Dori is my baby girl. I adopted her when she was about 15 months old and she was born with a hemangioma on her tummy. A hemangioma, by the way, is half birthmark, half tumor, and half rectum. Dori’s hemangioma looked like this.
I know, it’s not that bad. Kind of pretty, actually… kind of like someone punched her in the stomach with a strawberry. The trouble with hemangiomas is that they are very vascular and, if you cut one, they bleed like a victim in a Jason movie. Also, they have the potential to grow and look like this:
So, I hope you won’t think too unkindly of me when you learn that I took my precious then two year-old daughter to a plastic surgeon to get it removed and, yes, while the temptation to get her a nose job, face lift, and boob job was rather high, I stuck to my guns and had her potentially face-destroying angel kiss removed.
I have been hurt in life, but nothing hurt me nearly as bad as watching little Dori get wheeled away to go under the knife. The feeling of helplessness is incomparable.
But the little tyke came through the ordeal and talked about her “boo boo” to anyone who will listen. Anyone, that is, except the man that gave her the boo boo to begin with… Doctor Gonzales.
Doctor Gonzales is old. How old? I’m not sure, but his medical license is written on dried leather so I would imagine that he’s pretty old. He’s a nice man though, a rarity as old people, in my experience, are usually not, and genuinely loves children. I think it hurt his feelings when Dori screamed her little head off every time he came near her. Poor Doctor Gonzales just backed away with a look that said, “She knows! She knows what I did!”
Well, I don’t want my kids to be jerks. I’d rather them save that for when they are actually teenagers and I expect it from them. So, for the last few weeks leading up to her appointment with Doctor Gonzales, I coached Dori. Telling her that Gonzales isn’t going to hurt her, that he’s a nice man, and that it hurt his feelings when she shrieked at the very idea of him being in the same room with her. I’m not sure exactly how a toddler’s mind works, but she seemed to understand.
“Are you going to be nice to Doctor Gonzales?”
Dori nodded with a frown and big scared eyes.
“Are you going to cry when you see him?”
Dori shook her head.
“That’s right, you’re just going to show him your belly and let him look at your boo boo.”
“Mah boo boo!” Dori bubbled happily, lifting up her shirt to show me the almost-healed incision on her tummy I have already seen eight times during our little talk.
“Just like that,” I said, “You show him your boo boo and he’ll be happy and go away. If he doesn’t, then just tell him that you’re going to cut him up like he cut you up!”
A few hours later, we’re in the examination room. There’s a picture of Abraham Lincoln on the wall – a before and after picture. Seems that Gonzales removed his mole. This guy is old!
Dori is wandering around, doing little toddler things… breaking stuff and the like when Doctor Gonzales opens the door. Dori looks at him, that look of sheer terror washing over her fat little face, and then instantly she yanked her shirt up and put it over her head — showing the doctor her belly and hiding her face at the same time. Smart little toot.
Doctor Gonzales was very surprised and smiled one of those very cute old-men smiles. “Oh, the incision is looking good,” he says in a voice barely above a whisper. “May I feel of it, little one?”
Dori throws down her shirt and screams, “Don’ touch me! I cut you!”
She can’t remember “don’t dig in the trash for food.” She can’t remember, “Don’t hit the dog.” She can’t remember “poop in the toilet and not in your pants,” but she remembers a joke I made weeks ago?
I swear this kid is trying to kill me slowly. She won’t do it all at once because she’d get caught.