My littlest guy and I sat outside in the warm October sun this afternoon. He cuddled on my lap for no good reason for a good fifteen minutes before the ants in his pants took over. He bumped the table and spilled hot tea, he knocked my brand spankin’ new book to the ground (Follow me on Goodreads!) and he missed stepping on the same sugar-fiending wasp by millimeters about twenty times. As I was stressing about the impending sting and wondering if we should just go inside, I ruminated on the old saying, “bad things happen in threes.”
My most memorable taste of the physical destruction of boys happened when my second monkey was nearly two. He was jump-jump-jumping on the bed and just when I told him to stop, he fell off and cracked his eyebrow on the corner of the dresser. I saw red – literally. Blood was running everywhere, he was screaming and I was sweating it – a trip to the ER with a hyper and hurt toddler was going to be anything but fun. Surprisingly, as rambunctious as this boy normally was, he was calm and still for the entire episode of the show I was watching – “Stitch: The Big Owie”. It was mere months after that that the same boy ran head first into a corner, creating a gash (no stitches this time!) and a h-u-g-e goose egg right on the middle of his forehead. As if that wasn’t enough pain for him, a few days later he backed into a roaring woodstove, sans diaper, and burnt his little baby butt cheek. I have a picture of this, but isn’t it unsavory to post a picture of a little boy’s bare booty on the internet?
It seemed that my life was going to follow the saying and I was given a reprieve for a few years until both my older boys suffered from Lyme disease. Yeah, what are the chances that these bacteria would infect both boys at the same time? Imagine my surprise when they woke with crazy bull’s-eye rashes all over their bodies and suffered debilitating body aches and fevers . . . lo and behold, Lyme disease was the culprit for both (don’t tell my dad that, though. Although three blood tests came back positive, one for each boy and one for the naysayer himself, he still claims it hogwash).
It was another year of a peaceful owie break before all hell broke loose. For real. Looking back, I don’t know how I stayed in one mental piece. In the course of one week, I was in the ER twice with two different children and could very well have been in three times had I not been more embarrassed than certain that my child needed emergency medical care.
Day One: Aforementioned middle monkey doubles over in pain hours after eating an entire tin of chewable mints (but I didn’t know that little factoid until it was unnecessary), screaming that he is going to “blow up”. A CAT scan, four wasted hours and a few thousand dollars later the kid is giggling and grinning as he is blasting gas out of his nether regions at a rate even the surgeon couldn’t believe – though that didn’t stop that classy guy from making jokes about my monkey’s talent. Imagine my embarrassment. Here I was thinking his appendix had ruptured and all he had was gas.
Day Four: Baby is running through the dining room like the madman he was when BAM! Smack into yet another corner of yet another wall with yet another goose egg. It must run in the family. Trip number two to the ER results in another few hundred dollars long gone and three stitches – not to mention the discomfort and poor confidence in my parenting skills when the same doctor from the last visit enters the room and recognizes me, a la, “Hey, I know you.” Puzzled glance at the chart. “This isn’t the same kid . . .” Puzzled glance at me.
Day Five: Same baby launches himself off the table and bites through his lip. Listen to my phone conversation: “You need to get home now. Baby’s bleeding again and someone else has to take him to the ER. I can’t see the same doctor three times in one week!” I was borderline hysterical. After dad arrived, we determined that he probably didn’t need a trip to the doctor just yet. Or, to be brutally honest, we determined that neither one of us wanted to go back a third time and possibly suffer the shame of inattentive parenting.
Day Six: Again, the same little guy (at this point, the reader ought to know that he was almost two, which should explain everything to those who have had two-year-old boys) climbs onto a fire hydrant and tries unsuccessfully to jump off. End result? Two big scrapes on his thighs.
Day Seven: (Need I even mention who this is about?) Yes, the baby fell and bit through the almost healed part of his lip. I probably could have laughed that part off (oh, haha, another owie for the toddler! What next?!), but then he opened a drawer in the bathroom while I was wringing out the bloody washcloth for his mouth, found the tiniest vial of sample perfume and sprayed that sucker directly into both of his eyes. I sat in the corner and cried . . . after washing out his eyes for what seemed like an eternity. Trust me, that was no small feat and deserved the tears shed by the both of us. Mothering can be a thankless job.
In the tentative end of all the commotion of destruction, as we’ve been pretty lucky for the past few months, I smile about the comment the doctor made after she handed the littlest monkey a sucker after taking out his stitches. “Just don’t fall and split it open again!” Are you serious?! If she knew what had gone on since those stitches came out, she’s be prescribing me Xanax like candy and offering the kids ten pound bags of pixie sticks because after all, the same way the sucker was a peace offering, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down - or in our house, dulls the pain - in the most delightful way! And with three boys, I’m potentially looking at nine bad things happening at a time. Now where’s my Xanax prescription?