I put a baby gate on Patrick's door a few weeks ago in an attempt to balance the mulitple needs of the family; namely: the cat likes to sleep on Patrick's bed during the day but if we leave the door open so he can pee somewhere other than the rug, Caroline and Edward slip in and play Godzilla in Lego Tokyo. So we fished a gate out of the basement and crammed it into Patrick's doorway and it has been annoying me ever since. In theory it is a swing gate that enables a person to glide through while carrying three stacked laundry baskets but in practice I tend to just climb over it and this is exactly what I was doing last Thursday night when I caught my foot and lost my balance. Edward - who hates to be apart from me, especially when I am enjoying the freedom of the Lego city - was standing on the other side of the gate as I fell, so my superhuman maternal instincts had to kick in and rather than crush Eddybear I flung myself to the left.
I was on the phone with my mother at the time so she heard me say "Aiiiieeee!" followed by "Edward are you alright?" before "Gotta go!"
Edward was fine. The toes on my left foot, however, had not fared so well.
You know when you stub your toe really hard and it hurts like a merengue fetcher but you breathe in and out a few times and the pain begins to fade? It was like that but without the fading. Five minutes after the fall I was still gasping in agony.
Edward crouched next to me and said, "Yook at all de cuhyeurs, Mommy." I agreed that my foot was rapidly turning an interesting series of colors.
I still had the phone in my hand so called Steve who was down at the Ffarm.
"I think I broke a bone," I announced when he answered.
It wasn't a great connection.
"You think... what?"
"I think I broke a bone," I repeated.
"You think you broke your hip?" He sounded concerned.
"No, no, my toe. I think I have just broken my toe."
"Oh," he said, "well that's not nearly as a bad as a hip. Huh. I wonder if I've ever broken a toe? Yeah probably. There was that one time... ."
I told him to save it for his memoirs. He told me to stick a bag of frozen peas on whatever area was most swollen and take some ibuprofen. I said I would call him back. I hollered for Patrick and announced that I had hurt myself. He said, oh, really, what'd you hurt? I indicated my foot.
Patrick said, "Oh my gosh that is too disgusting for me to even look at. I can't believe you showed that to me." Then he looked around and said, "Hey! The gate's down! Edward didn't go into my room did he?"
I somehow doubt that he will be going into medicine when he gets older.
I asked him to please just try to be useful and he said he'd attempt to go find Daddy's old crutches. He added that he hoped I would be able to move soon because having me lying outside his door made him uncomfortable.
The phone rang. It was my mother.
"What happened? Is Edward ok? You MUST stop screaming and then hanging up on me."
I explained and she tsk'd and then I decided to call my friend Noelle with whom I consult on all medical matters. She said she thought big toes should be checked but that she'd ask her husband when he was free. Then she offered to do whatever, whenever to help. I love my friend Noelle.
By this time my normally fat foot was swollen to ridiculous proportions and the first two toes were mottled dark blue and red. I scooted down the stairs on my bottom and then hobbled to find some ibuprofen. I took two. Then I took one more. I corralled the children by sheer force of will (where had Caroline been this whole time? I have no idea. we'll probably figure it out next Spring when we go to start the riding mower and all the wheels fall off;) deposited them into their respective beds and collapsed into mine.
The next day my toes looked terrible and the big one hurt like first love. I decided I should get it examined by a doctor, a decision which was only made possible by Noelle meeting me in the parking lot of the clinic and taking Caroline and Edward (I know what you're thinking and yes Lancelot probably would have driven all night - again - just to buy me some shoes but Steve did eventually come home early; just not that morning.) Anyway Noelle took Caroline and Edward to the library. I got an xray. And I had broken my big toe.
There is something strangely satisfying about having your dire health suspisions confirmed. Like, SEE? I TOLD you it hurt.
I now have a little shoe boot thingy for that foot and a new defensive reaction that prompted me to snap at Patrick as my superspecialsnowflake teased around me in line at the grocery, "If you pretend to step on my big toe one more time so help me I will actually slap your face."
He was shocked. I was, a little, too.
So that was the big event from my week and if I thought getting three kids up and out in the morning on a cold day was a solo challenge all I can say is that I never imagined trying to do it while limping with one foot in a flip-flop.
You will no doubt appreciate my restraint in not posting a picture of my toe. It turned black.
My hair. Yes. My hair is straight. The curls weren't so bad. In fact I like my curls. But after Caroline and Edward were born my hair fell out and three years later the hair around my face has grown back like... a ball of lint? A tumbleweed? Here. Click on this (happy holidays, by the way, because this is the closest we might get to cards this year) and note that the last century to be attracted by permanent curl clumps hovering over the ears was the 18th. It had to go and there didn't seem to be enough product on the planet to enable me to flatten it.
So the woman who cuts my hair suggested Coppola Keratin straightening (now with x% less formaldehyde! maybe!) Actually what she said as she looked in bemusement at my hair - noting that the frizzy stuff just didn't seem to grow - is that there was this fairly new thing on the market that might have been created specifically for me and my hairline from the more humid parts of Hell.
I said, ooooh, asked how much and then said, ah. And that was the end of that until my mother sent me a birthday check with the instruction to spend the money on something just for me. It doesn't last forever but for now I wash my hair and do absolutely nothing to it and it still looks... normal.
So it is Black Friday and I have absolutely no idea what I am getting anyone for Christmas. I had planned on the Fisher-Price iXL things for Caroline and Edward because they like to listen to music and books on their Playskool Just for Me players in bed every night and those things are on their last legs. But I looked at the iXL at Target and I'm concerned that the stylus will be too hard for them to use. Have you seen one? Do you have one? Any other suggestions? I find this age particularly trying to shop for because I want to get them things they can grow into and the leap from 2 3/4 to 3 to 4 is pretty enormous. Right now they both like music. Caroline likes to listen to it (LOUDLY) and dance while Edward likes to listen and try to identify the instruments. Edward still loves all cars and trucks and trains. He has been carrying around a toy catalog (he calls it his magazine) and he sleeps with it turned to page 42. This page has a parking garage with cars but it looks more littler toddler appropriate. I was thinking about the Fisher-Price stand and play ramp with the wheelies but, again, I am worried that it might be too young. Do you have any preschool car enthusiast for whom you have succesfully shopped in the past? I could use ideas. He is also DESPERATE to learn how to read if that offers any other hints.
[He keeps saying, "What does that spell?"
Caroline will glance at the word - like C-A-T - and say, "Oh, Edward that's easy! That spells 'dangerous.'"
What Caroline lacks in actual knowledge she makes up for in unmitigated gall. The other day I got a note home from the preschool saying they had been talking about the Spanish words for parts of the body.
I said, "So Caroline, what is a cabeza?"
Caroline instantly said, "Cabraza is an empty oval, Mommy."
Anyway, ideas for Edward would be appreciated. Also Caroline. Good grief. She is so hard to shop for because she has the attention span of a hyperactive gnat. She likes everything but nothing for more than a few minutes at a time. One second she'll be lovingly cradling a doll and pretending to feed it cereal; the next she has literally chucked Baby over her shoulder into the window and is demanding paints. And then there are the nephews and Steve... . Patrick is easy this year because he filled two catalogs with dozens of sticky notes and then went back through and coded them with a star system to indicate the urgency of his desire - although you sometimes have interesting esoteric ideas for him so if you've seen anything to appeal to... his type lemme know.
In fact, if you have ideas about presents for just about anyone you know please tell me. I'm stumped.
PS Patrick and I went to see Tangled today. It was awesome. Patrick thought it was "ok" but I loved it.