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If it’s not duct tape, it’s superglue and it can fix anything

crop person holding masking tape in hand

To be honest, I didn’t have anything interesting to write about this week. I try to draft my posts a week in advance, and here we’d gotten to Wednesday with no inspiration. But then the whole story unfolded in a matter of seconds.

I was supposed to fly Thursday at 7 am to visit my parents, and bring my oldest child with me. It was Wednesday evening, 6 pm, I hadn’t packed yet, I hadn’t even started dinner. I finished a ride on the trainer, then recruited Hubs to help put the tires back onto my wheels for my race bike. They’re tubeless; so it requires a bunch of liquid sealant, at least 4 pairs of hands, and a very strong marriage.

We finished that, I thought, “shoot it’s 6 pm, I really should start dinner but I really want to shower first.” Wouldn’t you know it, at that moment I hear shrieking from the back yard. J comes running in, like a siren (not the Greek kind), holding her chin. Hubs sticks his head inside, rolls his eyes, “she hurt herself somehow.” Because he knows she’s our most dramatic child. She has literally “hurt herself” putting on socks.

Nope. Not this time. She for real life hurt herself. Big gash on chin, lots of screaming, lots of drooling (which I felt was unnecessary), and one of her hands kept floating up higher and higher. Like gravity had lost its grip on that limb. I was trying to see how bad of a gash we were working with and her hand kept floating up in front of her face. Bizarre.

Hubs comes in, “should I fire up the grill for the steaks- wait a minute what’s going on here?”

“Negative,” I said. “This one split her chin open, I’m going to put on pants and take her to urgent care.”

See, we (like most parents) have already been down this road with another child. Last year B wrecked his bike at Mach speed 1 going down our very steep driveway and blew up his chin – like ragged chunks of skin hanging off his face. So this split, while deep, was tame in comparison. B had to go to the ER, spend a huge amount of time there, see things his fragile 5 year old self shouldn’t have seen, and get stitches. I was in no mood for that route, so opted for urgent care. To be fair, to us, we tried that with B, and urgent care said it was beyond their scope to repair.

I’m not the most empathetic person, but this also makes me very good in a crisis. As a parent I’ve found it’s best for me to engage in active listening in an effort to give the illusion of empathy. There was a lot of, “wow I hear you, your chin really hurts.” And “yes, you are seeing blood drip on your lap and that is unsettling.” And my best moment of, “what I hear is that you feel I’m not taking you seriously right now because I’m laughing.” That was true, I was laughing, and I was not taking her seriously.

The reason I wasn’t taking her seriously is because she was being absurd. Here’s just a snippet of what she said, and bear in mind these were all stated between sobs, wails, and the most high pitched keening I’ve ever heard.


*snrrrrkk sniff*
J: I’m never playing outside again.
Me: That seems extreme.
J: At recess I’ll just sit on the buddy bench. Kids will say ‘why is that girl sitting on the buddy bench? Does she need a friend?’ And I’ll say, ‘NO. I’m protecting. my. chin.’


There was much crying in the car on the drive.
J: This is the WORST day of my lifeeeee.
*her rogue hand drifts upward*
Me: It is pretty bad. Stop that, put your hand down.
J: I justtt wishhhh-oh my there’s a dog!
Me: Where?
J: Right there. Let’s stop and get it. We need another dog.
Me: No. We don’t. We’re maxed out on dogs.
*pauses*
J: Okayyyyyyyy, I’m so saddddd.


*looking around the doctor’s office*
J: Are we in the stomach bug room or something?
Me: I have no idea, it’s just an exam room.
J: There’s so many buckets in here. There’s a bucket there, and one over there. So many buckets…
*trails off despondently*
J: I’d rather throw up than have my chin hurt like this.
*whips accusatory eyes in my direction*
J: You know how I hate throwing up. And now we’re in the stomach bug room.


J: How old do you think I’ll be when I die?
Me: I really have no idea.
J: *sigh* I hope it’s more than 50.


J: How old do you think Gigi will be when she dies?
Me: Again, I really have no idea. I try not to think about it.
J: *wails* What will I do without Gigi?
Me: Well the good news is you’ll see her again in heaven.
J: What if I don’t recognize her in heavennnnn?


J: How many seconds will it take for them to do the glue?
Me: Like a few, not long.
J: How many EXACTLY?


J: I need to be super comfy for the rest of my life because this is so painful. Tell Gigi to make a super comfy bed for me.


J: Will I have to miss school after Spring Break? Or do you think I’ll be better by then?
Me: Well Spring Break is next week, and it’s a week long, so I think you’ll be better.
J: Ok, but I’m never showing my classmates what my chin looks like. NEVER.


*bursts into tears afresh*
Me: What is wrong now?
J: I just remembered we never had spaghetti on Tuesday and that made me so sad.


J: I’m never playing outside again.
Me: Not even in the summer? In the pool?
J: No. If I want to play in water *sob* I’ll just sit in the bathtub. By myyyyseeeellffffff *sob*
Me: That seems awfully boring.
J: Boring, but SAFE.


Me: Hey look, your brother made you a card! Dad sent a picture. Wow, he tried to write you a note, that’s so cute.
*hysterical gasping sob*
Me: I’m so confused? Why are you sad? This is nice.
J: I KNOW. It’s so nice it’s making me cry!

I drove through DQ on the way home, to get her a post chin-trauma milkshake as is the custom in our family. I bought 3.
J: Who are the other two shakes for?
Me: The kids at home.
*wailing*
J: You’re sooooo niiiiiiiiceeee!


She wouldn’t let me take a picture of the damage but she did say I could write about it. I think the Dr was slightly impressed with my medical knowledge when we analyzed the cut and my recommendation of glue matched hers. To be honest, if it had been a different one of my kids I would have considered doing it myself at home. (To the doctors reading this and cringing, I’m sorry)

So there you have it. Chin count = 2

5 thoughts on “If it’s not duct tape, it’s superglue and it can fix anything”

  1. Most people have scars on their chin, if you look there (I have!) The last time I tried using medical superglue was on my 3 month old granddaughter’s fingertip after the nail trimmer decided to grab too much. Of course her parents have this stuff in every spare drawer. It didn’t work well, but time and pressure did. I ended up in tears with two of my fingers glued together. Baby is fine and we are still friends

    1. I thought of you during all this because I remember you telling my sister about chin injuries! I would definitely trust you with superglue and a nail trimmer on any of my kids! Glad baby stuck with you through it all!

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