It started as a good day. I didn’t have to pray for help in church while the toddler ran off and the boys started fighting through their toys. (When I do pray for help, I feel a bemused smile looking down on me, and then I add in my prayer, “That’s not helping!”) Instead I held on to the toddler, and the boys were separated and couldn’t fight through their toys, so there were donuts for all.
When we got home, we tackled the To Do list. More like, I made them do their chores as I did mine. I got half done when I got a phone call from a friend, which killed my only time to do chores. But it was well worth it. But while the cat’s away the mice will play, and I came running down the stairs, yelling for boys to get their shoes, to find they had trashed the family room. Ah, crap. But no time for that now.
I rushed them to my parents house where my dad had two pizzas waiting for us. Two Costco size pizzas for the boys, my dad, The Friendly Giant, and me. I turned to my dad and raised an eyebrow. “With your mom and I out-of-town this week, I figured you can take whatever is left of the pepperoni and your brother can take whatever is left of the meat pizza.” My father sneaking in providing for his children wherever he can. After the boys ate, my dad produced a Costco size box of Ding Dongs. When the cat’s away, the mice will play. No nagging wife meant my dad could buy whatever treats he wanted for his grandsons at Costco.
I put Tornado A down for his nap and kissed my dad goodbye. I rushed the boys out to the car for the party; while, The Friendly Giant rushed out to his car to go to work. The party was fantastic. Children running around everywhere, being loud and having fun. Of course the socializing with all my friends was the best part. Until a friend mentioned she was getting a divorce, and I stayed two hours longer to listen and console. I also told her parts of my own divorce that I was keeping secret. Every time I trust someone else, I feel a little better. I left with several promises to stay in touch. “Trust me. I’m up all the time.” (She smiled.) “If you happen to catch me sleeping, just give me a few minutes to wake up, and I’ll be right with you.” She laughed and hugged me, promising me she believed me.
We made it to my parents’ house just before the storm. I had sacrificed my swim time. After making sure I wasn’t going to leave him again, Tornado A decided he was ready to leave and led me out to the car. While I was explaining to him that we weren’t leaving, the girl across the street came home and saw us. She squealed and ran over and threw her arms around me. May I present, my favorite babysitting charge, home from grad school in Hawaii. As the storm beat down upon us we caught up quickly. Somewhere the mention of how young my family had children came up. “Well, my mom was 23. Her mom was like 22. My dad’s mom was 18.” “Wait. How old were you?” “I was 25.” “TWENTY-FIVE! But I’m TWENTY-FIVE! That’s so YOUNG!” I did the math in my head. If I’m not thinking, I just assume I just grad . . .uated. . . um. Right. Anyways. Before we can discuss my youth and my lack of life experience to hers, the storm opened up with fat drops of rain and sizzling lightening over head. We agreed to talk soon and ran off to our own parents’ houses.
I relished the storm as I helped my dad prepare dinner. We dined on hamburgers. (And I heart hamburgers.) My dad tried to send me home with a half-dozen burgers, and I pointed out he was already sending me home with half a pizza. We watched Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. My dad got a kick out of the whole thing, and I heart Buck.
The Friendly Giant came in, and I realized it was time to get home. I had meant to get us home early for baths (because we’re swimming every day, so baths just haven’t happened) and clean the house. But tomorrow would be soon enough. I buckled Tornado A in. The Friendly Giant pointed up at a rainbow, and the older boys moved towards him to see it.
Which meant Tornado S fell over the concrete edger that surrounded the tree in the front yard.
When he tripped, his head hit the other side of the edged circle.
I wasn’t sure he hit it at first, since he curled around the tree in fetus position. But the Friendly Giant heard it. He told me to look.
Tornado S lifted his head. He was screaming. Blood was running down the left size of his face. Um. Crap. I helped him up and looked over at my dad for help. He was a cop after all. He told me to get Tornado S into the house. I walked Tornado S in, calling over my shoulder to the Friendly Giant to watch Tornado A and Tornado E.
In the light of the bathroom, my dad and I examined the wound that gaped. “Well?” “To tell you the truth, sweetheart, I don’t know.” Which always means get him to a doctor to make sure. My head spun trying to analyze the problem at hand and all the solutions needed to make it through. I froze. “Fae, leave the other boys here, and take Tornado S.”
I nodded and walked Tornado S out to the car, wiping blood off of his face. I unbuckled Tornado A and handed him over to my dad. I gave the diaper bag to the Friendly Giant and buckled Tornado S in. Off we went. We didn’t have any books or his favorite toys or his blankie. Sunday night at the emergency room was going to be fun.
To my surprise the emergency room waiting room held only one family. Sure it was the children’s emergency room, but I was always under the impression children got sick at the worst times, which usually was Sunday night. I was surprised how quickly the triage nurse came and dealt with the situation.
But by this time, Tornado S had the shakes. He wouldn’t talk to anyone and just huddled next to me. I pulled out my phone, wishing I could use it to save myself. Instead I turned on the light saber app and handed it to Tornado S. Within minutes, my Tornado S was back.
The longest wait was to allow the numbing gel to work, which took 30 minutes. In that time, I met the nurse, the doctor, and a tech, who cleaned the wound. Tornado S was very worried about that part. But the tech waited for him to calm down and talked to Tornado S the whole time. When it came to the stitches, the doctor had me sit where Tornado S could see me and hold my hand but couldn’t see what the doctor was doing. The doctor talked to Tornado S, and I told Tornado S stories. We were out of there in less than two hours. Much better than the ball in the ear. Much better than when Tornado S was a toddler and got stitches in his lip.
“Now, he can’t go swimming or get his head wet until the stitches are out,” said the doctor on his way out.
I looked down at Tornado S. “Oh, I get it. This was an elaborate scheme to get out of swim lessons.”
Tornado S smiled and slipped his hand in mine. We started out to the parking lot to go and retrieve his brothers and get everyone to bed but me.
When was the last time I washed his hair?