I try very hard not to use this space to complain about bad days. It is tempting, of course, to whine about all sorts of things when one has a bit of a public forum, but I find it much more enjoyable to tell stories that are funny or silly, and only rant about things when absolutely necessary. But after my day yesterday, I walked in the door, put the children away, marched straight upstairs and into my pajamas at 5 PM. This was the only appropriate response.
First there was the bike incident, which actually was a little funny, but also scary. As we were walking Ruby home from school, Edward took a little spill. Right in the middle of a busy intersection, as the crossing guard tried desperately to hold back the anxious steel death-boxes that had little regard for stop signs or school children, Edward flew off of his bike. And when I say flew, I mean that his little (not at all little) three-year-old body went right over the handlebars, his arms out in front of him like a miniature Superman, and then WHAM!, right onto the pavement.
I ran over and scooped him up with one arm, grabbing his bike with the other, and raced out of the street to the corner where I put him down and checked for blood. Luckily he was pretty well layered up, what with it being January in Vermont and all, and so he didn’t appear to be damaged, although he was screaming at the top of his lungs. “Edward!” I said loudly to his crying face, “Where did you get hurt?”
“IN THE ROAD!” he wailed back at me. I suppose he and his therapist can discuss this later, but that was it for me. I just started laughing, trying to hug him quickly so he wouldn’t see. Just scared, no injury, being hilarious. So we got home and prepared for our next adventure, which was going to the new Alice in Wonderland exhibit at ECHO Science Center.
This was an exercise in frustration, because I had lost my membership card. It is supposed to be in my wallet. It is not in my wallet. Nor is it in any of the stacks of important papers that are lying about the house. It is also not on the fridge with the coupons, or in the possession of my wife, or in the mail organizer. In fact, it is nowhere. So I spent a stressful half hour searching, calling, pleading, and shouting, and eventually I talked to the people at ECHO, who assured me that I was on file, and could come anyway.
Alice’s Wonderland was great, and the kids loved it, but they did want to go see one more thing, before we had to leave to take Ruby to her ice skating lesson. We walked across the hall to the cool exhibit where they explore what is under the lake. There is a sunken ship that you can go into, or a pirate ship according to my kids, and I was sitting in it talking to Ruby when I heard the bloodcurdling shriek from my wandering son.
This was not the same kind of scared crying as I had heard in the street earlier. This was bad. I dashed out of the pirate ship and rounded the corner to see Edward, sitting on the floor, face covered in blood. He had walked right into the side of ship (you know, it is a little dark in there…), and smashed himself up good. This was bad. The first thing I did was check to see if any teeth were missing. I mean, this was a lot of blood. Then I grabbed him and took him into the restroom to wash his face, and to try to get a better picture of what I was looking at. It wasn’t so bad. His lip was cut on the outside, and also cut on the inside, and the top lip was a little puffy, but nothing was missing, and after I washed his face off I looked for a paper towel to try and stop the bleeding. But of course, being eco-friendly, they only had hand driers. No paper towels.
Now I had to go explain to the staff that I needed something to stop the blood from gushing out of son’s face, which I did not want to do, because they were only going to freak out about it even more, but they did get me some paper towels, and we did stop the bleeding, and we did go to see one more exhibit before we left, so all in all it was better than it could have been. But I was still not having the best of afternoons.
Now we fast forward to the end of Ruby’s ice skating lesson. She has already left the ice crying twice, so I am down there trying to comfort her and get her skates off, which she says are too tight, and Edward is drinking the Gatorade that I got him so that he would not destroy anything during the lesson. As we are leaving, he decides that he is too tired to carry the remaining Gatorade, so he screws the lid back on and sticks it in my coat pocket. Except he is three, and is not very good at screwing yet.
As we walk out of the building, I start to feel a very cold wind whipping against the top of my left leg. I turn down to see a sticky wet spot, that has spread from my saturated winter jacket, down through my crotch, and is continuing its way down my left pant leg. Awesome. It was a very cold walk back to the car, and when I got home I was a grumpy and sticky mess. Right upstairs, right into the pajamas. Today, we’re not going anywhere, or doing anything. At least until I get my coat cleaned.