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Marissa Jaret Winokur’s Blog: Zev’s Summer Stitches

08/13/2012 at 06:00 PM ET

We’re thrilled to welcome Marissa Jaret Winokur back to our celebrity blogging family!

As you may recall, the Tony-winning actress, 39, beat cervical cancer 11 years ago, underwent a hysterectomy and later welcomed a baby boy with the help of a surrogate.

Her son, Zev Isaac, is now 4 and Winokur is back on the small screen, starring on TV Land’s Retired at 35, airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

She can be found on Facebook and on Twitter @MarissaJWinokur.

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.

I grew up in Bedford, N.Y., and it was close enough to Jones Beach on Long Island that every summer my mother would pack the car for the day and we would drive to the beach!

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!!!

Anyway, at first I was sooooo happy to not go on the rides, but then became heartbroken. Zev was totally growing up. He wanted to be a big boy and he was.

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.

By this time, Judah had left work and joined me because honestly, I can’t handle my baby getting stitches alone.

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

More from Marissa’s PEOPLE.com blog series:

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Showing 64 comments

Jj on

You and Zev are brave. He is adorable. I flinched and teared up when I saw the pic. I hope he heals completely.

levie on

Great job Zev. You’re a trooper.

Elise on

I’m glad he’s ok, but you shouldn’t be patronizing the circus. Please do some research on how the animals are beaten and abused for your “entertainment.”

jenny on

That last pic made me tear up!!!

You are a brave little boy Zev!!!!

Bleedblue1945 on

Way to go, Zev! Brave little man!

Puckersbabe on

Yikes! That looks painful! Glad he’s feeling better! What a little man you are! =) You’re a brave mom!

Jacksgran on

Poor Boy. So sweet. He’ll be fine:)

Arlene on

I totally cried reading on Zev being such a brave boy! Kudos to you! You can tell you’re a great mom

denise on

Oh poor Zev. Feel better buddy.

meghan on

@Me, there are circuses that don’t use animal acts. Just people doing acrobatics, skits and tricks. I knew there was going to be a whiner in the bunch.

I busted my lip at two. My mother always tells me that I handled it better then she did. :)

ASecret on

You are so funny! I have to ask, what character is on his black beach day shirt? It so looks like the alligator king from Sesame Street ;)

Janice on

Oh poor baby!! I wanted to cry when I seen his lip. He’s a brave little boy and of course just Adorable!!!! Loved the pics!

tom on

cute

johnnyskateboard on

Hope he heals fast. He is such a cute little boy. You were so brave.. I would have fainted had it been my son. Your son as well is so brave.

rn on

Welcome to the Mom of a Boy World! Band Aids , gauze patches, alcohol, scraps, bruises and plenty of LOVE!

Christine on

Did you really give another child the death stare because she said your son’s lip looked gross? All children do disgusting things sometimes and look disgusting sometimes; your son is no exception. Get a grip on reality.

Mica on

I find it odd that no one noticed his swollen lip until he was bleeding on himself.

And I find it odd that no one noticed there was blood on his shirt–red shirt or not.

And he got it from just falling on the ground? Really? That’s a pretty hard fall…And for no one to notice?

Hmmmm.

PW on

@Christine, I do not have any kids and even I can tell her comment was parent humor about how every parent thinks their child is perfect. Did you not read the humor throughout the article?

Glad your son is okay. The picture of the fat lip must have hurt you every time you looked at it. I have two brothers…. I can’t remember all the boy injuries they had growing up.

Marissa Winokur on

It’s a “where’s my water” game shirt – he loves that video game!

And his mouth was not swollen until the stitches! It was a huge cut inside and he didn’t tell anyone! YES I agree, it’s odd. No one saw it happen but we grilled him and he is yet to lie to us so…

He did say a few days later he hid it “because it was so horrible no one would know what to do!” so I explained that the camp or even his teachers at school for that matter could always call me if they don’t know what to do!

CUT TO: the next day he had the camp call me because he wanted to leave early! LOL

I am glad to report he’s doing great!!!! oxoxo

Jen on

To the people who are being judgemental you holier than thou people make me sick ! DO NOT try to tell me you are so perfect that things have not happened to your children that you have missed or overlooked when things are crazy. We all make mistakes and things happen – it does not mean you are a bad parent and in my opinion if nothing has happened that you have regretted or felt bad about then you are too protective !

Do not feel bad Marissa you are a wonderful, normal MOM !! Zev is a trooper and you should be SO proud.

meghan on

@Mica, I mentioned busting my lip in a prior post. Actually, I split my bottom lip halfway down my chin, all the way through. The two sides were hanging open. Want to know what I was doing at the time? I was walking across the room with a toy in my hand and I tripped.

I can tell you with certainty that Zev could get an injury that bad just by falling on the ground. And he likely wasn’t as swollen as the picture right away. By the way, I had a plastic surgeon stitch me up too. Most people don’t even notice the scar it’s so small and straight.

lauri on

My children have lived through their father dieing suddenly 5 weeks later I almost died from a brain anuerism- now we are faced with losing our home.I say this is one very lucky little boy he probably has great health ins and 2 loving parents.

VB on

A) Noone’s claiming to be perfect. B) There’s a difference between “overlooking” small things, and not noticing your childs’ t-shirt SATURATED (her words) in blood. Come on lady.

Mica on

@Marissa

Ah I see. Hope you didn’t think I was implying you had something to do with it. That wasn’t my intent.

Glad he is on the mend!

fanofboardwalkempire on

great job Zev! you were very brave and it will heal up perfectly and you will be all brand new again!

Leslie on

Aw poor zevie! He’s a tough dude! If I even cut a finger I have to go sit down and breathe deep. I’m going to be a mom soon and know I’ll be a wreck if they ever get injured. Thank goodness my husband is calm in those moments… I’ll feel like passing out!

Kris on

Awwww, poor Zev-vers. I flinched just looking at it. Glad he’s okay & the plastic surgeon was able to zip him back up. :)

I have an almost 4-year-old dareDEVIL child, and we know it’s only a matter of time until our first major injury, too. Tick tock tick tock, that’s the sound of time clicking away the last fleeting moments of our being able to keep him safe! ;)

JEWEL on

LIVE in NY and always went to jones beach the best beach ever

Rachel on

@ Mica — as a preschool teacher I can tell you that kids get hurt all the time and there are times when you would swear from the amount of blood and tears that they are going to need an ambulance and it turns out to be absolutely nothing… other times they seem absolutely fine and really need medical assistance.

Lips and mouths in general are one of the trickiest injuries and one of (at least in my many years of experience) the most common.

First of all ansolutely YES, a child can easily trip or fall and cause major damage to the lip because little kids have really sharp teeth. I had a child in my class simply bump into the child in front of him and it caused him to bite THROUGH his lip.

Another time when I worked at a basketball camp when had a child come down on top of another child, again he bit through his lip and he left a tooth mark in the head of the second child (and it certainly wasn’t a fall from high up or at a high speed they just jumped up at the same time and collided).

In both instances there was blood EVERYWHERE. In the instance of the child biting through his lip in my classroom it swelled up about as big as marissa’s son’s within about an hour (not right away) and it didn’t need any medical attention other than ice and comfort.

Rachel on

@Mica — I apologize, I misread your original post. I do agree that it’s odd that the teacher’s/staff at the camp did not notice. We do always notice when a child has an injury with blood! I wouldn’t necessarily be concerned that they maybe weren’t aware that he needed stitches, but it would bother me if they didn’t notice at all… as teachers that’s our job!

And as teachers, if a child busts his lip in my classroom (or has any injury – more than a papercut) that bleeds, I always notify the parents shortly after it occurs just to give them a heads up and to let them be the judge of whether or not they want to come check it out and see if further medical care is needed.

Halley on

Bless your heart! That must have been so scary! I’m so glad he’s okay. What a rough day for mommy :(

Halley on

Marissa, dont feel the need to explain yourself to anyone!! Especially anonymous people on the internet. Some people just like to stir up drama…

(also, anyone who called one of my kids gross would get the side eye from me too!)

Grandmaa on

Best People Celeb Blogger Ever!

No pretention! No “let me teach you how to be as great a mom as Me”! No “im pretending to ask for advise just see if you’re dumb enough to reply”! Just a real, funny, honest mom/writer/person! Thank you Marissa.

Charli on

I received stitches several times when I was a kid and looking back it makes me really appreciate my mom and what that was like for her. Seeing his little face breaks my heart. Too precious.

Kiwi on

What a handsome, brave tough guy! I have a son that is almost four and can totally relate to realizing that “all of a sudden” he’s not your baby anymore. Oh, and I cried at the last pic…I hope he heals up soon and that this is just a cool scar to talk about when he gets older!

MRJ on

Poor Baby! and poor Mom! He was very brave!

Nancy on

What a BRAVE boy (and Momma too)! The first boo -boo is always the hardest but it’s like a new car – it DOES get easier with each successive scratch! LOL!

JessicaB on

oh god. i remember my daughter slipping in the tub and hitting her face on the soap-dish. blood everywhere. freaked me out. she was 4 at the time, 13 now. still makes me a little sick to remember that. hope your little guy heals up okay.

Jeni on

I like this article but really, nothing your son does is gross? So if he’s picking his nose, that’s fine? And you give a little 4 year old the ‘death stare’? That seems harsh.

jlb on

his lip and face look TERRIBLE!! how would you not know something was really wrong and look at it better?!

likedaughterlikemother on

First, Zev was amazing, and his parents handled it really well too. But I do disagree with this transplant\’s remarks about the Santa Monica Pier and the beaches. Most people from here go to the beaches whenever they can. It\’s a wonderful thing to do, and except for parking, free. The Santa Monica Pier is hardly a tourist trap, and most of the kids around here grew up going there quite a bit. In fact, tourists who go there usually equate it with their local amusements and fairs. Low key, easy-going, and relaxed. The merry-go-round, made famous in The String, is inexpensive and still magical.

pug_lover on

oh goodness, I’m glad he’s okay, I know how scary it must have been for you, I would be the same way…I am such the classic worry wart mommy!

Bex on

Aww poor little love! I’m glad he was so brave for you, it’s bad enough knowing that they are hurt and much worse when they are actively in pain and you can’t help. Good job Zev, and good job Mom! I especially loved the bit about the ice cream and your willingness to buy him any toy he wants- I’ve felt the same way when my little guy got hurt he and toughed it out :-) Brave little boys get goodies, that is the way of the world :-)

R C Roche on

Hey Marissa!

So glad your son came through with flying colors! The same thing happened to me, no lie, as a child. I slipped on a wet snowy tile floor and landed face first or should I say tongue first. The blood was incredible. My parents rushed me to the ER where, at that time, they didn’t do surgery on the tongue saying it would heal on its own.

The docs also called the authorities to investigate thinking I was being prodded on what to say even though my parents were not allowed to stay in the room the whole time, most of the time but not all, we were at the ER.

Anyhow, I, to this day 30 years later, have a tongue that has a little “v” in the front that freaks people out!:) Gotta love it!:) Thanks for sharing your story. Sometimes accidents are just that-accidents.

Hen on

Wow what a scary post! Sorry I think my 7 yr old is still to young for camp for exactly this reason. The couselors are VERY young adults with not enough life experience to be with (usually) a TON of preschoolers all day long. From what I’ve seen it is a “fend for yourself” type of summer activity. No way, he is too young for camp. I really cannot believe no one noticed. That is the saddest part of the story. Poor lil guy :(

Canada on

When my daughter was four, she fell off her bike and split lip and chin. The amount of blood was horrifying!!! But a couple stitches and a Popsicle or two and all was fine!

Love your blog Marissa!!! So down to earth and every parent knows exactly what you are talking about! Keep up the great work!

Sandy on

glad he’s okay! Personally I can’t go to the circus any more. Just watching the poor elephants and other animals makes me so sad. I know they are not always treated well- and do they really want to perform??? Prob not. Any how- guess as parents we feel like our kids have to see a circus performance- like we did. I’m happy taking them to a really nice zoo.

kmk on

Welcome to the world of boys…at 2 my son ran into the bathroom, slipped and split his chin open…10 stitches (luckily it was the underside so the scar isn’t visible) then at 6 he was walking in the lunch room at school and tripped over his own two feet and landed face first into one of the lunch room tables…9 stitches on his top lip….both times the hospitals gave me the 3rd degree…even with the 2nd incident being at school!

My son (who just turned 8) was a trooper the first time, i was more upset then he was but this last time he had to be restrained by drs and nurses…i think that was more traumatic then the stitches themselves. So glad your son is doing ok…he is a very handsome “young man” ;)

Anonymous on

Great blog! Love reading it, and totally get the humour in it! Some of these readers are wound up tighter than a spool of thread! Always looking to criticise!!

After two girls, I now have a boy, and everyone keeps warning me to get use to the sight of blood, because boys are always getting hurt! Hope I handle it as well as you!

Beautiful mother and son!! Those smiles light up a room!

sasha on

this was an awesome post, as always. I would be such a proud momma! He sounds like such an incredible kid. When I saw the picture of his lip I pouted, poor boy. But those things always hurt us more than they hurt them..

Can’t wait for your next blog!

Kat on

Congrats on keeping a calm head! The first time my little girl cut her lip (bit it stumbling with her new tooth), the first time I’d ever seen her really bleed, I cried hard then she did. I also bumped her head rushing her to a spot to lie her down so I could check out the damage. Mommy fail.

Emily on

jlb, it says in three places – the photo caption, the blog text, and Marissa’s comment response – that the photo is of the fat lip he woke up with the FOLLOWING morning. The day of the accident, you couldn’t see a thing – the cut was on the inside of the mouth, it wasn’t at all swollen and any blood Zev wiped was not visible because his t-shirt was red.

jessicad on

I agree with Halley, it’s sad that Marissa had to come back and defend herself just because some like to stir up drama.

Glad he’s doing better though! My daughter fell and busted her head open when she was 3, her skin was dangling open with a hole about 2 inches wide and she was gushing blood but she only cried for maybe 2 minutes, 6 staples later she was still singing and playing. I can understand how Zev’s accident would go unnoticed!

Courtney on

Have to say my kids where the same way. When they had simple boo boos they cried like it was the end of the world. When it was something more serious not a word was said. To this day my son has a crooked finger from breaking it after falling out of a tree. When he finally told me it was too late to do anything about it. And before all the critics start. My husband was away in Iraq, I had 4 children I was raising by myself and I was working. Also my son was 11. Things happen get over it.

Mica on

@Haley and @jessicad,

Part of having a public blog where you voluntarily share stories of your kid publicly with folks that aren’t your BFFs might mean that they will misinterpret what you typed and need clarification of they might flat out disagree with how you handled it and might say that.

Marissa seems smart. I’m sure she realizes that and hopefully isn’t offended when someone in the Comments section says something that she might disagree with.

If you don’t want folks commenting on something from all angles, you should just tell your girlfriends at Mommies Night and that’s that.

If you are opening yourself up to a wider global audience you have to accept that some comments might not go your way.

Janae on

I swear, the extreme lack of reading comprehension in the land of internet anonymity is astounding. Everyone is so quick to judge and shows no compassion, it’s disturbing that some of you actually exist outside of the internet.

I’m glad your baby is doing well and that he was such a brave guy as he was being stitched up. Just last week my 3.5 year old fell off the bottom step of the stairs and face planted on the tile floor and is now sporting two very loose front teeth. I’m pretty sure I’m having a harder time with his injury than my son is.

rsslp on

You are so brave Zev and mommy :-) My son did a redition of “5 Little Monkey Jumping on the Bed”…..ended up falling and smacking his head on the corner of the table. Blood was gushing and I took him to Urgent Care….he was a candidate for the “glue” versus the stitches, but still was quesy over the blood and him crying .

Connie on

Poor Zev but I know just how you feel. My son is the neighborhood Emergency King and has had 4 broken bones, 6 sets of stitches and one of the broken bones happend the day after the last cast off the other arm. Needless to say I have a dare devil of a son, who at 12, keeps us all on our toes and he just limps in and says, I think this one is bad – and off we go to the Emergency Room. Gotta love these boys. Hopefully Zev won’t be this extreme but my son is all boy and a clumsy one at that. Gotta laugh but I do remember those first stitches and Emergency Room runs!

Tee Tee on

That last picture makes me cringe! Glad Zev’s doing okay!

Elysia on

He’s still a handsome little man. I have two daughters and mouth injuries bleed A LOT. What an amazing little man you have and I’m even proud of him. Prayers for fast healing, no pain and rest for all 3 of you!!

mythreetoes on

OMG!! Son #1 got stitches in the knee last week, and it was horrible. I am glad that I am not the only Mother who goes from ER to toy store to ice cream shop!!

Diane on

Marissa, you are so funny!!! I’m glad that Zev is ok. He is a brave lil man. Mommy did pretty great herself! ;)

NoAdditives on

Oh my gosh. I can’t even handle reading it. I always think I’m cool and calm and can handle crazy situations with my kids. But the second one of them starts choking I panic inside, give my husband the big eyes and he rushes to make sure our child doesn’t die. I always feel ridiculous, like I should be able to handle it. Just today, I gave our baby steamed green beans. It wasn’t until after she was gobbling them down that I thought, “What if she chokes?!” My husband is on a long camping trip and I have all three kids to myself. Of course, I know what to do in a situation like that. But still. I’m better in the bodily excretion department, he’s better in the injury department.

fallbrookmom on

If you had bothered to read what she wrote it clearly says he did not get swollen until after the stitches.

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