At least a dozen (or more) times a day, I find myself asking the boys to do the following three things:
- Please eat the food on your plate.
- Please take your hands out of your pants.
- Please, please, please don’t run in the house.
The first request is because they never, ever want to eat the food that I make them. Judging by the way that they dry heave and gag as they twist their faces in disgust, you’d think that I was trying to feed them fried liver and brussel sprouts for every meal. Obviously, that’s not the case….but clearly they’re not going to be praising my cooking skills anytime soon.
The second request is because they’re boys and they have willies. For some reason, they’re petrified that their penises are going to suddenly fall off at any moment and they feel the need to reach down and check that their little friend is still there constantly. I know it’s great for kids to be comfortable and in touch with their bodies and that’s wonderful, but do they have to check so often? Like in the middle of the grocery store…or while we’re trying to eat dinner at a restaurant…or right in the middle of their school Christmas show? Really?
And the third request is a safety issue. We have wall-to-wall hardwood flooring and a lot of corners around here. And from what I hear, concussions aren’t too fun. But no matter how much I plead with them to stop running in the house and slow down, no one seems to be listening to me (which is usually the case). I’ve tried time outs. I’ve tried taking things away. I’ve tried raising my voice and giving them that really fed-up mom look. Some days, I’m about ten seconds away from breaking out the duct tape (not really….I’m joking….sort of). But these boys have a lot of energy and selective hearing, so the running never seems to stop.
Until last Tuesday, that is.
It was dinner time in our household, or the ‘witching hour’ as I like to call it, and I was trying to get our meal cooked. The hubby had just arrived home from work and had gone back out to his car to get something. For some reason that I will never understand, the boys decided that just then would be a fine time to grab a pillow each, run at top speed down the hallway, and then dive belly-first onto the pillows.
Because why not? Right? What could possibly go wrong?
Do you know what happens when you run at top speed on hardwood flooring and then dive face-first, relying on only a thin, flimsy pillow to break your fall? Do you?!
Now, before I show you what happens, please be warned that the following photo is positively stomach churning. If you don’t fair well when it comes to blood and such, please, please, please close your eyes and scroll down for five seconds or so. Or just skip the rest of this blog altogether. I won’t hold it against you. If I’ve learned anything from raising three boys and having to visit the hospital far too many times, it’s that I’m definitely not meant to be a nurse. Or anyone in the medical profession, for that matter. They’re a special kind of wonderful people with stomachs of steel and I commend them!
Ok, now that I’ve properly warned you, here’s the photo of what happens when you do the silly thing that I just told you about:
Yes, that’s the inside of his chin that you see there (fortunately for you, the majority of the blood had been cleaned up by this point). Not good. Not good at all. Ro-Ro found out the hard way that when you run really fast and trip on a hardwood floor, your chin literally explodes on impact. And then there’s blood everywhere.
At first, there was lots of screaming….mostly from Finn and Cal when they saw all of the blood gushing out of their little brother’s face. Poor Ro-Ro was in too much shock to scream or cry. To be honest, I don’t think he felt anything. That’s the wonderful thing about adrenaline.
As we grabbed our coats and rushed out the door, Finn asked in a panicked voice “He’s going to be ok, right?” Before I could even utter a reassuring word, Cal blurted out “I hope he doesn’t die!!!!” and burst into tears. As I started to tell them that Ro-Ro would be just fine, that he just needed some stitches, both boys yelled out “We’re never going to run in the house again! Ever!!”
I’m not sure whether it was the drama of the moment, the relief that the situation didn’t turn out much worse (because let’s be honest, he was only inches from splitting his skull open), or the sudden outpouring of love and concern from his big brothers, but I felt a few tears well up in my eyes. Life gets to you like that sometimes.
One trip to the hospital and six stitches later, Ro-Ro’s chin was on the mend and he was back to his happy self. For him, the most annoying part of all of this hasn’t been the pain or the itching as the cut heals, but the fact that he’s had to miss an entire week of soccer. That’s pure torture for a sports-crazy four year old. You just can’t keep this kid still.
Oh, and he’s really tired of showing people his stitches. He says he doesn’t want to talk about his chin anymore. So it’s just as well that he’s not on the internet, because here is a lovely after-photo of his chin (which is blood-free, just in case you were wondering):
The doctor did a lovely job and it looks like he’ll be left with only a small red scar on his chin. He wasn’t too happy about that at first, but then everyone started telling him how girls love men with scars. Which is a load of crap of course, but he seems delighted.
And as for their promise that they’d NEVER run in the house again? It lasted one day. One gloriously calm, mayhem-free day.
And now we’re back to business as usual.