Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Giving the Cat a 'Shiny Coat' and a Visit to the ER...

Today is a 'Two-Fer', because I haven't posted in a while. This may lead some to think that life in the Solaas house has been pretty normal, but that is most definitely NOT the case.

Several weeks ago, NBC put on a Family Friendly show called 'Secrets of the Mountain'. The American Family Association sent me a personal email letting me know that this was a good show to watch.

I watched the trailer and was quite excited about this movie. So I called home as I was getting ready to leave, and talked to my 11 year-old daughter. I told her I wanted to watch this movie, and I wanted to DV-R it in case I missed some of it due to traffic etc.

She told me the DVD Remote was missing, not unusual in our household (or any other I should imagine). So I sent her searching for the DVD Remote, and informed the family I was on my way home.

Now, before you start asking what watching a movie has to do with a cat's shiny coat, or a visit to the ER, bear with me. Watching a movie isn't hazardous to your health, some experts say.

About the Cat. You should be careful what you say. We mentioned in our 5yo son's hearing that the cat's coat was no longer shiny. Tribble, our 11yo longhair Himalayan Tabby mix was about to shed his winter coat.

So I get a call on my drive home that they are going to have to give Tribble a bath. In a hurry. Seems that our 5yo wandered into the garage and found a can of clear-coat our 14yo son had left lying on the floor of the garage, and SPRAYPAINTED the CAT. Yes, you heard right. Only in the Solaas home.

Gave him a nice shiny coat. A coat of clear-coat. Poor Tribble. If that wasn't enough, he then proceeded to turn Tribble into a leopard by using a dry-erase marker to give him spots.

All of this washed off with no problem. Good thing - cats give themselves baths too, and clearcoat is very poisonous.

So, WHY was the clear-coat lying on the floor of the garage? Well, our 14yo son was working on a car. Here's a picture of him working on it. Very focused. Covered in sawdust, making his Awana Grand Prix car. (Like Pinewood Derby in Cubscouts).

It doesn't look much like a car though - more like an upright piano. Here's a picture of it in the competition. Nice and Shiny. But the paint and clear-coat never got put away. Always put away your tools when you're done. BIG ADHD rule. Otherwise, someone might come along and spraypaint the cat.

On to the E.R...
I'm almost home, about 5 minutes away, when I get another call - they're about to pack our 11yo daughter up and rush her to the ER. Seems she was searching for the remote in the van. Yes, the HOUSE DVD remote. In the van. Don't ask me why. In fact, don't ask her why. She didn't know. It was just someplace else to look.

She got in a hurry and jumped out of the van, slamming the sliding door on her finger. Cut it on both sides. Our 14yo dear son, always helpful, provided the information that they could see the bone in the wound.

I faint at the sight of blood. I'm driving on the highway. Don't tell me you see bone while I'm driving on the highway.

I ask if it's spurting blood, while trying to keep from fainting while driving on the highway. It's not, so I tell them to wait and stop any bleeding like a good boy scout, and I'd be home in just a few minutes to do the driving to the hospital.

The time was 7pm, right when the movie was starting.

I got home and we drove our precious daughter to the LeBonheur Hospital downtown, where they are always nice to kids. It's a kids' hospital. Even their logo has kids on it. Here they all are on a license plate.

Anyway, we get to LeBonheur at 7:30pm and check into the ER. The nurses mention they've seen us there before. Oh, really? We're the Solaases. You should recognize us, we've been here too many times.

Unfortunately, when you've brought your kids to the hospital too many times, they get just a trifle suspicious that perhaps you've been hurting your kids, rather than them hurting themselves.

This is expected, especially when they recognize you but they don't 'know' you yet. Usually (isn't that a scary word when talking about hospitals?) they take us to the left to the Disney rooms over in the 'lacerations' area of E.R., where you are treated to a TV playing the Disney channel, and a sweet lady comes in bringing toys and stuffed animals, and the rooms are painted nice kid-friendly colors, with Disney characters painted on the walls.

This time, a Drill Instructor with a Major Payne haircut came out with a clipboard, and said, in his best Drill Instructor bark, "You will follow me, please."

He led us to the right, through a huge blast door that banged behind us, into the Trauma Center.

There's a reason they call it the Trauma Center. You go through trauma when they take you there.

The room was completely white, with a rollaround gurney pretending to be a hospital bed. No TV, no Disney characters. Just a row of 'Bob the Builder' heads stickered on the window. Nothing to look at or entertain us except the screams.

Next door to us was some poor child someone had beaten in the head. I only know this because I heard the nurses discussing it just outside our room.

They went in to examine the poor child, and she began screaming like she was dying.

No, I'm serious. Like she was dying.

Shortly thereafter, four police officers came running around the corner, holding their nightsticks. I presume they wanted to survey the damage to the child and then go arrest Dad or Mom or whatever monster was responsible for the horrible act.

My poor daughter began laughing nervously, saying "That's comforting."

There was little comforting about the trauma unit. It was all business. The business of saving lives, and my jokes here are not intended to disparage their efficiency in helping kids survive trauma.

We were there for several hours. During which time they dressed our daughter in one of those hospital gowns intended to cover the least amount of body. To stitch up her finger. And, I expect, to check her for bruises and such.

But, we're actually a pretty good family. No bruises, no abuse. Just ADHD kids who get in a hurry.

Then they said they were going to have to look at the wound again, and stitch it up. At which point, Dad had to leave the room and stagger back to the waiting room. As I said, I faint.

We got out of there at 12:30am. Needless to say, we missed the movie. Good thing we got it on DVR so I could watch it the next day. Oh, and the funny thing is, we didn't need the remote to record.

The lesson here in both of these stories, I guess, is two-fold. First, Think before you speak. If I'd known what our son would do if we mentioned the cat's coat wasn't shiny, I'd be cleaning the garage. And if I had just thought about the fact that we didn't have to have the remote, maybe the visit to the ER wouldn't have happened.

Second, and more importantly, God is watching over us. He sent our 20yo into the garage to find out what our 5yo was up to. He preserved our daughter's finger, which is now fully functional, no nerve damage or broken bones or severed muscle. And He's watching over the rest of us too, with eyes of compassion.

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