7 years ago

Trauma, thy name is fat lip

Nothing scares a parent like a child who gets hurt. Chris and I had our first official trauma last Thursday. It involved a clay pot and an almost-three-year-old who doesn't like to watch where he's going. Lather, rinse, let's NOT repeat.


Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.

I have to preface this post by saying that as parents, Chris and I have been incredibly lucky. Up until last Thursday. We’ve managed to go 6+ years with no major traumas to the boys. No broken bones, no stitches, no major maladies—so far only one hospital visit, years ago, which turned out to be an ear infection. So we were very unprepared for our first child trauma. And still we are very lucky. Our first trauma involved a big clay pot, a reckless almost-three-year-old, and an even fatter lip.

The Culprit
The Culprit

This is the culprit. A big clay pot. Innocent enough, until a silly toddler goes running haphazardly through the backyard, trips, and introduces his upper lip to Mr. Clay Pot. Blood, screaming, crying and mayhem ensue. Of course head wounds (and by extension mouth wounds) bleed profusely. So of course there was blood everywhere. Poor Jonah was screaming and crying. Zachary was crying because he was scared. Chris and I were just looking at each other with that WFT look in our eyes. It was not a pretty sight. After about 10 minutes and the promise of popsicles and The Backardigans, we were finally able to calm Jonah down.

Did I mention this was on Thursday? The weekend ((This weekend includes Friday.)) was spent cuddling and coddling the Bear. Giving lots of TLC, popsicles, and Nintendo DS time. On Friday his lip had swollen out past his nose—so swollen that his upper lip skin stretched too much and separated a little bit. Gross, I know.

Friday was mostly spent snuggling and trying to get liquids and nourishment into the Bear. He just couldn’t eat or drink much. It was heartbreaking. As a parent there really is nothing worse than your child in pain. And this was nothing I could “fix”. You can’t put a band-aid inside the mouth. The doctor said there was really nothing to do but let it heal on its own. Which sucks. Because while his mouth is healing on its own, the Bear still can’t eat, can’t drink, can’t have his binky, can’t give me sweet little kisses.

Poor little Bear
Poor little Bear

It was a really crappy, helpless weekend that was spent waiting for Jonah’s lip to get better. Throw in nasty antibiotics that he refuses to take and swabbing his mouth twice a day with yummy hydrogen peroxide, it’s safe to say that a good time was had by all.

It’s now Wednesday morning and the outside of his lip is back to normal. The inside of his lip isn’t as hamburger-like as it was four days ago. He’s drinking juice ((No drinking through a straw yet, however.)) and eating normally, as long as the food is cut up and he doesn’t have to use his front teeth to tear anything. All in all, things are almost back to normal.

So now I can sit back and reflect on our first big trauma. In a word, it sucked. Chris and I spent the weekend looking at each other constantly with that helpless look our eyes. Having your child suffer, even if it is mildly, gives a parent a heavy heart and an upset stomach. I know that I am SO lucky. If this is the worst that ever happens I am the luckiest mother on the planet; however I’m not naive enough to think trouble will never befall my boys again. I will just give thanks that, in hindsight, this trauma was so mild. What do you think? Is this just preparing me for bigger, badder boo-boos in the future?

He still can manage a smile
He still can manage a smile

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15 Thoughts on “Trauma, thy name is fat lip”

  1. Oh how I know that sense of helplessness. It happened to Mancub when he was an infant.
    I’m glad your little guy is on the mend — but parental healing takes longer.

  2. Oh I so feel for you and poor Bear! We had our first child-related trauma a few months back when 3yo Dirk slipped on the concrete floor in the entrance of our block and split his forehead open. Thankfully, his memory of it is as an exciting event which meant he got to ride in an ambulance! {{{HUGS}}} to you all xxx

  3. Thanks MissRiss and Elaine! Of course he’s pretty much over it now, but MissRiss is right: parental emotional healing takes a little longer. πŸ™‚

  4. Yes, Trauma is just that, Traumatizing, and as far as I can tell, mostly for the parent! I mean, sure it sucks being injurred, but, kids are so much more resilient than we are.. πŸ™‚ You are a pro, πŸ™‚ way to hang in there. πŸ™‚ Accidents happen… thats what they say.

  5. Yeah, One time a shopping cart rolled off the curb with my Scarlett in it, as I was trying to put the groceries into the car, and she got scraped up a little bit on her face, I remember I was so upset, I was like, someone should take my baby away from me, I can’t keep her safe! πŸ˜› But it bothered me a whole lot more than her, as I had to wait for it to heal, so that the guilt could fade, with the healing. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Mel. Such a tramatic story! As a new mommy, I know I’m nervous about the day when I see my little girl in pain. They are so helpless! I’m rooting for little Jonah that his lip will continue to heal and this will all be a distant memory for ya! On another note, I LOVE your writing style! You have a wonderful ability to relate your experience in such a heartfelt way. Thanks for keeping us updated!

    1. I’m so glad you took the time to comment Natira, and thank you for the writing compliment. Jonah is almost all healed up now. Next we need to get him to the dentist, just in case. πŸ™

  7. πŸ˜› yeah, imagery and metaphor is my forte πŸ˜› thanks for letting me crash your blog party πŸ™‚ I really like your blog layout, but it does strange things inside the textbox when I type… maybe its just that I’m on a mac, but it did it on both mine, and my husbands laptops when I went to leave the comment using safari *scratches head*

    Another great thing, searching for a positive outlook on our children getting hurt, is that we have to find a lesson to be learned… mine with the shopping cart was, ALWAYS put the kid in the car FIRST, even if it is cooler outside, it would be better for my kid to be warm and safe, then in danger outside the car, for you perhaps we learned that though your 3 yr old should be mostly stable on his feet, no place is ever really safe, for a daring, top-heavy toddler πŸ˜› I swear its when we find ourselves at ease that things tend to go awry. πŸ™‚
    .-= RedRawlinsΒ΄s last blog ..In with the good things, out with the bad… =-.

    1. Thanks for the Mac feedback Red. I’m actually on a Mac most of the time but haven’t tested the comments (this is a new theme for me). I’ll check it out.
      I will learn from your mistakes and not leave the Bear in a shopping cart. πŸ™‚ Of course, we can never keep our kids 100% safe 100% of the time.

  8. You tell him Gramma loves him thiiiiiiiiiiissssss big! The pics you sent on the phone looked 10 times worse than these! And I feel as sorry for you and Daddy as I do the bear!

    Love, Mom