Free Medical Care Here
April 18, 2006
I am the mother of six sons.
It occurred to me this past weekend that I have become so accustom to their boyness (yes, that is a word, shut up) that the things they do don’t even phase me (much) anymore.
For instance, washing shoe marks off of the wall at about the five foot high mark where they tried to run up the wall and do back flips.
or, the fact that they can not walk by one another without engaging in a full body slam
or, the fact that I am afraid to stick my hands into their jeans pockets after having touched slimy disgusting things once too many and now open the pocket wide and peer inside first.
Gone are the days when I still harbored illusions of them sitting in a circle singing songs, expressing their love for each other with their words, and not making burps or farts purely for their comedic value.
On Friday my 10 yr old was out in the yard playing with sticks. (no, he has no real toys at all and is forced to make his own playthings from debris he finds lying around the yard. His is a hard, hard life.) Anyway, my repeated warnings about getting hurt went ignored, which is not unusual, but I feel that I should point it out lest anyone thinks I encourage this behavior.
He came running inside, clutching his hand close to his body, in tears. It seems he had somehow smacked his own hand with the stick. The details are sketchy, which means I am probably not privy to the whole story, and frankly at this stage in the mothering gig, I’m sure I don’t want the whole story.
When I finally got him to show me his hand, with the promise that I wouldn’t touch it, his thumb nail was already turning black.
“Whoa, that looks like it hurts.”
“Yeah, it does. How am I going to play baseball? It hurts too much to put into my glove.”
“I don’t know. I hate to say this, but that is going to hurt for quite awhile.”
His fingernail continued to turn black and swell up. That night at baseball practice he couldn’t even catch a ball since it hurt too much to wear his glove. He pitched with no glove on and kept his left arm cradled at his side. He was SO bummed out and looked so pitiful.
The next morning I looked at his thumb and it looked awful. The blood blister under the nail was huge and lifting the nail up from the nail bed and the entire thumb was swollen. (Are you feeling queasy yet?)
“Do you think I should bring you to the emergency room? They could use their tiny little drill and relieve the pressure on you nail? We maybe should have your thumb x-rayed also. What do you think?” I asked.
“No. I don’t want to go. The doctors always make things hurt worse. My thumb isn’t broken.”
“Well, but it would feel better in the long run.”
“How would they do it?”
I explained how they would use the tiny little drill to go through the nail, the blood would be able to escape, and the pressure would be relieved. Blah blah blah. He’d be able to play baseball.
I then went upstairs to get dressed and left him to think about it.
I came down the stairs. “What?”
“My finger is all better now. I fixed it myself.”
I came downstairs to inspect his finger and he told me the rest of the story.
He had gone and gotten Rob’s set of tiny drill bits and drilled though his own fingernail. The blood had spurted out and was, by all accounts, very cool. And most importantly his finger didn’t hurt anymore. He said he knew that if I brought him to the ER that they would insist on giving him some sort of shot for the pain and he didn’t want that. Ah yes, a shot of lidocaine would be much, much more frightening than having a drill taken to your fingernail.
And yet again I realized that he is exactly like his father, in ways I never imagined could be inheritable. Rob who refuses novacaine even when having a root canal. Rob who when he was about the same age as my son, got shot by a bb gun toting neighbor and rather than go to the ER, performed surgery on himself to remove the bb.
Anyway, his finger felt better. We had saved the time and expense of a trip to the emergency room. It was a win-win situation all around.
Maybe we will have a doctor in the family, or at least one who plays doctor. An entire new world of self care has opened up before us. Who needs that pesky medical license and schooling.
I’d love to wrap this post up by writing how he had learned his lesson and how all of his brothers have learned their lesson as well. And how no one is running around the yard playing with sticks. And how the rough play has come to an end. And how they are singing Kumbaya in five part harmony and making macrame plant holders for the elderly.
But the truth of the matter is that the very next day, in a game that has since been called bumper scooters, this same 10 yr old purposefully crashed into his brother, went flying through the air, and ended up with road burn all over his back. He did learn a valuable lesson about Newton’s Second law though, so it wasn’t all for naught.
As for me, I am just thankful for the grey covering properties of hair dye, and hoping that my sons all make it to adulthood, hopefully with most of their precious brain cells intact, though that might be wishful thinking.
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