We’re thrilled to welcome Marissa Jaret Winokur back to our celebrity blogging family!
For her second blog back, Winokur writes about her and husband Judah Miller‘s summer of days at the beach, circus — and doctor — with their son.
At Santa Monica Pier – Courtesy Marissa Jaret Winokur
While trying to come up with fun stuff to do this summer with Zev, I thought of my favorite things to do as a kid.
You would think with me living in Los Angeles I would go to the beach all the time, but we don’t. It’s the same as visiting the Statue of Liberty. If you don’t live in N.Y.C., it’s the first stop on your family vacation, but if you live there you only go if you have relatives visiting from out of town!
The last time I went to the Santa Monica “Tourist Trap” Pier was when my niece and nephew visited before Zev was born. So I recently packed up the car, determined to do the beach and the pier! And by packing the car, I mean filled it to the brim with food, so we didn’t have to pay $7 for a hot dog — but we always do, don’t we?!
We got to the pier and there were so many people you couldn’t actually see the ground! It was early, so we decided to hit the beach first. Of course, we had sand in our underwear and shoes all day, but the beach was amazing!
Zev was a typical kid. He ran to the ocean to get water for wet sand and ran into the water, then ran out just in time for the wave to crash! HE’S A GENIUS!
Beach day! – Courtesy Marissa Jaret Winokur
We then took our sandy bodies up to the pier and were totally suckered into buying the wristbands so we could do “ALL RIDES,” but were smart enough to get one adult and one child. Judah got to sit it out — and so did I! Zev decided he was big enough to go on rides by himself. At first, I was delighted. I mean, who wants to go on a ride that looks like it’s 200 years old and should have a weight limit?
Wouldn’t that be amazing, by the way? You know how amusement parks have a height requirement you have to measure up to? What if there was a scale? I WOULD NEVER GO TO A PARK AGAIN … I bet the parks would be empty!!!
Finally, I begged him to let me ride with him and it was amazing! I held his little hand and knew he was still my baby.
He then found the only ride that was not covered in the “all rides” wristband — a trampoline that you were hooked up to and could do flips on. He had to do it! He was so good at it and loved it.
Trying the trampoline – Courtesy Marissa Jaret Winokur
Then he wanted to do the trapeze! Yes, there is a trapeze school on the Santa Monica Pier. Thank God there was an age limit or Zev would have been at the top of the trapeze in 30 seconds. We started talking about the circus and my one-of-a-kind kid said, “I want to be in a circus.” I am like, ‘Wow do kids really say that?’ Mine did!
So this led to our next summer activity — going to the circus! Again, this is something I remember doing as a kid but NEVER as an adult. Zev’s babysitter went to pick him up from camp while I packed the car. When she walked back in the house, I heard her say, “Go show Mommy.”
Zev came running into my room saying he bit his lip. I looked quickly and said, “Go get an ice pop. We’ve got to get going.” I had four kids and three adults waiting to go to the circus — Zev was fine.
As we got in the car, one of his friends said, “Eww gross Zevie!” I gave her the death stare — because NOTHING my son does is gross — and then I saw the gaping wound in Zev’s mouth! He didn’t just bite his lip — he bit part of it off!
I felt my face get red and I jumped out of the car trying not to scare Zev or the other kids. I calmly asked my friend to look and she said, “We have to go to the doctor.”
Really?! Mouths heal. We have a full minivan of people waiting to go to the circus. Zev said he felt fine and it didn’t hurt. My friend said, “I bet he needs stitches.” So, I decided to take my circus car to the doctor.
The doctor confirmed Zev did need stitches, but said we needed a surgeon. Zev, for the first time, got upset. The surgeon took one look at him and said, “You need a plastic surgeon.”
At that point, Zev wiped his mouth on his shoulder and we all noticed his red Spiderman shirt was a darker shade of red than it started. The shirt was saturated in blood — but because it was red, no one noticed!
Zev finally told me that he fell at camp getting into the sandbox. It didn’t hurt, so he didn’t tell anyone! This was the craziest part to me. If Zev bumps his head on his pillow, he cries for ice and a Band-Aid, but when he’s really hurt, he doesn’t tell a soul!!
Zev’s lip the next morning – Courtesy Marissa Jaret Winokur
The plastic surgeon came in and had a very grown-up talk with Zev about the stitches and the shot and what everything meant. Zev listened carefully and calmly, and closed his eyes as directed.
I did okay, too — until I saw the shot. My husband took his jacket off and started sweating and I rubbed Zev’s head gently. My little boy was so brave!
In the end, Zev got 19 stitches. He cried a little, but when the doctor asked if it hurt he said honestly, “No, I’m just scared.” I couldn’t believe how calm he was.
It was the first time I really saw that he was his own little person. He wasn’t a baby. I felt like I was seeing him as a teenager. He asked for me to hold his hand — but then also asked when he could chew gum again!
When the stitches were over, Judah and I took him straight for ice cream. If a toy store had been open I would have bought him ANYTHING!!! He handled it all so well.
The next morning Zev woke up with a fat lip. It hurt me more than it hurt him. Two days later, we finally made it to the circus! Because he couldn’t have solid foods, Zev was happy eating $12 cotton candy and $10 snow cones.
I didn’t bother packing the car that day — I knew it was a waste of time.
–– Marissa Jaret Winokur