It took three people to give my son a single stitch in his chin.
When your phone lights up with a call, there’s nothing like the reverberation of “not again, come on” that bounces around inside your head as you realise it’s your child’s day care centre.
The last time I got that call I was certain it would be about the cold I’m unwilling to admit my 5 month old daughter has.
No, it was about my three year old. He’d fallen over and had a nasty cut on his chin that potentially needed a stitch. And because I’m one of ‘those’ mothers, I initially thought surely the staff were exaggerating, so I *actually* asked if I really had to go and collect him.
Well, don’t I feel guilty about that now.
I took the poor sausage to the GP and what followed was pretty harrowing for him and for me.
Between the doctor and myself, we exhausted our ammunition of bribes in the effort to just get him cto let her examine the wound. Stickers, bubbles, Chocolate, ice cream, all the sugary treat I could think of and even then he wailed and thrashed around. When she announced that he would absolutely need a stitch my heart sank a little. How on earth was I going to convince him to sit still enough to get a stitch in his chin?
So, I did what any self-respecting mother would do. I ignored the problem and told him nothing.
The doctor did suggest that one option would be to go to ED and get him sedated for the stitch. I seriously considered it for a moment, not just to protect his teeth from the sugar I would have to deliver on, but also to save him the pain and distress to come.
But I pulled on my big girl pants, and hoped Will would manage to find his. I reasoned with the doctor, “no, that’s okay. He has to learn that sometimes in life you have to do things that hurt a bit. It’s not pleasant, but it helps us heal faster and get on with things.”
And so, the doctor helped him to pick out a sticker that he could have later if he was a very brave boy. He went ahead and picked one out, like any little boy would, but remained oblivious of what was to come.
We fetched a nurse to hold his head, I was tasked with holding his body down and the GP did her work.
Will howled. I probably would have too if I was him. I was close enough to tears myself and no one was sticking a sewing needle into my chin. Watching your child go through pain while shouting to make it stop is not fun for any parent. And while it felt like it took ages, it was over and done with in a minute or two.
At the very end of the appointment, the doctor presented Will with his bravery sticker. I remarked that it was good the sticker said ‘Great’ because he had done such a great job at getting his stitch. Will turned and stuck the sticker on my hand and said, “you have it, Mummy, because you did a great job too.”
Have you ever had to help your child undergo a medical procedure? What did you do to keep them calm?
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