Today was that day that every parent experiences. It started out fine and stayed pretty good most of the day. Pierce and I went to pick up Mikey from school. I’d planned to take them to the park, and maybe let them have their once a week run through McDonald’s. Mikey had other plans, though—he wanted to go to McDonald’s and play on their playground. I was feeling flexible today, so I went along with his wish.
On our way, we actually got to see Randy Bill and his life partner in the pasture. It has been weeks since we caught up with our billy-goat friend, and he came running over to see us as soon as we got out of the car. He has gotten much more mellow and friendly—sort of like a dog only funnier.
So things are all playing out in our favor. We get to McDonald’s, order our food, and used the bathroom. Not only because we needed to wash our hands of Randy Bill, but this was a bathroom that Mikey hadn’t pooped in, so he couldn’t pass up an opportunity to christen yet another “head.”
Pierce was a little ornery since we had to wake him up to get out of the car, so he was whiny until they got their food. My terrible eater consumed 6 chicken nuggets! Mikey drank his shake, ate part of his hamburger and some of his apples, when nature called yet again. Some bathrooms get the compliment of having an encore from my son—lucky them! Lucky me… I love these times when the urge kicks in and I have to decide whether to let him go alone or disrupt Pierce from eating so all three of us can make it a joint venture. I never let Mikey use the men’s room by himself unless I check to see if anyone is in there (by hollering inside the door, not sauntering in and checking out whose feet are parked below the stall doors or whose playing target practice with the urinal cakes.—well once I did that, long before I had kids, and I’d had a bit too much to drink. I wondered into the men’s room in Germany at Epcot and wondered why there were so many sinks and so few stalls. Then I saw the giant sneakers under the door…oops…) Anyway, today, I had the women’s bathroom in my direct line of sight from my table, so I told him to go use it on his own. He walked back to the door; didn’t know which side to push on; and by the time he figured out how to get in an employee saw him heading into the “wrong” gender bathroom and looked like she wasn’t sure if she should tell him. In the meantime, I’m smiling and flapping my arms to let her know that I was his mom and to just let him be.
After all bellies were filled and then evacuated in some cases, the boys finally got to play. Pierce was jumping and running up and down the rubber surface while Mikey found a friend to compare Happy Meal spy toys with. They maybe got 10 minutes of play in when Pierce tripped on his shoe and fell face forward—this is where it gets bad—hitting his teeth, lip, and nose on the edge of the step going up into the play house. His scream was instant and intense like I have never witnessed. I ran and scooped him up to find that his nose was bleeding from both nostrils, the space between his nose and his lip was scraped and his teeth had taken a chunk out of the center of his upper lip. He was bleeding, howling and fighting me like crazy. I kept trying to blot the blood and pinch his nostrils closed to slow the nose bleed. A handful of napkins later and a better look at the damage led me to believe that there was no need to go to the emergency room, but that we should probably go home. It was interesting to note that not a single person in the restaurant noticed the whole drama that took place behind the sound proof plexi- glass—although a glass of ice and a few more napkins would have been nice.
As I stare at my child sitting with his dad, now a couple of hours later, I am not longer nauseated, but it breaks my heart to see my child with a fat upper lip and a swollen nose, thank god for the healing capabilities of children!