Thursday, May 1, 2008

Children, and Saws, and Babies, Oh My-- (Blast From the Past)

[Note: This may be a bit long, but it is so typical of our life here in Georgia. Welcome to my boring little world:)]
It all began one lazy September afternoon, and I was 8 months pregnant. This was the 4th kid in 7 years, and I was bustling about in the last stages of "nesting" trying to get the house in order before the expected arrival of our little bundle of joy. [Perhaps "bustling" is an overstatement--the way the baby was situated, my girth was freakishly large, so what I was doing was more like slow motion waddling.]
Dear Tool Man husband was outside on our makeshift porch sawing something for a project he was working on, and 6 kids were playing in my den (3 were ours, and 3 were add-on kids for the day). I heard a mild expletive on the porch and was just about to open the door to remind Tool Man Husband of the innocent ears on this side of the door and that "little pitchers" have big ears (and sometimes little pitchers have really big mouths and repeat things they hear, especially at church in front of the little old ladies. And sometimes visiting little pitchers go home to their real mommies and repeat the things they heard at the Nashes.) Before I could open the door, an agitated husband came bursting through and hurried straight to the kitchen sink, followed by a trail of blood, 6 kids, and one very pregnant woman. My first thought was, "This can't be good," and then (I'm embarrassed to say), "I just finished mopping this floor; I'm the size of a house and doesn't he know that clean floors don't come easy these days."
My dear Wounded One held the bleeding pinky finger under the running water, and he--along with 6 kids and one very pregnant woman--watched his finger bleed and bleed and bleed; it became obvious that this was more than a superficial flesh wound and that it would require a bit more than a bandaid. . . maybe even more than two bandaids. So I quickly ushered the kids into another room and made arrangements for a sitter and off the two of us went to the hospital. I drove while my husband sat holding a compression bandage on the finger. Perhaps in deference to my very emotional and very prenatal state he cautioned me to drive slowly. "Now, don't get in a big hurry," he said bravely; but before we were even 3 miles down the road, the pain and bleeding were becoming more intense, and he "cautioned" me again asking, "Why the heck are you driving so freaking slow?!" (Thankfully there were no "little pitchers" around to hear this latest colorful language, unless you count the one causing my stomach to look as big as a house.)

"Perhaps some pant, pant, blow, blows might help," I offered. Nothing doing. Before the journey was over he had me flying down the road and weaving in and out of traffic like some Indy racecar driver. As we pulled into the emergency room driveway, the car was almost stopped when he jumped out like a flash and disappeared into the ER. I'm sure we must have presented quite a funny picture, and to the parking lot attendant it must have looked odd that the husband ran into the hospital leaving a very pregnant wife (who was the size of a house) to park and waddle in alone. After clarifying just who was in need of ER service, we were ushered into the waiting room where several other "Tool Men" sat with varying degrees of Saturday morning war wounds. We all sat, the wounded and the wives on a beautiful day in September. "What a way to spend a Saturday," I thought, "I've got a million things I need to do and that floor's not gonna clean itself, Buck-o."

Turns out my Tool Man had nearly completely severed the end of his finger and a plastic surgeon was called in to reattach what was left. Several hours, several shots, several layers of bandages, and several pain pills later we left with a stern warning that sometimes these types of repairs don't "take" and to watch for signs of infection and tissue necrosis. We watched, it didn't take, and it did show signs of necrosis, so a week or so before my scheduled delivery, my husband had another surgery and returned with a much shorter pinky and instructions to keep his hand elevated and wrapped for several weeks.

Fast forward a couple of weeks:
We'd delivered child number 4 (and there was drama there too, but that's altogether another story, which thankfully does not involve table saws or frantic pregnant women driving to the ER.) Not long after this we decided that four was probably the extent of our local population boom, so dearest husband went to a different doc for the "Big V" as he likes to call it. Snip, snip, all done. After his "man" surgery, my husband was instructed to keep ice on the surgical area. There he sat with ice in his lap and his wrapped hand elevated from the previous finger surgery. [Not much sympathy from me--I was still recovering from C-section number 4; and the doc wouldn't even throw in a free tummy tuck, not even for repeat customers.] Our sweet little 7 year old boy was duly concerned and gingerly climbed onto his daddy's lap asking sweetly, "Daddy, tell me about your surgery."
We knew this would happen one day. Ah, yes the moment of truth about the birds and bees. After all we had just brought home a baby sister (not to mention the recent procedure which called for ice in the lap), and kids are inquisitive and it's important to give them the facts and answer all of their questions; so Dad dives right in and gives the boy "the talk". He was very direct and detailed and I tried to stay out of the male-bonding and testosterone; and after about 20 minutes Husband felt like he'd covered all the bases and had left nothing out. Our son was still looking quite confused, so Husband asked if he had any questions. On the boy's face was a look of horror, "Daddy, what does all of THAT have to do with your FINGER?!"
One can only hope that our little guy wasn't completely misled and that middle school health class cleared up whatever confusion remained. But I can bet he'll avoid table saws.


Anonymous said...

I can understand the little guy's confusion was such a good story. I have to brag some on Georgia gals, they know how to tell a tale. Good job!

Lorraine said...

OMG!! What a story!!! Kudos to your hubby for getting "the procedure" hubby says nothing sharp is going near there..and I don't mean the finger...And also he gets high marks for explaining the birds and bees..we're hoping to hold off on details here until 5th grade health class!!LOL

As always, you tell THE BEST stories!!

david mcmahon said...

Love the way you tell it!!!

Mary Isabella said...

This was one great story. You had me on the edge of my chair the entire time I was reading...Have a great weekend...Mary

Kim Hardt Originals said...

Good Morning Cathy~Thanks for the story! I loved it!

Have a great weekend!

faerie enchantment said...

Hi Cathy,
That was a great story!
I don't think my boyfriend will be getting any surgeries yet, I need to get married and have some children first! LOL! For now I'm the "bestest aunt in the world" LOL!
Thanks for sharing!

Sarah B. B. said...

That is the funniest thing I have read in a LONG time. :)

The Crackling Crows said...

Hello Cathy :)

I just found your blog...I'm amazed about your work! I'm from GA too :) I live in you know this little town?
I was wondering if you would like to swap blog addresses with me? I would love too :)

I love your story :) thank you for sharing it with us :)

Bebe said...

Hi Cathy,

Oh, that story just gave me the giggles, although I know for you at the time it was not all that funny. I was wondering who had the worst of it ~ you with the 4th baby delivery or your bruised and bandaged husband? You are a great storyteller; I always enjoy your stories (still chuckling over Friendly in the bathroom and your husband w/the bat in the laundry room!).

Thanks for your kind comments about my kind comments about your kitty creations the other day! I'd love to write up things about your cuties. Is the pay any good? LOL :)

Hugs and Smiles to you on this sunshining Sunday, Bebe :)

Kari & Kijsa said...

What a fabulous story!! Have a blessed Sunday!

kari & kijsa

cindy said...


Debbie Miller of Onion Patch said...

Such a great story!

Have a evening Cathy!

lime said...

here from david's.

that is utterly priceless!!!

Hilary said...

Wonderful story.. and well told. I'm here from David's and it looks like I'll be watching another blog!

Mrs. B said...

Oh my gosh, that was hilarious! I'm sure you two were quite the picture in the ER! Somehow we managed to avoid that conversation, even after hubby had the "Big V." Thank goodness because I don't know if I'd have been brave enough to answer the questions!

Thanks for coming by my blog and your nice comments! Hope you'll come back and visit again!

Sandi McBride said...

SO FUNNY! Georgia girls and Carolina girls..not much difference between us! Great post...I'll be back to backtrack and catch up! David sent me, case you didn't know!
4 kids in 7 years? I hope you got an award!

Cassandra said...

Ahahaha! Great should make it into flash "fiction" and submit it somewhere. The twist at the end is wonderful!

Designs by CK said...

Hi Cathy ~ Popping in here quick to say hello & have a GREAT week! :)


Mom to Deanna said...

Ok Cathy....I now need the birth story of the littlest one... You always spin the best stories!

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

Thank you Mom to Deanna--you've been keeping your blog a secret!!

meg said...

Cackling with unholy glee~ I'm so glad things like that happen to other people besides us :-P

The Burp Cloth Babe said...

Ah, the stories of my family heritage...makes my heart swell with pride!

Kelley said...

What a story. I really enjoyed it and will never look at a table saw the same way.
Thanks for stopping to say hi.
see you soon.

Amy said...

This is the best post. Thanks for the smiles and laughs.
:) AMY

phall said...

Cathy, I read this a long time ago but never left a comment. I agree it's one of my favorites too. Thanks for reminding us of it and for giving me another smile. I really can picture this. ha!

Robin ~ PENSIEVE said...' hilarious!!!

With kids, less is more and they're definitely on a "need to know" basis.

Thanks for the giggle!