Yesterday, after I picked up my daughter from preschool, I offered to stop and get her a Frosty at Wendy’s. (We have a rule in our house that whenever she asks for sweets, the answer will always be no. She is allowed to have sweets when we offer them, so I have to remember to offer them out of the blue every so often.) She ate about half the Frosty before she was invited to play with the neighbor boy, and because I thought it would be rude if she arrived with a big cup of chocolate joy, I told her to leave it in the freezer for after dinner. She was quite torn about saying goodbye to that Frosty.
Later, while she was out, I was reporting to my husband that our seven-month-old had climbed stairs for the first time earlier in the day.
“Can you watch him while I take a quick shower?” I asked, walking out of our living room. “I don’t know when I last changed my underwear, I swear.”
A few minutes later, my husband called out, “So, how many stairs can he climb?”
“Well, he climbed three today before he started to stand and I had to catch him, which is why you have to–”
That’s when I heard the pounding sound of my husband clanging down his guitar and sprinting across the living room. Then, BLAM! Then the screams of our baby. I ran out to find them both sprawled at the bottom of the stairs on the wood floor. I scooped up the baby and checked him for injury as my husband, who never shows any pain, winced and contorted in a heap of agony. Somehow, he’d actually managed to nosedive across the room and catch the baby as the baby had stood up on the fourth stair and begun to fall backwards. And then my husband actually said, “Ow” and “Oh, God” a few times as he tried to get up, tried to lift an arm, tried to turn his torso.
“I think you better go to the hospital,” I said. When he agreed, I got a little scared. The man never acknowledges pain, never thinks he needs to go to the doctor.
We had to quickly coordinate childcare, leaving my daughter with the neighbor and having my sister come over to tend to the baby’s bedtime and dinner. During our three hours in urgent care, I was really worried. What if he tore his AC? Had he actually managed to break his scapula? A broken clavicle didn’t seem unlikely to him. He was in excruciating pain, rating it for the doctor at a seven or eight. As I worried, I thought it would be prudent to call our daughter and make sure she knew Daddy was going to be okay and that we’d try to be home in time to tuck her in.
“Hi, honey,” I said when she got on the phone with me. “I just called to make sure you know what’s happening. Daddy fell really hard into the wall and hurt himself pretty badly. We think maybe he broke a bone in his shoulder or on his back, so we’re at the hospital to ask the doctor to check him. The doctor will help, and we’ll be home as soon as we can.”
“Oh, that’s okay,” she chirped. “Michael’s mom said she could get my Frosty out of the freezer for me.”
I’ll have to give it some more thought, but I think I just might have pinpointed the world’s