Saturday, October 23, 2010

Boys will be boys....

It was supposed to be a quiet evening. Or as quiet as things can be in a house of eight. I had made my coffee, I was in my jammies, and my laptop was fired up and ready to go.

And then it happened.

Let me back up a bit. One thing Baby loves to do is play ‘Rough with the Big Dog.’ This is Baby’s code for “let’s try to beat the snot out of Dad!” Being the boy he is, Baby asks to ‘play’ this every other evening. Bo Hunkmeister, while not wanting to end up like Muhammad Ali, realizes the importance of bonding with his sons and so will periodically subject himself to a round of ‘Rough with the Big Dog.’ In his wisdom, Bo usually sets a time limit and starts the round with, “Ok, boys, what are the rules?” To which the boys sing in unison, “No weapons! No kicking! No biting!” Then the wrestling begins.

And so it was last night. From my comfy position in my recliner, I heard the obligatory recitation of the rules and then the familiar sounds of a puppy pile.

Then a thud.

Followed by crying.

In a house with four boys, this is a common sound. So I didn’t bother to move from my spot. It was when I heard Bo call out, “W Bear, wipe up that blood!” that I thought this was more than the usual fun. Sure enough, Baby had fallen backwards and whacked his head against the corner of a wall. There was lots of blood. And howling by Baby. Bo, quick on his feet, whisked Baby off to the bathtub to clean him up and assess the damage. When I arrived in the bathroom, Bo looked at me and said, “I think we’re going to need someone to look at this.” So I got dressed and off we went to the emergency room.

I was once at a seminar where a speaker said when males experience injury, there is a physiological response which increases the blood flow to the brain resulting in a sharper awareness of your surroundings. Soldiers have reported that when they are injured in battle, the pain causes a clarity of thought they had not experienced before. I believe this is what happened with Baby because we could not get him to shut up on the way to the hospital. It started with a report of exactly what went wrong at the house and devolved into a critique of the buildings on the way to the hospital.

Once at the hospital, Baby informed the nurse that, “My dad swung me into the wall.” Bless their hearts, they did not call Child Protective Services on us. After cleaning up his head and closing the wound, we went home.

When we got home, we were all hungry so we decided to have a quick bowl of cereal before going to bed. And there at the kitchen table, ten o’clock at night with four staples in his head, Baby asks Bo, “Can we play Rough with the Big Dog?” I gave up and went to bed.