Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Man v Coffee Table

We have a coffee table in the playroom. It is an excellent piece for a playroom: It is big, has rounded edges, is solid oak and virtually indestructible. Children can color on it, bang toys on it, use it for a stage, whatever, and not harm this thing.

Because it is massive, and heavy, and solid.

So. Friday night, Captain Adventure began making choking noises. Not the desperate can’t-get-air kind, but rather the retching I’m-about-to-hurl-noodles-all-over-this-table kind. He’s done that to us a few times lately, because he has taken to shoveling food into his mouth with both hands and attempting to swallow it whole so that he can get EVEN MORE FOOD in there without the waste of time we adults call ‘chewing’. And also, he tries to talk while he’s eating, which does not help the choking thing even a little bit.

My husband leapt up from the sofa to deal with this and, with a brilliant lack of spatial awareness, kicked the coffee table with his bare foot. Like it was a football and he was going for a field goal…from within his own end zone.

He promptly collapsed in a yowling heap on the sofa, leaving me to deal with the about-to-hurl toddler.

So I went over and dealt with Captain Adventure while my husband continued to yowl. And now, I get to add ‘spousal’ to my long list of guilt-feelings, because you know what I was thinking (very crossly, I may add)?

Oh, suck it up you big weenie! You stubbed your toe, boo hoo, big deal, GET OVER IT!!

He asked for ice water to soak it in and I brought it. I looked at the toe and thought it looked like a pretty good hard stubbing, but hardly worthy of all the drama. Still, it was swelling up pretty good, so I decided I’d just keep my ‘suck it up’ comments to myself because after all – if I had hit my toe hard enough to make it swell even a little bit, I’d retire sniveling to my rocking chair demanding ice cream and Godiva, so a little shutting up would probably be the best move for me. I nodded and cooed sympathetically when he said he thought it might even be broken, then agreed with him again later when he said naaaaaaw, probably just a sprain but hot holy heck, it was a dandy of a sprain!

Meanwhile, I’m rolling my eyes inside my head and wondering if the stress has finally gotten to the man BECAUSE I MEAN REALLY.

Now, we had Plans for this weekend. My parents were watching the kids overnight {angels singing, light streaming, confetti, balloons, unicorns prancing in flowery meadows}, so we had a hotel room RIGHT DOWNTOWN in San Francisco (we could literally wave at our financial district office from the {ahem} Executive Lounge), and we were going to do some things we never, ever do on account of because whenever we are downtown, we are working – so we tend to go to work, go from meeting room to meeting room and then…come home. Even if we do go out for lunch, it inevitably involves other people who always want to go to one of the same five places, so that we can discuss yet more business that we didn’t cover in the SIXTEEN HOURS OF MEETINGS WE JUST HAD. (But I’m not bitter.)

So we don’t wander around the Wharf area or go shopping or any of that. And certainly do not hang out watching the nekkid guy do yoga (yes, really – nekkid man, doing yoga [poorly], right in front of God and Everybody, with his shortcomings exposed to the whole world, poor lad) (and no, alas, it was definitely NOT entertaining) (although the nice lady from somewhere in the Midwest about turned me into a giggling puddle with her commentary, and when her daughter turned around with a red face and gasped, “MOM, REALLY!”, I just about lost it to the point of having to be carried back to Union Square on a stretcher) .

So Saturday, we got in the car and went first out to lunch, and then to the BART station, and then we walked three blocks up and three blocks over to our hotel, stood around, got our room key, went up, put away our clothes, and he took off his shoe, laughed, and said, “Honey, come look at this thing!”

Rolling my eyes and sighing like a teenager being asked how her day was, I slouched over and obediently peered at the Offending Digit.

People, his pinkie toe was two, maybe three times its normal size, a purple I haven’t seen even in the 128-count box of crayons, with two pronounced white dots in the middle of it and purple streaks running up the side of his foot and along the pad toward his big toe.

I promptly freaked out. I could think of nothing else for the whole weekend. I was FIXATED on that toe, which was OBVIOUSLY BROKEN.

No, he said.

It’s a sprain, he said.

It’s not bothering me that much, he said.


So we didn’t abort the mission. We did most of what-all we had planned to do downtown and then we came home.

The whole time, all I can think about is his gruesomely purple toe. And I keep telling myself that he’s probably right. It’s probably a sprain. After all, if you were going to pick which one of us was less likely to be Stupid about these things, you’d better go with the husband. I will go for weeks and months without treatment on the theory that it will probably heal itself ANY TIME NOW, ergo going to the doctor where they might give me a shot or stick a hand where I want no hand to be stuck for treatment is probably just a waste of time and money.

I trusted him to insist on going to the doctor if he thinks he needs to go.

On the other hand…purple toe.

Really, really, really purple.

Yesterday, we went at last to the doctor. The whole time, Himself is protesting: It isn’t broken, it’s just a sprain, they’re not going to do anything about it, just tape it and that’s it, blah blah blah.

The doctor took an x-ray and announced hey! That sucker’s BROKEN!!

And then she launched into her spiel: Here’s your Uber Ibuprofen, here’s your Vicodin, put it up, don’t walk on it (heh heh, yeah, funny story there…cable car...broken cable on Powell Street line, SEVEN BLOCK HIKE DOWNHILL TO THE BART STATION!!!!), ice-ice-ice come back in two weeks so we can make sure it is healing and not “slipping”, if it is not healing and/or slipping we will refer you to a surgeon (!) who can put some pins in it (!!).

Two weeks on the couch for my Mister, with his toe taped and a big old cast-shoe thing protecting him from further trauma.

I leave you with one of the many things I learned this weekend: It is nearly impossible to hear a nurse say, with great seriousness, “toe trauma”, without giggling.

Even if it is your husband’s toe she is talking about.


RM Kahn said...

The poor man. Are you giving him lots of ice cream and Godiva?

buffi said...

Okay, walking all over SF w/ a broken toe? Hubby is a badass!

Although, I will admit, I would have had the same "get over it already" reaction to the initial stubbing of the toe. Guys are such babies most of the time, it's hard to know when they are really hurt. What's that about crying wolf?

froggiemeanie said...

Ouch. That sounds nasty. You can't have too much spousal guilt since you didn't actually give voice to your opinions.

Mother of Chaos said...

{innocent expression} Oh, I would TOTALLY give the man Godiva.

If I had any, that is. Oh, uh, what's that behind my back? Uuuuuuh...NOTHING....!

Susan said...

Extra curmudgeon points if, post-diagnosis, you're thinking something along the lines of "Great! And now I get to be the legs of the only OTHER so-called-adult in the house. Like I need someone else to look after!"

(little embarrassed voice)... like, uh, I probably would be thinking if I were dealing with this myself.