Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Few Days with the Cousins, The Finale

Monday was, well, Monday. Trey went to work so it was just me and the kiddos. Did I mention there were five of them? Anyway, the weather finally warmed up at about 11:00 a.m., so the kids played outside a big part of the day.

Just imagine lots of "Stormy, Brian/Colton/Melanie/Keaton/Tucker hit me in the arm/leg/head/etc."and "Stormy, Brian/Colton/Melanie/Keaton/Tucker won't give me the baseball bat/glove/remote/etc." and it will be just like you were there.

Sidenote, sometime Monday morning Keaton decided to start calling me "Storm." None of the other kids called me that, which makes it a little more awkward. I hope it wears off before he starts school. I can just see him telling his teacher, "Sure, I'll get Storm to sign that report card right away."

Sometime Monday morning Tucker put his DS on the counter and mentioned that he didn't think it had worked since Brian dropped in the toilet on Sunday. Surprisingly, this was the first I'd heard of the DS's little swimming trip in the toilet. More surprisingly, I did absolutely nothing about it because I was quite busy cooking a healthy gourmet lunch of chicken nuggets and french fries.

When Trey came home, I mentioned Tucker's comment to him. Together we remembered the day before when Brian came into the living room, said the DS wasn't working, and plugged it in to charge. Trey picked up the DS from the counter where Tucker had left it and as he opened it toilet water ran from every nook and cranny onto the kitchen counter. Don't worry, I think I protected the nuggets.

In Brian's defense, I have on occasion taken a book into the bathroom because I couldn't hold it anymore, and I couldn't just leave the serial killer and his victim alone because of my weakness. The only solution in that case is to take the book with you to the potty. I can honestly say, however, that I've yet to drop the book in and then try to fix it by plugging it in to an electrical outlet. He is only eight, and I'm quite glad he didn't electrocute himself.

The real fun started Monday night at bathtime. Five stinky kids to get clean did not scare Trey and me. Why? We're an awesome team, that's why. We had Colton in the shower in our bathroom, Tucker in the bathtub in our bathroom, and Brian in the boys' bathtub. We were going to be done in record time.

Until Melanie threw up fruit punch on the living room carpet. More specifically, she threw up a hot dog, some chips, some left over birthday cake, some fruit punch, and what I believe to be about six packages of fruit roll-ups. Who let her eat all that crap? It's like there was no one in charge here or something! Oh, wait...

Anyway, Trey being the hero that he is, he grabbed Melanie and flung her into bathroom, planting her face three inches from the toilet bowl itself. (I wonder if she saw any other electronics in there?) This was a bit of a problem because her older brother was perfectly happy alone in the bathtub until his weird uncle and baby sister came screaming into the room. I hope Mom and Dad's health insurance pays for therapy.

He cleaned up the kid, I cleaned up the puke, and all was right with the world again.

On Tuesday morning I decided I could get a little yard work done while the kids played outside. Dad was coming to pick Brian, Colton, and Melanie up that morning, and it wouldn't hurt for me to get a head start on my Spring Break chores. Things were great. The kids were taking turns hitting golf balls with these little padded clubs that Tucker got at the Dallas Cowboys store, and there was very little fighting and yelling.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw Tucker walking through the back door, bringing his real golf clubs from inside the house. I told him no way, and he countered with "but we're being so good." With a stern "be careful" I let them have the clubs. They were being good, and today was a new day.

It was probably a good twenty minutes before I heard the crack and the screams. Colton stood too close behind Brian as Brian attempted a great shot with the driver, and the club had hit Colton squarely in the mouth. His head leaned forward and blood pooled quickly under him.

I ran to his aid, and the first thing I noticed was how quiet all the other kids were. Colton was screaming bloody murder, of course, but the sight of all that blood shocked the other four into complete silence. Is it sad that I noticed the quiet? Don't judge me.

I held Colton's head, instructed Brian and Tucker to go get me some paper towels, and my eyes began searching the ground for Colton's teeth.

Tucker and Brian were quite thorough but incredibly slow. They brought the whole roll of paper towels, perhaps prepared for Colton to lose his entire blood supply. The blood continued to pour from Colton's face, and there was nothing I could do but stand there. Well, I also yelled for them to hurry. Okay, I screamed for them to hurry.

When I finally got the blood sopped off his face, my first thought was not who to call, but who not to call. There was no way I was calling my sister until I had a better handle on this situation. Since I had no insurance information and no official guardianship of this kid, I didn't figure a doctor would treat him if I took him in. I called Dr. Don, a family friend, hoping he would at least take a look at his mouth and tell me if I needed to go to the emergency room (or to a dentist or a plastic surgeon).

He answered his cell phone from the beach in Florida. He was very kind, but unavailable to inspect the bleeding child.

Then I called Trey and told him I didn't need anything, that I had the situation fully under control. Why did I call him? Because he's Trey, and that's what I do. I also called Mom, then Dad's cell, which he didn't answer.

Somewhere in there I corralled all of the children into the house and put an ice pack on Colton's face. I also found myself speaking in that eerily calm voice that one uses around children when you don't want them to suspect a problem from one side of a phone conversation, saying things like, "Well, Colton's been hit in the mouth with a golf club...yes...there was some bleeding...yes...I think his teeth are still attached....yes..."

Colton had a gash on the inside of his mouth underneath his bottom lip, which was the source of most of the bleeding. It did not go all the way through, although you could see it from the outside of his mouth. Upon further inspection I found another cut above his two front teeth, and I'm pretty sure I could see his permanent tooth lurking there under his gums. All in all, it was kind of gross.

Dad arrived about ten minutes after the incident, having been on his way to pick up the kids. He pronounced Colton "just fine," loaded him the van, hugged me and Tucker and Keaton, and sped out of here. If I didn't know better, I would say he drove away like his kids' lives depended on it!

Somewhere in there I called my sister (Colton's mom), but only after I had completely mastered the everything-is-a-okay voice. Think of it, "Your son's been hit in the mouth with a golf club going full swing, but it's okay. I think he only lost a pint of blood - that's like nothing. He sure has some strong teeth because they're just hanging on! You must give him lots of milk....No, really, Dad said he's 'just fine.' Do you have a dentist?"

And then it was quiet. For about five seconds. Then Tucker and Keaton started fighting about the Wii and the remote and which movie to watch, and I went into my room and sat on my couch and totally ignored everything they had to say. I am such a good mother.

In all honesty, I am so grateful that my boys have cousins their age to fight with and play with. I grew up with lots of cousins, and I have so many great memories from those days. I can just hear them in ten years, after they've asked to borrow the car and been denied, forced to stay home and hang out with the old folks. One of them will say, "Remember the time Brian hit Colton in the face with a golf club?" And it will all be worth it.


Courtney S. said...

"Storm," you're my hero. Thanks for being a normal, rational, wonderful mom/aunt. And thanks for providing us all with this wonderfully entertaining account of your Spring Break adventure! I can't wait for summer!

Lisa said...

Stormy - I can't believe all of this excitement happened just down the road and I was totally unaware! I should have sent my 2 to join the fun. I LOVE reading your blog - you are an amazing writer - I see a book deal in your future. See you soon!!!