Blood and gore

Good gravy. We’ve had my first real week of “Welcome to the World of Having Two Boys.”

I mean, we’ve had five and a half years of whirlwind that doesn’t stop and that plays only cackling, destructive games.

And we’ve had four years of banging things with sticks and picking gross stuff out of the street.

And two years of shooting at everything with imaginary guns.

And a year and a half of trucks and trucks and trucks. Good gawd with the trucks.

But this was the week of multiple calls to the doctor to ask “does this need stitches?”

The older one found a barnacled mollusk shell, put it on a board, stood in front of it, and stomped. Shell embedded for a moment, then fell off, leaving a one inch horizontal and one inch vertical cut in his forehead. Stitches? Probably needed it, but it was Saturday at 5pm, there’s no urgent care here, and I have iodine, skin glue, and butterfly bandages. No stitches.

The younger one climbed on a dining room chair after a long day with no nap (don’t blame me; I tried everything to get that boy to sleep). Fell off and bit through his lip. Two beautiful, hard-won teeth made two nasty cuts into his beautiful lower lip. Nasty. Deep. Blood everywhere. Stitches? Doc says we don’t stitch lips unless there’s a flap hanging or the hole on the inside of his mouth is so big food will get caught in it. I wiped away my tears, threw up in my mouth a little at the description of how it would heal, and agreed: no stitches.

So I guess, it was a good week? Oh, wait. It’s Tuesday. Gulp. Four days, four gashes, no stitches. Seems like I’m doing a good job? [Grins like the cat that threw a seashell at a canary then pushed it off a chair.]


I’m at a defining moment in my parenting career. I’ve espoused ideals about raising the next generation to do better—be better—than previous generations. To raise a thoughtful, intelligent, wonderful creature. And if that really is my goal, I have to step up to the plate now. Because it’s go time.

But I’m not sure if I’m up for it. Picking our battles, and all. Limited resources and energy, and all.

I mean, if I’m the only one in the house who wants the seat down, and there are 812 battles a day as it is, do I really want to fight a three year old over leaving the seat up? To tell him, patiently, every day for the next 15 years that it needs to be down?

Spouse, who has always put itĀ  down, would prefer it up. Peanut uses the whole seated apparatus more than the rest of us each day, and is new to the gender politics of leaving it up. And is a pain in the ass to reason with. The twin male cats use biodegradableĀ  litter that gets scooped right into the toilet, which is easiest with the seat up. Four to one, my friends, are not odds before which I wither. Four to one, ladies and gents, is nothing for a spitfire like me. Four to one, dear readers, is the odds I am playing against my summoning the reserves to pick this battle.

Seriously, I should put up or shut up. I spend my whole life railing about men who left the seat up. Who raised these insensitive, lazy louts, I wailed?

Well, it seems, maybe, possibly, probably—Me.