Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Magic Hurt

October has surprised us all with its glorious, warm afternoons. Last night, after dinner, I prepared to sit in the backyard to watch Babygirl and YoungestBoy play while the sky faded to black. I'd been peering at them out the window and had seen YoungestBoy wielding a garden hoe suspiciously close to the area where bees have plagued us all summer. He'd crept close to the corner of the wooden playhouse, trying to peer around the edge where the bee-line began.

Before I even sat down, he came running fast toward me, shaking his hand, yelling that he needed a Band-aid. His actions indicated that he'd had his finger amputated and I expected to see dripping blood, but I saw only a little red dot. I said, "What happened?"

He said, "I was smacking the hoe on that stump and then my hand got hurt by magic!"

He was hopping from side to side, shaking the injured hand. I said, "Okay, go inside and get a Band-aid." I figured he had a sliver or a tiny little cut. I didn't even think of the bees.

My husband of seventeen years and three months came out a short time later. "Did you know our son is hurt?"

I said, "Yes. I sent him in for a Band-aid."

He said, "Well, you should take a look at him. He's on the couch, crying."

Rather huffily, I tossed my newspaper aside and rolled my eyes and went in. I found YoungestBoy writhing on the couch, shaking his hand as if he could shake off the pain. Still, no blood. No amputation.

"Did a bee sting you?"


"Did you hear buzzing?"


"Honey, I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with you. Let me see." I saw a tiny red dot surrounded by a whitened circle. Looked like a bee sting to me. I tried to pick at it to see if that red dot was really a stinger.

He yelled, "NO!"

My husband came in to supervise. I said, "I think it's a bee sting."

He said, "Give him pain reliever."

I said, "Hold on." I went to check my medical book. Should I tweezer out the stinger? Was that a stinger? I wanted some information.

I'm like that. I need a lot of information before I am comfortable making a decision. And I don't want hearsay. Or old wives' tales. Or stories of personal experience. No. I want the cold, hard facts. And lots of them.

As I was rummaging through my book, looking for the information on bee stings, my husband appeared again and said, "Just give him some pain reliever!"

I'm thinking, "Bee stings. Bee stings. Where is the section on bee stings? Should I use ice?"

With great exasperation at this interruption, I stomped into the kitchen and grabbed Tylenol and Advil and with my mouth pursed into an angry line, filled a glass of water. My husband, now sitting at the kitchen table and observing my unmistakable expression said, "What are you so mad about?"

I said, "I need information! And you never let me get the information I need!"

He said, "You can make us both happy."

I said, "Oh, that's funny. I can make us both happy by doing what you want?!"

He said, "Just give him medicine and then look up the information."

I rolled my eyes again (they're going to stay that way!) and delivered the medicine to my still red-faced, crying kid. Then I went upstairs to find the information I needed.

I came downstairs awhile later, put ice in the bag and soon, YoungestBoy forgot about his pinkie because it's so much fun to nibble a corner off the Zip-loc bag of ice and suck the water out.

This incident reminded me of my honeymoon. My husband and I foolishly went to Mt. Rainier to honeymoon for a few days before we moved from Washington state to Connecticut. Neither one of us were avid hikers, but staying in the mountains had sounded romantic. Next time, we're staying in a city by movie theaters and restaurants. You can only get to "know" someone for so long before you need diversion. Trust me on that.

So, the first day, we headed up to Paradise, the highest spot you can drive on Mt. Rainier. We decided to go for a hike, so we headed toward the trails. Right at the base of the trail was a handy map, showing an assortment of trails, the mileage of each trail, the elevation, and other fascinating stuff.

I studied the map, trying to pick out a trail that wasn't too steep, one that was a round-trip trail, one that had a good destination.

My new husband said, "Let's go!"

I said, "Um, let me look at this map first."

He said, "Let's go!"

I said, "Okay."

Then we headed straight up a steep trail with no destination in mind. I was discombobulated, seething, annoyed. Who starts a hike without any information?

This has been a problem for me ever since. I need a lot of information to make decisions. My husband only needs someone to say, "Hey, I liked that!" I need to read books, to line things up in my mind, to sort and examine and measure. He'll base a decision on his friend's dad's recommendation. He trusts people's opinions. I think people might be morons and I want the facts. A lot of facts.

You can see how this would be problematic.

What's funny is that even seventeen years and three months into this marriage, we still view obstacles and problems and situations from vastly different perspectives. He's ready to spring into action and I want time to consider options.

And yet, he can't diagnose and treat a bee sting without my involvement.

And he thinks I'm the neurotic one. Ha.


Blogger WordsRock said...

Pursing one's lips into an angry line is the cause of wrinkles. Something to be avoided. Or so I've heard.

Your husband... another case of opposite's attract? Works every time. :)

9:33 PM  
Blogger mme said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:59 AM  

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