Thursday, May 31, 2012
Goddess of Chaos: 1 ; Newton Family: 0
"Mom! Dad fell...and he's not getting up."
At first, I giggled. I know--real sensitive of me, right? But it sounded like that cliched commercial for those LifeAlert pendants. My humor evaporated when I saw my daughter's wide-eyed panic. Uh-oh.
Vaulting into action, I sprinted outside taking in the scene like a veteran cop: my kids: safe (although the youngest was running around screaming about Daddy's bloody knee). Neighbor kids: gawking from their side of the lawn, dressed in their full Laura-Ingalls regalia (They're Missionaries. More on them another day). My husband: laying on the intersection of lawn and driveway, and (from the look of him) the intersection of conscious and full-on faint.
Mike's hands clutched his ankle. "I was playing basketball with the girls. I went for a rebound and rolled my ankle. I heard a loud crack," he said, his lips the color of manuscript paper. He was in a cold sweat, pale and glassy-eyed.
My inner-EMT pursed her lips. Hell, no. He's not going into shock. Not on my watch.
Gently prying Mike's hands from his ankle, I exhaled in relief. No protruding bones. I gave him a reassuring smile. "It looks fine. We'll get you inside, get some ice, and see if we need x-rays."
Then, the Goddess of Chaos intervened. The *itch figured I was managing too well.
My toddler was the first to respond to Chaos' call. Peering at his unhurt (but bloody) knee, she managed to bang into the injured ankle. Mike hissed in pain, and my toddler gave him a chastising look. "S'okay, Daddy." She lowered her face to the abraded knee, flailing into his ankle once more. "It's just bwood, sweetieheart."
Mike's face got paler, and I (still calm) told my little one to watch out for Daddy's foot.
Meanwhile, my oldest began a screaming etiquette lecture for the gawking Missionary kids. "Go home! Don't you know how RUDE it is to stare? Go HOME!"
Wide-eyed, the neighbor kids hiked up their colonial-style garb and climbed a nearby tree, getting a better (and safer) view of the chaos.
Still trying for serene, I sent my oldest daughter to fetch ice, more to stop her yelling than anything else. Then, I helped Mike up, noting the cold sweat drenching him. God, let me get him into the house before he faints!
Blocking my toddler as she made another bee-line for the bloody knee (via the broken foot route), we took two gimping steps forward. My eldest raced back with an ice-filled towel, and promptly resumed her tirade at the now-arboreal (yet still staring) neighbor kids.
Before I could rein in my girls, Mike said, "I'm going down."
And he did. He didn't faint--it was more like a slow-motion swoon, except my husband is a muscled mass of a guy. Slowing his descent was like attempting to catch a falling freight elevator--I couldn't do much except use my body to break his fall. Sacrificing my left arm and leg, I crumpled gracelessly, half under him, to the hard concrete.
"Ice!" I barked, my pinned left side protesting.
My toddler snatched the towel-wrapped ice. "Lemme shake dis out." And with an expert flick of her tiny wrist, the ice scattered across the driveway in every direction.
The loss of her freshly-fetched ice provoked my eldest into another vein-popping screamfest. At the same time, my toddler--having shaken out the towel to her liking--used it to blot Mike's knee, laying across--what else?--the injured foot.
Mike gave a guttural groan, moving enough for me to finally wrench my arm out from under him. Grabbing up my youngest by the back of her shorts, I shoved her off his foot as gently as I could (one-handedly) but she fell and bloodied her knee. Her shrieks, combined with her sister's top-of-her-lungs lecturing to the treed neighbors, eroded the last of my calm.
Understand that I'm descended from a long line of loud, loud women. My daughters are mere acolytes in the art of bellowing. I am in full mastery of my vocal capacity. Pulling air into the lowest recesses of my diaphragm, I let loose.
"STOP IT RIGHT NOW!"
My yell bounced off the driveway, stole the breath from my screaming children, deafened my husband, and scared the Missionary kids so badly they fell from the tree in their haste to retreat to the sanctuary of their house.
Eris' ethereal lips curved in a smirk--she'd won. Goddess of Chaos: 1 ; Newton Family: 0
This story does have a happy ending. While Mike did indeed break his fifth metatarsal, it was 3 cm up from having to have it in a cast. Thanks to that 3cm, he's in an ankle brace which--although painful--is a hell of a lot easier.
What a difference 3cm can make. (At least, that's what I always say, *wink-wink*).
So...in the end we all did live...
Happily Ever After,