I tried not to think about the fact that things normally happen in threes when Olivia and Bea ended up in hospital a couple of weeks ago. But this evening when my friend Harriett (mother of Leo’s best friend Oscar) called I just knew.
“He’ll be fine,” she said. “But he definitely needs stitches.” I turned the car from the direction of the manicurist (where I was planning to get my nails done for the Emirati wedding I was invited to) towards the hospital.
We met at the A & E, Leo’s wounded chin covered with a white dressing. After a wait we were shown in to the doctor. Leo started screaming before the man even laid hands on him. He remembers only too well how painful that needle with anaesthetic into an open wound is. He has split his chin open twice before.
It was horrible. We tried to calm him, we even got him to let the doctor inject him (the nurse, Rupert and me) but as soon as the needle hit his flesh (even though it had already been made slightly numb by a topical anaesthetic) he went totally hysterical. He was practically hyper-ventilating, wailing and screaming.
The doctor, clearly used to seeing children in far worse situations was not sympathetic. After three goes, he said we had one more chance, otherwise they would have to put him out. That would have meant staying the night and even more needles.
I figured there was only one thing for it…..Spiderman.
I held Leo’s head and started to talk to him about all the Spiderman things I would buy him at Hamley’s in London; the mask, the top, and how we would dress Bea as the Green Goblin and he would vanquish her with his flashing shoes. The injections went in followed rapidly by three stitches.
“It hurt until I started to think about Spiderman,” Leo told the doctor. “Why didn’t we think of that before?”
As we waited for his medicine five minutes he talked to the girls on the phone.
“Yes, I had three stitches,” he was saying. “No, it didn’t hurt.”
That’s the good thing about pain, you forget about it very quickly……
He is fast asleep, already looking forward to going back to Oscar’s house tomorrow where he is staying for the week we are away. In two hours Rupert and I fly…..to London and Hamley’s. Oh, and as you can imagine, I never made it to the wedding.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2009