Jul 3, 2009

Now the story can be told

We're back! This week, the Teeny Traveler has been in Stockholm, Sweden, where the weather has been gorgeous and warm and the sun shining from approximately 7 a.m. til 10 p.m. Today, as we've been doing every day since we arrived in Stockholm, Bella's been sleeping in late, and then we'll hit the hotel breakfast right before they close at 11 a.m. Sounds like a slow start, but given the length of the days, we've already done pretty well, hitting all our usual haunts-- taking the tram to Skansen, Liljevalchs and the excellent Cafe Blåporten on Djurgården, Moderna Museet, slumming in Söder, and today, maybe Musikmuseet and a bit of shopping.

All of last week, we were at Mik's parents' summer place in the Åland islands, where we had an unprecedented week of good weather and outdoorsy fun. Bella was just beside herself with excitement and all the "new" things to see. She had so much fun, in fact, that I can now loop back to the topic of the title of this post. There are so many great pics from Åland that I'll put up in a slide show soon, but here's a particularly apt one from the scene of the crime:

As you can see, little miss acrobat has been in training, and one of her favorite activities was to bounce from this green chair to the ottoman, back to the chair, maybe climb up the back, jump on to the bench behind/beside it, and then rinse and repeat, ad nauseam and despite all protests. She was doing this all week without incident, until Friday night, when we were starting an especially late dinner (around 11 pm), when she overshot the ottoman and hit her mouth on a low wooden bench behind. Copious amounts of blood, and after the initial scare when we thought she had truly, finally knocked her teeth out, we dried out enough of the blood to see that she actually hadn't, but had, in fact, somehow severed her lower gums about half a centimeter below the gum line and cut her chin and lip, possibly all the way through.

So, us being on a Scandinavian island, we had to throw a bunch of stuff into a backpack, find phone, boat, apartment and car keys, take the boat across (by which point we actually knew that Bella was totally fine, since she was waving to Mik's dad on the dock, shouting, "Bye, farfar! We're going to the doctor! We'll see you later!"), and drove 20 minutes to the emergency room. Which, by the way, was clean, empty, and well-appointed with both toys and coffee. There, the nurse just peeked out through the security glass long enough to see that Bella was walking around and checking out the toys, and told Mik that normally, there's nothing much they can do about mouth injuries, that they tend to heal naturally on their own, and that since she couldn't see blood gushing from Bella's face from 10 feet away, that the cut on her chin probably wouldn't need stitches, either.

Having had some experience with American emergency rooms (also Puerto Rican ones, but that's a story for another day), most of it long, annoying, and involving lots of paperwork, I was dumbfounded. Mik says I probably lost my cool for the only time that night with, "Say WHAT? She doesn't even want to LOOK AT IT? Can't they even cut off this FLAP OF GUM that's hanging loose?" The answer, apparently, was, nope, mouth injuries heal naturally just fine. So, not 10 minutes after we walked in, we walked back out, without even any drugs, just instructions to give her some painkillers and to watch her for signs of concussion.

It turned out just as the nurse said - by the end of the next day, all the "extra" pieces of gum in her mouth (sorry, I know it's gross) were gone, probably chewed off in her sleep, and the day after that, everything inside her mouth looked pretty much back to normal. I had a little packet of antibiotic cream in my little emergency kit, so I put some of that on the cut on her chin every day and a week later, even that looks like it'll just disappear in another day or two.

We didn't see her jump from that particular green chair to that particular footstool for the rest of the time we were at the summer house, but she continued to climb every other rock, tree, and piece of furniture she encountered, so I gotta say the moral of the story ended there for Bella.

Here she is, not 2 minutes ago, in our hotel room: