I make it halfway down the car when I see a young man, probably college-age, knocking on the door of the bathroom, which then opens a crack. I hear Lizzie shout, “I’m working! I need pri-privatecy!” and then the door slams shut.
Oh, my. “Working?” I’m afraid to guess what she might be up to. I walk the rest of the way down the aisle. “I’m sorry. That’s my daughter, I’ll get her,” I tell the man. I knock on the door myself, and it opens just a crack again. I put my foot in to hold it open. “Lizzie? What are you doing?”
“I’m almost done, Mommy!” I can see the little boy in there; at a glance he looks unharmed. Nothing’s wrong. I decide, somewhat reluctantly, to let Lizzie finish whatever she’s doing; I take my foot out of the door and let her close it again. Two minutes go by, and it finally opens. Lizzie comes out, leading the little boy by his right arm. His left arm is wrapped in toilet paper. I have to look twice to see that the toilet paper is held on by several Mickey Mouse stickers.
I follow her as she heads back to our seats. Lizzie stops at the mother’s seat, where she’s finally noticed that her son is missing. Lizzie grabs the wrapped left arm and holds it up to the woman. “Billy hurt himself. I’m making him all better. I’m all done except I need an inna-veeney. I bet my Mommy has one, and then he’ll be all better.” Lizzie is absolutely beaming with pride.
The mother is horrified. Helen has come over, and she’s equally appalled. We all notice at the same moment spots of blood on the boy’s white shirt, and soaked through the toilet paper. Lizzie is unfazed by all the attention. “My Mommy is a doctor, and she makes people all better. I watch her so I know what to do. I’m a doctor too!”
“Lizzie, what did you do?” I’m the only adult who’s not ready to scream her head off.
“Billy hurt himself. The train made a big bounce and he got a cut,” she points at his left arm.
“Right there,” Billy agrees, gesturing to the sharp-edged tray, unfolded from the back of the seat in front of where they’d been sitting.
“I know what to do, ‘cause I watch Mommy do it,” she repeats to the boy’s mother. “We went to the potty, and I told Billy not to cry ‘cause I was gonna make him all better so he shouldn’t cry,” Lizzie explains. “I closed the door ‘cause of privatecy, just like at the hospital ‘cause it’s private when you go to the doctor. Then I washed my hands, and I used soap ‘cause Mommy says that’s what you do when you’re a doctor.”
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