Caroline's surgeon came into the exam room today in his scrubs and apologized for being so late.
"Something came up at the hospital," he explained.
There is really nothing you can say to that other than a murmured "Oh, of course, certainly, it's fine, thank you" because - unlike the Verizon store where I waited today for half an hour only to learn that Patrick's hand-me-down emergency phone has not worked for three months because he hadn't use the minutes that we had purchased; so they expired; so they gave his number to a sheet metal company: true story - the doctor had left us waiting because he was performing emergency surgery on a child.
So, right, yes. No problem.
He looked at her arm and then turned toward the door, saying, "Great. Thanks for bringing her in. It's healing perfectly. Any questions?"
Caroline said, "I do have a question."
He stopped and turned back around. Then nothing happened. He looked at her. I looked at her. Time passed.
"Oh," she said, "do you want to hear it?"
"Of course," he said.
"Well, it's just that I was wondering. That is. When I was in the bathtub yesterday... "
"Two days ago," I amended.
"Two days ago. When I was in the bathtub. This," she jabbed her finger at the healing scar, "spurted out yellow stuff."
[Spurted. An apt word although I never use it personally because I think it is gross.]
He smiled, "Yes, that's totally normal."
A crease formed between Caroline's magnificent brows.
"Is it? I have never seen it before."
He said, "It is normal following surgery. I put several stitches under your skin and they dissolve over time, which is why you still have that hard bump. Bodies handle the stitches differently and yours seem to be getting rid of them... right there." He touched the scab on her scar.
Her brow cleared.
"Oh," she said. "Ok."
"Anything else?' he asked.
He started for the door again.
"Nothing else other than thank you for the magnificent job removing my pilomatrixoma!" she called. "I love my new arm! It's so much lighter!"
He laughed and left.
Remember when I talked about Patrick negotiating most of a recent doctor's appointment on his own and how odd I felt about this change in the parental dynamic? I said three words during Caroline's surgical follow-up and it did not feel odd in the slightest.
Children - I say reflectively - are all different. Reeeeaaallly makes you think.
PS Just to give you some dramatic perspective: Caroline came out of their room way past bedtime last night and I snapped at her to get back in bed and go to sleep.
She said, "Yes Mother. Of course Mother. Right away Mother."
Then she went completely rigid; arms straight, eyes front, chin out, and saluted me.
I assume she gets her smart-assery (like her formidable eyebrows) from her father.