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Free Medical Care Here

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.”

“What? How?”

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.

Posted by Chris @ 8:07 am  

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  1. momteacherfriend says:

    I laughed SO HARD. He actually drilled his own fingernail.

    Life with a boy!

  2. CooksonMom says:

    Who needs macrame plant holders anyway? TRUE life skills are relative!! What a great story!

  3. Meg says:

    HOLY CRAP! That was easily the best thing I’ve heard today….

  4. Jody says:

    Oh…..my….God. That kid is tough!

  5. Heather says:

    Oh my word — that is funny — although I may have done the same thing myself (heck - my DH would have done it for him!)

  6. Katie says:

    I’d think about hiding all power tools if I were you. OMG, kids are so crazy. But I’d be glad to have avoided a trip to the ER/doctor’s too. hehe

  7. novaks8 says:


    It is not just boys you know?

    My 7 year old had a massive splinter that became this whole big blood blister on her heel.

    It was bad.

    But do you think she wears shoes out back?


    I hope his nail heals soon.
    Goodness knows we can’t miss baseball~!

  8. Sherri Wilkerson says:

    I bet you didn’t even bother to check to see how clean the drill bits were? For sure my boys wouldn’t either. How sweet of him to think of saving y’all’s money that way!

  9. HG says:

    I’m crying with laughter. That is awesome. Scary, but awesome.

  10. maria says:

    As the mom of only 2 boys and 1 little girl desparately trying to keep up - I am laughing so hard - they are a foreign species - I just don’t get it -

  11. Heth says:

    Boys are awesome. There’s never a dull moment is there?

    He is one tough cookie.

  12. Jeana says:

    Hey, I wouldn’t worry about all that grey matter–I think they use a drill for brain surgery too, so he should be able to handle it. You got a mirror, right?

  13. Cheerio's on my butt? says:

    That was a great blog! I cannot believe he took a drill to his hand! Sounds like something my husband would do. As for my four sons, we have yet to step into that territory, but it’s approach is looming….thanks for the reminder! But, hey! Don’t you love how males tend to simplify life? That is what I love about having boys! They don’t get all emotional and have to display their feelings in a special way by using the right words and tone of voice….They just body slam you and get it over with! :)

  14. Darren says:

    Holy mother of God!

    But, um, that’s also really awesome.

  15. Mel says:

    My boys all wave sticks around in the backyard ALL THE TIME now that spring is here. Sometimes the neighbor boys join in and there are nine boys with sticks, having sword fights.


  16. owlhaven says:

    Very funny!

    Mary, mom to many, including 4 body-slamming type people

  17. InterstellarLass says:

    HE DRILLED HIS OWN FINGERNAIL! Holy crap…you might be raising a masochist. Still, he saved you the $100 ER co-pay…maybe you should buy him some toys so he doesn’t have to play with sticks anymore.

  18. Xangelle says:

    YOUCH! That is so gross and way too close to home. Good chance he’ll make it to adulthood, though. I come from a family of five kids, and we all made it alive, and this was exactly what our house was like…..we don’t need no stinkin’ doctors, we can SO handle this by ourselves. As they get older, you’ll be known as the cool mom. Is there some comfort in knowing that????

  19. Anonymous says:

    Ha ha ha!! I have just one son who is about to turn 21, but he too has inflicted great pain on himself to avoid trips to the doctor.

    Since taking a drill to a finger sounds dangerous, teach your boys this, for future reference: light a candle, and bend a metal paperclip straight. Heat the tip of the paperclip over the flame. The paperclip will burn through the nail. It will be sterile from the flame, the pressure will be relieved, and the potential damage is much less than with a drill!

    Mary, mother of one

  20. blackbird says:

    …feeling a wee bit faint.

    what a kid.
    what a story.

  21. Susan says:

    This is my first visit. Though, I almost threw up, I was laughing through it. :) I will be back for more!

    Susan - New Visitor

  22. The Green Family says:

    Oh my goodness!! What a kid!
    Life with boys….it’s NEVER dull!

  23. Jennifer says:

    That was the funniest post I have read in a LONG time! I was laughing out loud for about five minutes.

    That kid has guts.

  24. Claudia says:

    Very funny. He is a cool kid…

  25. Ali says:

    oh my goodness…i was terrified of having boys. now i know why.

    my 3 year ols is just now starting to show the signs of really being a boy…and now you’re saying it gets worse??!!! yikes!

  26. Carmen says:

    OMG, Chris, I just finished eating. Now I feel like I’m going to get sick.

    But it totally sounds like something my boys would do…..

  27. deputyswife says:

    As I read this my youngest is sitting at the kitchen table eating his lunch with a stick.

    I think I better go take it away from him…

  28. B.E.C.K. says:

    OMG!! I’m sooo grossed out, but laughing! (Also, I have a boy, and now I’m scared. And should I even ask about infection?) Phew. This story kills me! :-)

  29. momofalltrades says:

    You just brought back the sweetest memory about my M. I’m gonna blog it cause it needs to be preserved for posterity. I’m sooooo impressed he did it himself, as you will see, our story had the same effect, but we got there a different route! Your story makes your kid sound all tough and cool, my story makes us sound like child abusers! LOL

  30. HolyMama! says:

    i have 3 boys. i am HORRIFIED at what lies ahead, after reading that post.

  31. nrp says:

    Bumper scooters?!!! Can I come over to play? I grew up with 3 brothers–all of us guilty of practicing medicine without a license. Such as the time one of us broke an arm while we were out sledding and we just had him pack it in snow until we were all ready to go home. My mother was appalled–as was the doctor–but, eh.

    And yes, a red-hot paper clip works very well for a blood blister under a nail. Plus, you get to play with fire.

  32. momofalltrades says:


    I put up our story. Thanks so much for a great post! You make me laugh almost every single day.


  33. Melissa says:

    Oh my god, that reminds me so much of my brothers. They are identical twins, so everything was a competition. So freaking funny, you not wanting to know the whole story. Makes me glad for girls sometimes.

  34. Anonymous says:

    I second the paper clip trick. I smashed my finger in a car door once (broke it and blackened the nail) and that is exactly what the doctor charged me a fortune to do — heat a paperclip over a bunsen burner and poke my nail with it. If only I knew that trick before I went to the doctor ;-)

  35. Lisa says:

    A warning about the paper clip. Ds heard of it and did it to himself but ONLY after burning his hand not thinking he would need a glove to hold the hot paper clip after holding it in the contraband candle. His finger felt better but he had a blister on the other hand, lol! Boys are different from us. I used to think it was nurture but it’s not!

  36. Stephanie says:

    Talk about pain tolerance! You have some tough guys there!

  37. Mom2the5rs says:

    Chris, the utter joy I receive each day from your blog is so delicious, it has to be 1) high in calories and bad for my weight loss plan or 2) illegal or 3) a miracle from Heaven or 4) one of the best parts of my day.

    I wish I could give you some award. Please keep on writing stuff like this! Absolutly love you.


  38. itybtyfrog says:

    Great post!! That is so insane!! I am so grateful for my little girls…not as adventureous by any means.

  39. charlotte says:

    that was such a GREAT story…totally made my day!! Keep it up!!

  40. Jen says:

    My sisters and I were very accident prone, and quite tomboyish. Between us and our clutz of a father, my mother was constantly sitting in the ER with one of us. The ER nurses knew us all by name. They joked about making “reservations” for our next visit. Just to give you an idea, by the time I was ten, I had successfully put TWO holes in my sisters head.

  41. vanessa says:

    you know that shuddering sound they make on the simpsons? i’m making it now… but i’m also laughing… loved that post…

  42. maybaby says:

    Oh. My. Yes, this post actually describes my whole family. I’ve drilled my fingernails to relieve blood pressure under the nail.

    And just a few days ago, I watched my 14 yo son throw a stick up in the air…and stand under it, watching it come down and bonk him on the head.

    It’s amazing what kids can do to themselves and sometimes it is a wonder that they bump, bruise, and break themselves into adulthood. Or, like my husband, they continue to have interesting injuries that require careful medical care and ER visits with doctors who, experienced though they are, still gape with awe at the story that comes with the injury.

    Good thing I have a strong stomach and a high panic threshold. Sounds like you’ve had to develop the same skill set!

  43. Miss Peach says:

    This is why I love boys and seem to want only boys. They just seem so self sufficient. I have to admit though that your having to peer into pockets is making me rethink it all!!

  44. Sheryl says:

    What a guy, I’m totally impressed! I like having girls, but could do with a little more bravery and less whining where injusries are concerned.

  45. The Daring One says:

    Maybe you should stop giving him “previews” of medical procedures. Youch! Magoo is so bound for that path. Very manly are these men.

  46. wendy says:

    That is one of THE best stories I have heard in a long time! :-)

  47. meredith says:

    I am still laughing, that is so funny! I am a mom to two “delicate” girls, they would NEVER drill their own finger, body slams maybe…

  48. Carrien says:

    I laughed all the way through, and then realized that I too have become accustomed to boyness. My husband is the oldest of 8 children, 1 of six boys also. I have sat through more high testosterone how badly can we hurt each other, hey you’re bleeding, cool!, nice scar, I’m okay, I hurt myself but I’m okay. (That one said by the youngest the first day I met the family after running into a wall. He was 4.) “Hey we don’t need to go to an emergency room we can just tape that deep gash above her, my 2 year old daughter’s, eye.” I let them do it and she healed just fine, tiny scar and exactly what they probably would have done in the ER I found out later.

    What I love about the boys though is that even if they never sing Kumbaya they bend over backwards to entertain and take care of my kids, and they are so gentle and patient with them. I’m glad I have a boy, and that he get’s to learn from these guys how to be a man.

  49. D says:

    Can we give this woman some kind of award? I mean, you know I have TWO boys and have nightmares about having more, in fact when I was pregnant with number two (nice name) I dreamt I was having another boy and my brain so blanced at the idea that someone had to immediately rush into my dream and say “JOKE JOKE - JUST KIDDING - THIS IS SOMEONE ELSE’S KID” and this poor darling has to do it with SIX. There has to be a medal for that?

  50. moe says:

    From here in the land of universal health-care (free) and extremely long wait times. I’d be taking that kid to the doctor. If there’s nothing wrong with his finger he should still have his head examined. DRILL HIS OWN FINGER??? Ack. Laughing he… he… I only have 2 boys… soft sensetive ones. It’s my 3 girls I have to worry about!

  51. Denise says:

    You’ve got to be kidding! What a brave boy!!! :)

  52. Cheerio's on my butt? says:

    Hi again! I tagged you for the six weird things about yourself meme, which you’ve probably already been tagged a million times but, hey, had to try to drag you over to my site didn’t I?

  53. Shelly says:

    Sorry, but being the mom of 4 boys, I laughed SO HARD! Sounds like he needs to be at our home. DH said he was cool!

    Life with boys is an adventure every single second they are awake!


  54. Ms. Mamma says:

    Wow. I mean what more can you say to that. I seriously think he should consider opening up a neighborhood lemonade/medical care stand and put all funds towards his future education. Make sure you have little forms so the kids can just initial and or check a box releasing him of all liability. Amazing what we can do to ourselves.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Just gotta say, btdt. I have 3 boys and 3 girls, and am NEVER surprised by injury or solution to injury. Dh put a nail THROUGH his finger and pulled it out himself. My boys have done similar things.

  56. Silly Older Bear says:

    Laughing, laughing all the way. Awesome.

  57. Hula Doula says:

    Thank you for crashing the hope that some day my son will be out of this gettingintoeverythingsolvinghisownissuesmrindependentwrecklesscraziness. AND YOU HAVE 6 CHILDREN! I would be committed to a nut house. TRULY!
    Hats off to you for holding it together!

  58. Eli's Mom says:

    BOys - you gotta love ‘em! Great story!!

  59. KaraMia says:

    Holey Toledo! All I can think of is secondary infection…gangrene….finger falling off…argh! (leaving to go wrap my ten yr old boy in cotton)

  60. lackrik says:

    OH.MY.GOSH! (bwworg)

    that’s just nastiness! lol Good times to look forward to I gues. ;)

  61. Mary Tsao says:

    Okay. That brings my own horror of “I do myself” to a whole new level.

    If I were you, my hair would be all grey!

  62. Lianna says:

    Wow, what a tough kid. I’d be a weenie and just go to the ER. haha

  63. cmhl says:

    what a BOY!!!!!!! he rocks!!!!

  64. Laura says:

    “Hopefully with most of their precious brain cells intact”…Lordy, I hope so, too, because it doesn’t sound like they have too many to spare. (His OWN THUMB???)

  65. Kira says:

    Wow. I have three boys and…does this make me crazy?…this post makes me want more.

  66. Kristina P (newmommy4god) says:

    This was so cute, well you know what I mean. I have a little boy 8 months (almost) This is what I have to look forward too!

    I got to your blog from Cheerios blog, and got to Cheerios from Faithful Mommy’s blog.

  67. Mamacita says:

    I think I adore you. Will you be my bestest friend? I’m putting you on my blogroll immediately and punishing myself for not knowing about you sooner.

  68. Maddy says:

    OMG what a kid!

  69. thatgirl says:

    Oh my good god in heaven. That’ll teach you to be specific! :)

  70. kfk says:

    Now, THAT is a great story! I wish I was the mom of more boys, they sound like so much fun in numbers. I have 3 girls and only one boy. I could trade you shriveled, slimy flowers in the pockets for your grotesque finds.

  71. Merv says:

    The boy in thois house , when he was (i think around 10), fell 5 ft. out of a tree face-first onto a rock. Blood. Everywhere. He got a broken nose and we rushed to the ER. They didnt fix it. it is still broken. end of story.

  72. Stephanie says:

    I laughed so much reading this post, I thought I was going to pass out! The thought of him drilling is finger nail instead of getting a shot is just hysterical!
    This is my first time here, Great Post!

  73. power scooters says:

    power scooters…

    I found it very useful. Thanks for the knowledge. I am personally trying to follow the advice & try to be independent….