Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Back at Work. Sort of.

Today's my first full day back at work. Things were gong along swimmingly until about 9:30am. I was watching Nico watching me as he held on to the back of his chair. I knew he was waiting for me to look away so he could practice a few steps. I obliged, and looked down at the marketing book in my lap (I was doing a quick market analysis of a company before I started drafting their sales letters). I looked up in time to see him land bum-first on the ground. He must have hit his face on the chair as he fell, because when he turned to look at me his chin, chest, hands, and arms were covered in blood. For one split second I watched, shocked, as his little heart pulsed a few beats of blood from his mouth like the last tablespoon or so of ketchup in a squeeze bottle. Squirt. Squirt.

I picked him up and ran to the kitchen. Squirt. Squirt.

He looked at me with those big Hershey's Kisses eyes and smiled a bloody, toothy grin--like one of those deranged hockey players thrilled to have picked up another red badge of athletic prowess. Squirt. Squirt.

Eight saturated paper towels later, I decided to take a peek inside his mouth. I thought his upper lip was caught on his teeth, so I called the doctor and they had me come right in. Unfortunately, my fiddling with his mouth opened everything up and he started bleeding again. Thankfully it slowed down quickly, and by the time Nico and I got there the bleeding was nothing more than a fuschia tinged saliva--slow enough that the doctor could pull away his lip and look inside.

(Paper Towel No. 9)

Diagnosis: torn frenulum. That little membrane that attaches your upper lip to your gums? Nico doesn't have one anymore. He's now a hanging loose, free frenulum-ing kind of guy. According to the doctor, this isn't a big deal. The membrane doesn't serve much of a purpose. Translation: It's a bummer it had to happen but it's nothing for you to run home and Google.

The best part of all of this? Nico's attitude. Other than the initial crying over the pain (which wasn't much and lasted all of ten seconds) the only thing that really got him upset was when I told him he couldn't eat the paper towels. His response when I pried them away from him was priceless. For the amount of tears he shed you would have thought he, oh, I don't know, ripped his frenulum. It turns out the missed opportunity to ingest Bounty is a far greater tragedy.

(Reason No. 342 why life isn't fair: They don't let me eat paper towels.)

Nice touch with the crocodile tears, Nico. You almost convinced me to let you have the paper towels again. Damn you and your hold on my heart. Squirt. Squirt.