Recently my husband smashed his hand while moving some materials for yet another project. It was a bloody mess and earned him top status in our home that he hasn’t seen since before our kids were born. I nursed him, urged him to go to the doctor, which he refused, and drugged him like any good nurse would do. I helped take off his shoes, made his plate at dinner, cut his meat, and at one point, even tried to help him button his pants to no avail, but that’s just because he thinks he can still wear the same size jeans that he wore when he was eighteen. He joked that I needed to help him in the bathroom, but I reminded him that I do many things one-handed while carrying a baby, so he could use the bathroom and wipe his butt one-handed just fine. I also reminded him that one day one of us would probably be disabled by accident, disease, or age for some period of time and the other would have to wipe the other’s butt, but he said no matter what, he’d send me to a nursing home for that, which I do not doubt at all. He knows I have a fear of ending up in a nursing home, completely debilitated, looked after by any number of former, disgruntled students. Nightmare, for real!
It also brought up the conversation of what would happen if our kids were ever hurt (knock on wood). It is likely to happen to the oldest because he’s just an accident waiting to happen. Most of the conversations I have with the oldest start like this:
“Get off of that before you kill yourself!”
“That’s not stable, stop climbing on it!”
“Don’t run with that!”
“That dog is going to bite your face off if you don’t stop trying to ride him like a pony!”
and last, but not least,
“I’m only screaming at you to save you from fill-in-the-next-disaster!”
One thing is for sure - if it happens when my husband is in charge, he’ll be in big trouble, but that’s because I’m a crazy mom. You become a crazy mom by imagining all the terrible things that could happen to your child when they are in the hands of someone else, especially a husband who won’t go to the doctor for a hand that obviously needed stitches and some serious cleaning.
But he gets this low key attitude about self-preservation, or even child-preservation, from his father. In the following story, the term self-preservation isn’t used because he was injured; it’s used because I’m sure his wife wanted to kill him.
My husband is one of three boys. When they were between the ages of nine and thirteen they were home getting into mischief while my father-in-law was in the milk barn and my mother-in-law was at a night class as she worked on her masters in education. The boys were probably enjoying a little freedom, making a huge mess, and decided to have a pillow fight. The pillow fight must have gotten pretty rough because the oldest was somehow pushed into a window, which broke, and it cut him pretty badly under his arm. A large chunk of skin was dangling from his arm and blood was getting on everything. They raced to the milk barn to get their dad. He took one look and said, “Ahhh, it’s okay. Let me finish up milking and we’ll go to the doctor.”
Any mom would have dumped out a half completed dinner, worn a robe to the emergency room right out of the bath, or possibly even left on kitchen appliances to arrive home to a house burned to the ground. Not dad though. Dads keep their cool (what most moms call being a heartless monster).
The story gets worse. Remember, their mom was not home, so they wait an hour for their dad to finish milking. Then they pile in the car and head to the doctor.
My mother-in-law arrived home a while later. It seemed quiet even as she was getting out of the car. No sounds from the house or the milk barn. As she entered the house calling for anyone, she gets no reply. The house is in shambles, but three boys were left alone in it, so that’s not unlikely. I can just picture her now, setting down her heavy bag of work from teaching and homework from class, just wanting to sit down and take a break, then her eyes see it. Narrowing on the spot, she follows a trail of blood as the spots become more and more apparent. Now she’s on her hands and knees, following it to the door, then nothing. She scrambles around the house. What’s going on? A million things are running through her mind. The one thing she’s looking for that could ease her mind is not there.
NO ONE LEFT HER A NOTE!!!
As a mom, I now know what could have been running through her head.
It’s the kind of funny story they tell at family dinners. At the expense of their mother. I’m sure she lost a few years of life from this event. I hope you enjoy that chuckle over her blackberry cobbler next time. I would have whooped your a#%.
Because everything turned out hunky-dory, they never learned a lesson. The same with my husband. His hand is healing just fine. It’s a little aggravating. When am I going to get an “I told you so” moment? A little gangrene would have scared him straight.