a noise heading our way. When we heard a noise heading our way, Emma wanted to play hide-and-seek from the nurse. It wasn’t the nurse. It was a young prisoner from a local county jail dressed in white and black stripped prison garb. The noise we heard was the shackles around his ankles.

“Why is he wearing those ugly shoes and wearing those jingle bells?” Emma asked.

In her defense, those prison issue rubber flip-flopping things were darn ugly. I whispered in her ear that the man was a prisoner and it wasn’t nice to talk about people because it hurts their feelings. She nodded her head in agreement. In the loudest whisper ever, she asked, “Why is he in jail?”

“I don’t know.” I whispered.

“Did he beat someone up with a punch? Is that why he’s here?”

“I’m not sure.”

“Did the jail give him those jingle bells for Christmas?”

I again whispered in her ear that it wasn’t our concern why he was in jail and that he was here because he wasn’t feeling well. She was quiet for a while and then tried to get off the gurney to get a closer look. As gently as I could, I held her back and told her that it wasn’t nice to look at people like that.

In what actually is the loudest whisper ever, “You’re right! It’s not nice to look at naughty people. I don’t like people looking at me when I’m in time out and I have pretty shoes!”

As a sign of mercy from above, the nurse finally came and cleaned Emma up. She was a trooper and didn’t flinch or cry. She still hadn’t forgot about the prisoner next door, though. After I signed the papers to leave, Emma turned toward the next gurney instead of heading out with me. In some attempt to make the obvious seem accidental, I said, “Say hello to the nice police officer, Emma.”

She did, but I could tell who she was really looking at. “Let’s go find Daddy and Ally so we can go home.”

She turned back to follow me with a bit of a skip. “Can we still go get ice cream like you said?”

I smiled and said yes. I wonder who was most thankful that her thoughts turned away from the prisoner, the ugly shoes, and his jingle bells?

5 comments: said...

Wow, that child has an amazing understanding of people. What a lovely family you have.

DD said...

I have to admit I cried when you said the door got slammed on her finger. I know it happens to just about every child who has ever been around a car, but still...

You handled that exposure to something very ugly, very well.

Jennifer said...

DD ~ I think the only reason why I didn't start crying was because I had to focus on being in control. By the time others took over, she wasn't crying anymore and was playing around with Allison. I think you can imagine the paranoia I've had about her and doors ever since. She was three feet away from the door when I took her home and I still held her back with my arm. ~ Thank you so much for you kind comments. It's wonderful how they can take complex things and break them down to the basic level. If that guy could hear what she was saying, I hope it gave him a laugh.

Anonymous said...

I would have felt the same way when her finger got smashed but thankfully nothing was broken. She really is a bright kid and really notices things. You handled the situation very well and glad she is doing fine. Happy holidays!


petunia said...

Thanks for visiting my blog...i don't get many visitors ( i guess I don't leave enough comments on others). But i'm making you a favorite (not sure how to do links), this is hillarious....can't wait until baby J starts to talk and say funny things.

It reminded me of a senior lady I helped take care of in a nursing home. She was 102 and hard of hearing so her wispering was really loud. We were all in the dining room playing bingo when a VERY large lady passed through. The old lady leaned to the lady next to her and in that LOUD wisper said "Howd'ya like to carry around a butt like that?" I was so embarrassed for the large lady that I almost cried...but years later it still sort of brings a smile to my face---that "childlike" personality at 102.