The Fatherhood Trick

eraser

Last Tuesday, at 6:15 in the morning, my six year old woke me up with this statement: “Hi Dad! Oh, by the way, I forgot to tell you… I accidentally dropped an eraser in my ear yesterday. And… It’s still there.” I hesitate to say that there is a good time of day to hear this kind of thing, but I can tell you with some confidence that 6:15 AM is not a good time to hear it, even if your son does take the trouble to tell you the news in a faux-casual tone. A quick trip to the bathroom revealed that, yes, there was an eraser in his ear, and yes, I would need to take him to Urgent Care to get it removed.

A couple of hours later, the eraser had been extracted from my son’s ear, money had been extracted from my wallet, and a promise had been extracted from my son to never put anything smaller than his elbow in his ear. As I drove him to school afterwards, I caught him looking at his elbow in my rear-view mirror, as if he was thinking to himself, “I can’t even get this thing close to my ear. Where’s the fun in that?”

That, in a nutshell, is what having kids is like. One minute you’re calm and peaceful, the next minute you are on your way to the hospital. I remember putting my father through this routine a couple of times as a child. One winter night, my younger brother and I headed out into the back yard, which had recently frozen over into a thick, flat sheet of ice, the result of a sudden thaw followed by a sudden deep freeze. “Be careful out there fellas,” said my dad. “Don’t crack your heads open on the ice!”

We laughed as we went outside. “Crack our heads open on the ice? Hahaha, what a rube! Yeah, like we’re going to crack our heads open on the ice!” Chuckling, we began to play the game we had set out to play: Run full speed across the ice, slide directly at each other, and try to knock the everloving shit out of your opponent. What could go wrong?

With all the recent, wonderful advances in medical technology, nothing!

With all the recent, wonderful advances in medical technology, nothing!

On the very first pass, I put a tremendous lick on my younger brother, whose body jerked violently from the impact and began falling to the ice below. To stop his fall, he wrapped his arms around my body and pulled me down with him. Arms pinned, I slammed head first into the ice. “Ow, shit!” I exclaimed. A bright yellow spark in my brain had erupted when my forehead slammed into the ice. “I think I’m hurt. Can you see if I’m bleeding?”

“Uhhh, there’s like, a little scratch there or something.”

We went inside, and of course the little scratch was neither little nor a scratch. Although there was very little blood, I could pull back the skin slightly and see the dull white of my skull clearly in the bathroom mirror. A couple of minutes later, we casually walked into the TV room, sat down with my parents, and had the following exchange (which in writing is way less idiotic than how it sounded live):

Brother: Greg, what do you want to watch on TV tonight at nine when… Hey! Greg! What’s that on your forehead?

Me: My forehead you say? Why, whatever do you mean?

Brother: Yes, it looks like you have a very, very small, tiny scratch or something on your forehead!

Me: Well, for the life of me I can’t imagine why I would have a small, almost insignificant scratch on my forehead! I shall go investigate further in the bathroom with the aid of a mirror!

And of course my father followed us into the bathroom where I proclaimed with no small amount of mock alarm, “Oh no! I am able to see my skull!”

“Ahh, Jesus, I told you not to crack your head open on the ice!” Said my father. He gathered up the car keys and took me to the hospital, where I received nine stitches and a lecture to not screw around on the ice.

Sadly, Eric Lindros' father never had this discussion with him. (Hockey humor: Because fourteen people can't be wrong!)

Sadly, Eric Lindros’ father never had this discussion with him. (Hockey humor: Because fourteen people can’t be wrong!)

It could have been worse. My brother’s infamous surprise trip to the hospital took place at 3:00 in the afternoon on a Wednesday in August. Him and a friend decided to experiment with alcohol, which many young teens do. Unfortunately, the first experiment they decided to try was the Jack Daniel’s Capacity Test, which resulted in explosive regurgitation, an ambulance ride, a pumped stomach, a catheterized bladder, and a rather large hospital bill.

Other surprise trips to the hospital that I was indirectly involved in included a kid who split his eyebrow so badly that it dropped over his eye, causing him to think he was blind; a girlfriend who fell into a quarry and shattered her kneecap; and a best friend who, while riding a pogo stick, struck the edge of his driveway, rocketed sideways into a grove of trees, and landed squarely on top of a hornet’s nest. His head was the size of a watermelon by the time the ambulance pulled away from the curb.

My friend never recovered. He made a living for a while touring state fairs until one day someone poked a hole in his head and poured a gallon of vodka on his brain. RIP, Charlie-Melon!

My friend never recovered. He made a living for a while touring state fairs until one day someone poked a hole in his head and poured a gallon of vodka on his brain. RIP, Charlie-Melon!

And that’s where the Fatherhood Trick comes in. It’s simple: Keep a large wad of cash next to your car keys, and get ready to use them. In fact, make sure your wife has a large wad of cash ready by her car keys as well because sometimes your kids won’t be content with just dragging you along to the hospital. Sometimes they’ll try to get you dragged off to jail as a pederast:

Friday night, my wife and I took our kids to see Finding Nemo in 3D. My three year old announced that he had to go potty, and so I took him to the bathroom where we entered a stall. After he had gone and started in on the tremendously difficult task of pulling up his pants, I decided that I may as well go while I was there. So I stepped between him and the toilet and went about my business.

All of a sudden, I noticed my son peering around my leg to see what I was doing. Then he exclaimed, in that shrill and peculiar 160 decibel voice that only toddlers possess, “I REALLY LIKE YOUR WEINER!” If you had shone a flashlight at the door, I’m fairly certain that I would have beat the photons of light out of the restroom.

Fucking kids. I would have traded two erasers in the ear for that one.

28 Responses to “The Fatherhood Trick”

  1. I laughed out loud no less than four times at this. I also took notes. Dear god.

    • Greg says:

      Oh yeah, get used to stories like these. You’ll have fun telling them to various hospital personnel, whom you will know by their first names.

  2. Vesta Vayne says:

    BWAHAHAHA! I was not expecting that at the end. You never know what will come out of a child’s mouth.

    My little sister had to go to the doctor a few times for placing odd things in her ears/nose. She was pretty much the little boy in our family.

    • Greg says:

      I knew a family when I was in my teens that had a daughter, about 4 years old. She put a lima bean up her nose where it promptly got stuck. And of course the more she dug at it, the more her nose bled, and the more her nose bled, the more moisture the bean soaked up and the bigger it got.

      And I remember my mom telling me after she told me this story, “Anyway, you’ll see what it’s like. You’ll have kids, and they will totally surprise you with the stupid things they do.”

      Ok, you got me on that one, mom.

  3. Birdman says:

    Hahaha, sadly, I really like your wiener too.

  4. Nico says:

    My boys (nearly 3 and 4) just like to inform me, over and over that I do not have a penis. I can’t wait until it happens in public.

  5. Pish Posh says:

    Ahhh kneecap shattering. I can’t even bear to think of it.

    Our house was the opposite growing up. When we’d get legitimately hurt my old man just told us to “tough it out” and it’d “put hair on our chests.” (he has two daughters and two sons). When my sister broke her elbow, he told her to put ice on it.

    Kids.

    • Greg says:

      It was weird, she was half drunk and a bit high, and she was fine other than the fact that she cracked her kneecap against a rock. She’d look at her knee, try to move it, and you could see the kneecap was in pieces. “This doesn’t work,” she’d say.

      Yeah, no shit.

  6. LA Juice says:

    Lindros was such a Diver. Someone should have cross checked him while he was down.

    (Oh I just love the thought of where this sort of statement will lead the masses- all 14 of them, if I understood your reference correctly. And I think I did.)

  7. Vonny says:

    And why shouldn’t he really like your weiner? He likes his daddy, that’s all. It sounds as though your guys are doing well at their jobs of being kids. Give them a raise.

  8. Heather says:

    My 3-year-old had a stroke that obliterated his sense of balance. He is brilliant but he careens around the house like he’s just consumed his weight in tequila. We have had some injuries, let me tell you. But because everything I own is now padded, no trips to the hospital. I can’t believe it. I’m waiting for it…..

    • Greg says:

      Now all you need to do is pad the rest of the world and you’re all set!

      Seriously, though, holy crap. Toddler + balance issues = Yikes!

  9. MidLyfeMama says:

    Having one kid who already has entertained me countless times in his short 5 years with the things he says, I appreciate a good wiener story.

    I am also certain I am lucky to be alive and relatively highly functioning today considering that at the ripe age of 6 or so I cracked my head on some ice sliding down a hill in the woods, but I didn’t tell my parents. I went home, said I had a wicked headache and took a nap. That certainly would not have been the medical advice of any doctor had we spoken to one.

    • Greg says:

      I’m pretty sure the doctor would have told you to eat some raw chicken, chase it down with some whiskey, and try to sleep it off. Note: This is why I am not a doctor.

  10. Melissa says:

    You can work with this, next time he’s poking at his dinner you can tell him that vegetables will give him a weiner like yours.

    My dad used to tell us veggies put hair on your chest and for some reason that made me finish my plate. Kids are stupid.

    • Greg says:

      Oh, I dunno… I don’t think boys necessarily care about their wiener until Jr. High. Once they hit that age, though… “Eat your broccoli. It’ll add an inch.” will totally work.

  11. Reanna says:

    Every time I hear stories like this (or think of my own childhood), I’m extra-happy that I’ve been fixed.

    I’m still grateful that my near-death experience as a child didn’t leave any marks. My brother and I would have gotten in serious shit for that one.

    And I’m still pissed off that my parents weren’t home the day I poured 5 gallons of boiling water all over myself. Why they figured I was fine by the time they got home is quite beyond me. I was just one big blister.

  12. Rusty says:

    … and… big… wad… of… cash…

    Right, I’ve written that down

    What else do I need to know?

  13. CassieCros13 says:

    Ouch…I hate being involved in someone elses pain especially if it involves the medics. 🙁

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