Monday, 4 October 2010

One down, eight to go

With a son like Caleb, I thought it might be fun to record the loss of each of his nine lives, a sort of childhood countdown to the day when my poor mother heart can assume a steady and unaltered beat.

One down, eight to go.

It was the sort of morning that should have been a warning something was in the wind. Everyone slept until 7am (unheard of!) and we were actually a little late running out the door for the bus. No matter, Colin zipped ahead and flagged the bus down and Caleb and I waved from down the block. Back home, Benjamin willingly ate breakfast and then settled into a morning nap. After a rousing game of pirates, Caleb and I worked on a craft for the letter 'D' and talked about words and names of people that begin with D. I woke Benjamin and we ran some errands, scoring 60 cans of vegetables for my food storage at half price, and picked up the ingredients for our "Dirt Dessert" for tonight. We were running ahead of schedule so we even dropped by the library, where three books that started with D were sitting right there on the shelf for me to grab. Back in the car, and zip home, ready for lunch and nap.

I thought.

The container of vegetables I thought was in the fridge was actually eaten yesterday, so I had to quickly throw some in the microwave...

Beep, beep, beep.

"I'll get it!"

Slow motion of Caleb grabbing the microwave door, giving it a good yank, and thereby pulling down the microwave, the two tier cart, three heavy glass decorative dishes and an innumerable amount of piled up junk...

Caleb landed first. The glass shattered all around him into thousands of shards. As the cart was tipping I was flying across the kitchen, and somehow managed not to catch the microwave, but at least ease its landing. All on top of poor Caleb.

With inhumane (or motherly) strength I tossed the microwave aside, grabbed Caleb and lifted straight up into the air. Glass tumbled off of his body. I carried him out of the room and stripped him down, terrified of seeing the blood start to pour down his little body. Shirt, pants, socks, underwear...I turned him left and right, back to front. No red! Could there really be no blood after all that? Caleb started to shake and cry, my voice wobbled as I tried to reassure him. I quickly surveyed the damage and decided that with two hungry children, one terrified of what had happened, I better call in reinforcements, also known as my mother-in-law.

While we waited I looked over Caleb again and this time did find blood smears. His hand had sustained a cut. I raced him upstairs to wash it down. Relief - it was just a small gash, and the bleeding was already stemming. I wrapped his hand in a dishcloth, sat him naked on the couch and grabbed what food I could to distract him.

It only took half an hour to clean up the mess. Shoes are the order for the rest of the day, however, as I'm still finding tiny little crystals of glass, despite my best sweeping and vacuuming efforts.

What I have learned from this:

Caleb - you are down one life. Guard the other eight carefully, because you aren't even three years old yet.

Kenmore microwave - you are a rock. I was sure you would explode when I pushed the little green start button.

The best way to clear clutter that piles up where you hate it most - smash it all on the ground amid three heavy glass bowls and just toss it all into the garbage.

Lovely purple and blue handcrafted bowl - I will miss you terribly. You were a beautiful wedding gift from a dear friend to James, one of my favourite gifts we've ever received. you have already been lovingly glued back together once, but this time there was nothing I could do.

Little glass dish that I love and cook everything in - I don't know where you came from, and I don't know how you survived that fall, but I am not surprised. You are the best dish. I only wish I had others just like you.

Linoleum floor - I know I always complain about how you look, and that ugly sheet roll you were laid down in. There is not a dent on you after this accident, something a wood floor would not be able to boast. Please forgive 3 years of withering looks.

And so endeth the account of the death of the first of Caleb's nine lives. I am sure he will go through many more before he flies from this nest. I hope my own heart can survive that long.


Erin said...

Wet paper towel is good to clean up those invisible glass pieces...That Caleb is a rock!!! I bet he's already tried to open the door again!

Anonymous said...

How about poor MA'S heart - it needs to assume a steady and unaltered beat, too. :-) As I sat here reading this entry this morning (I tried to reply then, but our internet connection went out and I had to go to school), my hand was over my mouth and tears were brimming in my eyes. I so wanted to be Samantha (from Bewitched) or Jeannie (from I Dream of Jeannie) and be able to be right there with you at that moment. I am grateful for how strong you are, my daughter. :-)

Love, Mom