Thursday, June 28, 2012

How to Evade Yard Work (or, "A Lesson in Facial Reconstruction")

I had high hopes for this post. I really did. It was going to be a very entertaining DIY post on building the perfect Tree Swing. Complete with pictures, diagrams and how-to's, it would have been the post to end all posts. Suck it HGTV.
But, life doesn't always work out like I plan. So instead, sit back and enjoy a harrowing tale of a 4-year old boy, enough blood for a True Blood fan-fest and a pretty slick DIY swing.
It's not that I dislike yard work; I actually find it very therapeutic. Our two minions were in the backyard playing on their new tree swing (have I mentioned that I built and installed it myself?) and I was just getting into my Sunday afternoon stick-bundling. Then it happened; the inevitable scream of one minion getting sick and tired of the other minion and expressing said agitation with some form of physical violence. Or so I thought.
What I envisioned as an "Ow! Quit it" love-tap was actually my oldest pushing the empty swing at her brother's face. Fortunately, he caught it... unfortunately, he caught it with his face. So as I'm walking around the side of the house, expecting to reprimand a love tap, I'm greeted by my boy-child as he races around the yard while spitting out copious amounts of blood. Seriously, it was an amazing amount of blood. If I were in a zombie movie, I would have been looking for the head-shot.
Fast forward to the kitchen and the ice wrapped in a towel pressed to his mouth. It was then that I realized that The Boy has one lower lip and now, two upper lips. So perhaps a trip to the ER is in order. We jump in the family's swagger-wagon and we're off; a picture-perfect family. One soon-to-be first grader, emotionally damaged due to the amount of guilt-at-high-volume that I've spewed upon her, her three-lipped zombie brother and me, the daddy covered in more blood than Octo-mom's midwife.
We checked in to the local Emergi-care, fill out the paperwork and start the exam. It goes something like this:
Them: "How did this happen?"
Me: "My son took a swing to the face" (author's note: not the best thing to say when you and your son are covered in his face-blood)
Them: "Do you have any questions?"
Me: "Where is your bathroom? I need to rinse the blood off my knuckles" (author's note; you'd think I would have learned how to shut up by now)
Them: "The doctor will see you."
Me: "I'm really not an idiot."
I cannot express to you how horrifying the next 30 minutes were as a father. What started out as a casual conversation about the "pinch of the injection" and "5-6 stitches to close up the wound" turned into a nightmare that I've only just recovered from. In order to keep Lippy Lipperton still during the procedure, they had to strap him into what can best be described as a Velcro Papoose... even his head. He did not like this... not... one... bit. Once the needle went into his head wound, he erupted. Screams that would bring Rambo to tears filled the ER.
"I can't get out of here!!! Daddy, get me free!!! It hurts and I'm scared!!!"
I was somewhat expectant and mildly prepared for this part. But in order to stitch him up, they then had to cover his face with what I would (and did) describe as a Mormon bed sheet, a small blue dentist bib with a hole cut out of it. The instant it covered his face and he couldn't make eye contact with me, my little man lost his damn mind.
"I can't see my daddy!!! Where are you, Daddy?!?! Why are they hurting me?!?!"
I immediately pulled the Mormon sheet down and looked into the tear filled eyes of my son (now sweating like a whore in church) and felt the true meaning of helplessness. As the doc feverishly stitched the boy up, I looked around the room and saw the two nurses crying and realized I too was a mess. I did the only thing I could think of which was to press my forehead against his and repeat the same thing over and over again, "It's gonna be okay buddy. Daddy's here. I love you. It's gonna be okay buddy. Daddy's here. I love you."
For what felt like eternity, he screamed, I whispered, nurses cried (okay, I cried too) and I envisioned the amount of therapy I will have to pay for in the years to come.
In reality, five minutes after the "wrapping" began, we were done. I tore into the Velcro Death Wrap and held my little pin cushion tighter than ever before. God dammit, I love being his daddy. In a moment filled with the shuddering, whimpering cries of my little super-hero while I smashed him into my chest, I knew that being a Daddy (and the best one I can be) is ALL that matters in my life.
EPILOGUE: It's been four days since "Sunday Fun-day". The sticks are still unbundled, his sister is allowed to come inside the house and I'm finally sleeping through the night without hearing those cries in my dreams. What I've learned is this... Tree Swings are stupid and I hate them. Okay, seriously? It's a damn good tree swing and perhaps one day I'll show you how I built it. Until then... I love you Lippy. You're my super hero. And you have great style.

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