When things go wrong, horribly terribly awry, I can’t stop looking back at the steps that preceded the blow up. I seek the place where I should have gone left instead of right, where just one move could have changed the outcome. So it is that the last few days I have, when awake or as I have drifted off to sleep yet again, wondered how it is that I ended up in the ER so badly banged up.
The quick answer is that I should have said no to the purchase of these huge beasts. The decision almost 2 years ago has led to many queries like this but the joy Plum feels when he lays with his best buddy generally overrides any real desire to rid my home of these creatures. The better intervention would have been actual training for them, something neither Chef nor I have put much effort into, being more free-range parents when it comes to pets. That worked for smaller ones, gentler ones, beasts that didn’t weigh almost as much as me. They grew big too quickly for us to learn we had to adjust our parenting style, become more disciplined and even establish stricter boundaries. Thus we are left with exuberant beasts when anyone appears at our door, especially when Plum is dropped up. We are trained instead, dogs go outside, Plum comes in and runs to the highest point in the kitchen, climbs up and awaits the delighted excited insane greeting of the beasts. The barking and jumping only last a couple of minutes and then we all go back to our normal life. On this fateful day we managed this step just fine.
Maybe I shouldn’t have stayed outside and talked with Mama for so long, extending the time between when the bests spotted the boy and when they actually got to sniff and lick and be petted by him. Apparently it was torture and their desire to see him amped up the adrenaline to levels I hadn’t anticipated. Beasts with super powers are dangerous. I know this now. Maybe I should have had their treats in my hands, the ones I give to distract from the boy but maybe also to reward their settling behavior. Then I wouldn’t have needed to walk across the room in socks, along the concrete slab floor, to reach the box holding the next phase in the greeting process. Too much excitement, no traction in socks, yes, that could have been handled differently.
Still, I think it all comes down to Picachu pajamas and a bad case of flatulence. My plum held a movie night with his friends at Mama’s house and proudly wanted to tell me the story of clearing the room with his explosive little tush. He was still wearing the one piece zip up pj’s with the hood up, thick winter socks and batman slippers as he recounted the tale. He made sure Mama told it as well. So we lingered out front as the dogs barked and waited and I wondered how a child could celebrate not that his mother had organized a group event, not the movie he watched, not the popcorn they shared, but what came out of his ass. How is it that this sweet child thinks this is the take-away?
After the dog knocked my legs completely out from under me, after I hit my elbow and tailbone straight onto the concrete floor and then whiplashed my head back as well with a crunch I cannot stop hearing, we ended up in the ER. I know the problem step was those pajamas and his gas attack because he told every nurse and attendant who came through the doors about what happened. Not that I got hurt but that he cleared his friends out of his toy room with his farts. He kept track of the compliments he received on his pajamas versus the ones on his slippers, 4-2, and felt no shame. Nothing. I couldn’t stay awake long enough to address his inappropriate sharing, first from the night before and now with God and everyone. Yes, even God or His representative. Because when our pastor showed up he got the story too.
I have shared before that I have some bodily function hang ups, that I have never felt comfortable using the word fart. My Plum doesn’t feel confined in this way. As I lay on the gurney and hurt like hell everywhere, drifting in and out of sleep, I heard my Pastor come in and ask about what happened. Plum told the most important steps in the chain and I suddenly burst out laughing, clear evidence of traumatic brain injury. My sweet pastor held a conversation with my 6 year old grandson in a triage room about his toots and how proud he was of running his friends out. Right then is when I should have said yes instead of no to the narcotics offered. Another wrong step, clearly.
Nothing is broken, a concussion that will surely heal in time and pajamas that have been removed from the child… yet I am left with the reality that vulnerability just happens. I cannot control all the moving parts and keep up appearances, keep my feet firmly on the ground and always censor the child. If there is ever a time to accept all those prayers coming my way it is now. Prayers for healing yes, but prayers also to be able to face all those who have heard about Picachu pajamas and the commotion that came out of my little Plum.
When my head stops hurting and he returns from his vacation with Mama, I plan to have a serious talk about bodily functions and appropriate venues for discussion. As he loves to tell his favorite beast, “C’mon, now, we are better than that.” I think I can intervene right there, break the chain of wrong moves. I may not prevent another disaster but at least I can save you all from Plum proudly recounting his story. One step at a time.