My Fairy Princess
It was the night before Halloween, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except three-year-old Daughter Number One. You all know her as an accomplished young woman now, but back then, she was, well, a three-year-old. Three-year-olds run. Everywhere. As fast as their little three-year-old legs can carry them.
And I was eight months pregnant with what turned out to be Daughter Number Two. I didn't run. Anywhere.
So when DNO ran down the hall, tripped and hit her head on the door frame, I wasn't the first to reach her. Her dad was. I was still lumbering over, when he said, "Get the keys. We have to take her in."
"What?" I was in no mood to go to the hospital ER. But I glanced at the gaping gash on her head and said, "I'll get my shoes." It was bad. Deep enough for me to know better than to look at it—I get queasy at the sight of blood, or just about any bodily function that isn't entirely normal.
Daughter, though, had stopped crying by now. And she didn't like the idea of going to the doctor either: "B-b-but I know where there's some band-aids," she said between sobs. My heart was breaking, but we bundled her into the car and raced to the emergency room. While I held on to her feet and her dad held her hand, a doctor in a clown costume sewed eleven stitches into my baby's head.
We don't have too many stories like this in our family. Our kids were pretty much non-accident prone. No broken bones, few fevers, and as far as I can remember, this was our only trip to the emergency room. And it was surreal: After we left the ER of the big hospital without being treated (after waiting for hours, they refused to let me and her dad both in, so we went to a children's ER a few miles away) we were greeted by nurses dressed as clowns, passing out popsicles. There was a moment there when I almost passed out, just thinking about what they were doing. No one wants a passed out pregnant woman on their hands, so they asked me nicely to tuck my head between my knees and handed me a popsicle.
The next day was Halloween, and as usual, I hadn't sorted out a costume for my dearest darling. She'd told me, in her lispy way, that she wanted to be a Fairy Princess, only she couldn't pronounce the letter F. A "Dairy Princeth" she would be, even if it killed me.
And before you ask, yes, we tried to convince her to go trick-or-treating as Frankenstein's monster. But when your little girl has had a terrible accident, and all she wants in the world is to be a Dairy Princeth, well, you do everything in your power to make her a Diary Princeth.
I don't sew, but I drove to the fabric store, and we picked out some pink satin fabric and gauzy netting. I also had the foresight to pick up some elastic for a waistband. When we got home, I had a brilliant idea: I couldn't sew, but I could staple like a pro! In fact, I once had a summer job removing staples from documents. I got busy, stapling together a costume for my little girl.
And that night, she was the most beautiful Dairy Princess that ever walked the streets of suburbia.
I never learned to sew, but I still have that stapler. And Daughter Number One has an inch-long scar on her forehead.