There is a sign hanging in our porch that says, “You are now entering the nut house.” Truer words are rarely spoken. But more often I wish for one of those great big yield signs that say, “Danger, enter at your own risk!”
Because the truth of the matter is, it is extremely dangerous to live in my house.
Oh, it is also extremely wonderful, loving, supportive, fun, and exciting. But no doubt about it, you enter at your own risk.
As I write this, I have a large goose egg on the top of my head, the result of one of my boys deciding to slam down the back hatch of my Sequoia as I came around the corner of the vehicle. I saw stars for several minutes as I staggered my way to the driver’s door. By the time I got home, my head was throbbing and I just wanted to lie down. I was hoping for some sympathy but instead I found myself dragged into a wrestling match between Steve and Drew, sandwiched between them as they tried to reach around me to take pot-shots at each other. Fun? I guess. Loving? Sure, in their own manly way. But definitely dangerous. My bruised shoulder gives testimony to the inaccuracy of their aim and the danger of being in the middle.
Yesterday wasn’t the first day I’ve gone to bed nursing the wounds I’ve sustained within the walls of this house. I’ve been shot in the eye by a Nerf gun bullet while making dinner. I’ve been beaned on the back of the head by a dodge ball when the intended target ducked out of the way. I’ve been soaked when I turned on the kitchen tap to discover that the spray nozzle had been taped to the onward position. I’ve been splattered by hot soup when a rogue bouncy ball landed with a splash in my pot.
Contrary to how it appears, my boys are being trained in the art of gentlemanly behaviour around a lady. In fact, I’m rarely the intended target of these ‘hits’ so you can imagine that those participating in the battle end up with more war wounds than I do.
Tooth in Hand
Keeping teeth in their heads seem to be a particular problem around here.
When Caleb was in kindergarten, he and his dad were having a pillow fight in my bedroom. After a well placed whack to the head sent Caleb flying into a wall, they sheepishly came to me, Caleb’s tooth in hand.
Jump ahead five years and once again Caleb came to me with the broken halves of both his front teeth after kissing the concrete while rollerblading. Drew and Aiden have followed their brother’s example, needing their front teeth repaired as well.
And my poor little Levi’s pearly whites are no longer so pearly and white. After a rousing game of “knock your brothers’ legs out from under them” on the trampoline, his front tooth now has a definite grey tinge to it.
Earning their Stripes
If it isn’t teeth falling out of heads, it’s stitches needing to be sewn into heads. Caleb has incurred the most scars, usually from wrestling too hard or running too fast. The most recent being only months ago when Caleb tried to beat his previous time in PE only to miss seeing the bright yellow speed bump in the parking lot and face planting in front of the entire middle school, out on break. Drew’s eyelid needed stitching after a run-in with a scooter in gym while Aiden had to be put back together after failing to see the enormous cattle trailer parked in the driveway and running full steam into it.
I’ve been waiting for Levi and Owen to take their turn and earn their ‘stripes.’ I fully expected a trip to the hospital when I looked out the window to see Aiden had tied a wagon to the back of his bike. He was giving Levi and Owen the ride of their lives, spinning and screeching to a halt at just the right moment to send the wagon careening around the corner on two wheels.
Apparently it isn’t only our boys who fall victim to the perils of our home. Our youth pastor, Koen almost ended his floor hockey career when he ran full tilt into a heater in the hockey barn and went home to be stitched up by his brother-in-law. And just this weekend, my nephew, Luc, literally 5 minutes after arriving at our house had to be whisked off to Chilliwack Emerg with a nasty gash across his head after attempting a jump with the scooter.
But really, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
The allure of speed, excitement, mischief and the consequential danger that follows is not new to our household. Steve and his 5 brothers have a laundry list of stitches, broken limbs and darts to the back of the head from years past. Out of the 6 boys, there isn’t one of them who hasn’t broken his nose. And apparently Grandpa Pete and his 6 brothers were no better; evidenced by the dentures he’s been wearing since he was a kid. Running around the yard with a paper bag over your head and meeting up with the side mirror of the car has never done wonders for your teeth. I finally understand why Steve’s mom hounded her boys about wearing a helmet. She even went so far as to suggest they wear it when driving!
But the truth is, we’d be a smarter and better lookin’ bunch if we donned those helmets 24/7.