I had a horrible parenting moment the other day.
I told a doctor to lie to my son.
I lied to my son.
Dex got a pretty deep cut on his foot from a shard of glass. It was a weird position because it was on the side of his foot, so while it was deep, it was close to the skin.
We went to the hospital because the jar had housed (still wet) seashells, sponge and all that other shit that kids bring home from the beach that goes in jars to keep them happy. So naturally, infection is a worry because my kids think that getting wet equals clean so I can’t trust that’ll he’ll keep his foot clean and plus I’m not going to be the one to hold him down while we Dettol that.
He ended up needing an x-ray because of the swelling, they were worried that there may have been glass or shell fragments in it, but there weren’t, thankfully.
Now’s the hard part.
The doctor had put a numbing patch on it to clean it out. *fun fact, the numbing patches contain adrenaline which is why the area that is numb goes white.
He was debating about a stitch or some glue because of how deep yet shallow to the skin it was. He tells me that if it was an adult, he would definitely be stitching it. Knowing my son, how active he is (in that he never sits still, ever) I wanted his foot to have the best chance at healing, which as the doctor had said, was a stitch.
The problem was, Dex was adamant he didn’t want a stitch.
The doctor and I had a whispered conversation about how if he put anaesthetic it would be a needle in the top and a needle in the bottom. If he did a stitch, it’s a needle in the top and a needle in the bottom… “Do you see where I’m going…?” Those were his words. And I did. I made a decision that I thought was the least traumatic for my son given his aversion to the idea of a stitch and the fact he already had a numbing patch on his foot and I told the doctor to do the stitch.
And I lied to Dex. I told him the glue would hurt. That he had to stay completely still otherwise his foot would glue together crooked. That he couldn’t turn around and look until it was finished. And he SCREAMED. He screamed so loud I can still hear it. It still hurts my heart.
Then, the worst part. I had to tell him that I lied to him. That I made the doctor lie to him because he really did need the stitch and it was the only way for it to happen.
Actually, even worse, he understood. He said “Mum, I know why you lied. Please, just tell me next time and I’ll be okay.” He hopes I’ll never have to lie to him again.
How heart-breaking is that. My kid telling me he knew why I had lied to him and put him through that pain.
He got over it fairly quickly and by the time we were walking out he was super excited about having a bandaged foot and something to tell his friends at school. He gets the stitch out this week but I think the mental anguish on me will take much, much longer to remove.