To say I’m bad in a crisis is an understatement. It’s not like I want to flip out in that critical moment, it’s just that my brain feels like it’s being squeezed like fruit at the supermarket.
Yesterday was Lily’s 7th birthday. It was a great birthday. Her father went to school at her lunchtime and I delivered cupcakes to her class. For dinner, we went to her favorite restaurant and came home to open presents. It was a great day for my girl.
My Lily Pie likes lip gloss. She will actually use them once in a while, but she likes the bright and shiny packages more than the actual lip gloss. She hoards them in her little purses and her backpack like a little magpie. So I made sure that one of her presents was a package of bright, shiny, sparkly lip glosses. I paid less than $4.00 for all 12 in that package and she clutched them to her chest like I gave her gold.
I didn’t open the package because once we got done with presents, it was close to bedtime. I just set them on the table to put away the next day. Lily and her sisters continued to play with the presents she had opened.
I’m in my room when I hear a hysterical cry. I start paying attention, but all I hear is the kids laughing again so I continue with what I’m doing. But then I hear the hysterical pain cry again.
I rush to the kitchen to find Lily crying in pain, holding her hand up in the air with blood everywhere. She was clutching a package of band-aids in the other hand.
She had a deep gash on her hand from a knife.
In that second I didn’t stop to process why her first action wasn’t to come get me or her father. I was too busy trying not to pass out. Or vomit. I rush her over to the sink while I’m screaming to Blake that we have to go to the ER. The other two kids rush in a few steps before their father and they start running around and around the kitchen island while they scream bloody murder and cry.
Blake gently and calmly takes Lily’s hand and begins to inspect the wound. So then I’m free to join the other two children crying and running around the kitchen island. Which I actually proceeded to do. Yes, I did. I didn’t scream, and I didn’t run but I was circling the island while tears streamed down my face. Not one coherent thought entered my brain. Not one.
Blake snaps out, “Everyone get in the car!”
The other two kids get into the car still crying and I get in the back seat with Lily so I can hold her. She just keeps crying and telling me she can’t get a shot, she can’t get a shot. Is it going to hurt? At this point, the wound has been covered and wrapped up by my husband so I am able to at least attempt to help with the situation.
LiesI just kept telling her over and over they would put a numbing medicine on her hand so nothing would hurt. She keeps crying in terror and pain during the car ride so I’m not paying attention to the fact that her story of how her hand got cut didn’t make sense. I just kept her clutched to me while I told her over and over it was going to be okay.
Blake drops us off at the ER entrance while he takes the other kids and goes to park the car. This is where I prove my brain isn’t functioning. I forgot how to spell Lily’s full name Lilianna and I couldn’t remember her birthday. Which is hysterical as it was her birthday.
That check-in nurse was not amused.
The nurses begin the check in process and ask her how her hand got cut. I’m still trying to calm myself down so I’m still not paying attention to the fact that Lily’s story doesn’t make any sense. But the nurses are paying attention. They keep asking her over and over. She keeps giving me guilty looks that are still not registering. But those guilty looks are registering with the nurses.
So now we have a child that is telling an impossible story about a deep knife wound that is shooting guilty looks at her mother, a mother that is not correcting that story as her brain is in stasis, and a room full of suspicious nurses.
They wouldn’t allow us all back to be with Lily so Blake stayed out in the ER waiting room with the other two kids. Which is awesome because now the family can finally all get hepatitis. Landry routinely licks random surfaces. An ER waiting room is exactly where you don’t want Landry to be. Blake would have been the logical parent to go back with Lily, but at that point you couldn’t have pried that child out of my hands with a crowbar. My brain might shut down in a crisis, but my mommy instincts kick in like an athlete on roid rage.
I’m finally back in a room with Lily and I calm down enough to start paying attention to the endless amount of people coming in to ask Lily how she got hurt over and over. Nurses and people that don’t introduce themselves and are not wearing scrubs. I start noticing the looks they are giving me and the guilty looks Lily shoots my way every single time she tells her story.
The story was that she tripped on the stool we have in the kitchen and fell on the knife.
I have a decision to make. Now that I’m paying attention (better late than never), I know Lily is lying. Lily normally adds a lot of detail to her story. She is a talker. This had zero details past the vague story. I know she was using the knife for some reason. Lily knows that she is not allowed to use or touch a knife. Lily also does not like to be in trouble or for anyone to be mad at her. It clicked in my head that this is why she tried to get a band aid for herself and hide the wound instead of coming to me or her father.
I can now let the lie stand so I don’t add to the stress of the situation or I can tell her I know she is lying and ask for the real story. I wasn’t overly concerned about the suspicious nurses, I was more concerned for my child that had been in hysterics for the better part of two hours. Every time we discipline Lily we have to keep assuring her that we still love her. She worries that being in trouble means we do not love her. I wasn’t sure I wanted to add that to the already stressful situation.
But letting a lie stand just doesn’t sit right. I’m not her friend, I’m her mother. I tell her how much I love her but I know that she lied. What were you doing with the knife Lily?
Lily had taken the package of lip glosses and tried to open them with one of our very sharp steak knives out of the butcher block. She wanted the shimmery one with the owl on the outside.
redemptionThe moment she told the truth you could actually see her entire body relax. The stress of having to tell that lie over and over was just as stressful as the cut on her hand. She was finally able to take a deep breath, her shoulders stopped being hunched over, she could now make eye contact with me and her eyes stopped tearing up.
The next time the hoard of people came in to ask Lily to tell them how she got cut, she did not shoot me any guilty looks. She did not mumble. She was not quiet. Her face was animated, the lip gloss owl was described in detail, they had to clutch her hand as she started waving it around as she spoke, and she had stopped crying.
That lie that she had to tell over and over was harder on Lily than a deep slash from a knife that needed 5 stitches. It was harder than her fear of shots.
I’m guessing that satisfied the suspicious hoard as they all started nodding, smiling and they immediately kicked us out. No more waiting on ‘paperwork.’ Guess I should have been more concerned about them being concerned.
Lily Pie, nothing you confess will ever make us love you any less. But if you don’t confess, Mama may be in trouble with the Po-Po.