Friday, September 03, 2010

High Drama on the Highway

I feel that I need to preface this story by telling you how tired I’ve been this week. After a summer hiatus, Ashley and I started back running last Friday and continued this week on Monday and Wednesday (with plans for Friday). (On Tuesday and Thursday we are spinning and lifting weights.) The increased workouts, along with sleeping less than usual for a variety of reasons, has made me a bit of a zombie.

On Wednesday evening, I made plans for the Rock-n-Romp board (and their respective children) to do a site visit at our next venue, the Mid-South Corn Maze, and then go out to dinner together at the incredible Las Tortugas in Germantown. I was really, really exhausted and regretting the fact that I had made these plans, but the thought of the Las Tortugas reward kept me going.

Everything went fine and as we loaded up the car at 7:45pm to head home, Jiro asked me to unlock his window so he could wave goodbye to the Sweazys. I obliged and thought nothing of it until we were on the expressway and realized that Jiro was rolling his window up and down.

This is a major no-no.

“Stop rolling your window up and down,” I said calmly.

Instead of doing what I asked, he did the opposite. When he rolled his window down again and pointed out to Satchel what he had done, I did what I always do. I rolled it up for him and locked it.

This all happened just as we were about to merge onto Sam Cooper.

“MY FINGER!” I heard Jiro scream. “ROLL IT DOWN! ROLL IT DOWN!” I glanced in the back and noticed that his finger was actually stuck in the window. Oh my god! As guilt washed over me, I desperately tried to roll down the window, but it wouldn’t go.

Satchel was screaming too, clearly terrified of what might happen to his brother’s finger. He too was pleading with me to roll down the window. Jiro was more hysterical than I have ever seen him, and that’s saying a lot. I was definitely hysterical. “It won’t roll down! It won’t roll down!” I cried.

While I listened to my children’s wails a million things raced through my mind. How was I going to get the window down? What was warren going to say when he heard about this? There wasn’t anywhere to pull over and the mood in the car was quickly escalating.

“I don’t want my finger to fall off!” Jiro wailed.

“Please, Mommy!” Satchel moaned.

Oh my god oh my god oh my god why won’t the window go down?? I was trying to visualize whether opening the door would solve the problem, but surely opening the door with his finger stuck in it on the expressway was not a good idea. I then moved on to the scenario where I pulled over on the shoulder and attempted to break the window. But with what? My hand? Was I strong enough? Would the broken glass make this situation go from bad to worse?

Finally, I remembered that I had locked the windows out of habit. I quickly unlocked them and breathed for the first time in what felt like forever as I heard the window roll down. Jiro was relieved, a little angry, and still sobbing. “I hate you, Mommy,” he said.

Way to turn the knife! Did he think I had done this on purpose??

Then Satchel exclaimed, “He’s got a big black thing on his finger!”

Assuming it was a huge blood blister or worse, I was afraid to look in the back. I rubbed Jiro’s leg and tried to get him to calm down while I ran through the locations of the closest Minor Medical facilities in my mind.

The fact that I had already one kid in a cast and the other with a butterfly bandage on his head already did not make me feel any better about this already horrible situation.

Jiro was having a hard time calming down, and even Satchel joined in with the soothing. “Take a deep breath,” he instructed. “It will be okay.”

Now I felt genuinely awful and proud all at once.

Jiro continued screaming and ranting. He begged me not to tell Warren and then said pitifully, “I’m not going to school tomorrow.”

I was probably driving 85 and as soon as I saw the Highland exit, I told Jiro it wouldn’t be much longer. “There’s a Minor Medical right by the library,” I told him.

Once we were in stop-n-go traffic, I was able to turn around and really look at his finger. It wasn’t huge like I thought it would be, and there definitely wasn’t a blood blister. “Let’s stop at the gas station and get some ice,” I said.

We pulled into the parking lot, I grabbed the plastic baggie that once had crackers in it, and went inside to fill it with ice from the drink fountain. When I came back out and put it on Jiro’s finger, I could plainly see that the “big black thing” was a small grease mark from the window. There was no swelling and he had about 99% of his range of motion.

“I think we can skip the doctor,” I reported. “You’re going to be okay.”

I was hugely relieved, but also felt really silly for freaking out. I could have totally wrecked the car several times.

My kids are past the stage of thinking that they are going to die every time they see blood come out of some tiny cut somewhere on their bodies, so I trusted them to not go crazy over something relatively small. But it was the first time anyone had gotten any body part stuck in the window. I tried to think of some of the warnings Warren and I might have given them over the years. I’m sure one day one of us said, “Do you want to lose your fingers? Okay then, stop playing with the windows!”

I definitely think they will both think twice before playing with the windows again. And I’m definitely reconsidering the dire warnings we sometimes give.

“Do you want to get a grease mark on your finger? Then stop playing with the window!” It just doesn’t sound all that intimidating does it?


Ashley said...

the first time anyone got something stuck in the window, but undoubtedly not the last.

warren Oster said...

Jiro may have been making up for what transpired the Saturday before, when he took a head dive into the corner of an outlet/pole at the new Sports Authority and opened up a deep gash in his head. This happened less than two minutes after I told him and Satchel to stop running around and horseplaying in the store. I gave him a bandana to hold over his forehead to stop the bleeding until we got home, stopping at Walgreens to get some butterfly bandages. All he did was occasionally moan in his car seat until we arrived home.

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