A Tissue, Frozen Avocados, and a Broken Foot

Are you ready for this? Do you know how a tissue can lead to a broken foot? It’s possible. Not likely in the way that my Monday played out but it’s obviously possible. It all starts on the way home from preschool pick up. My son asks for a tissue from the back seat. Naturally, I thought he needed to wipe some snot and be done. I don’t have tissues. I forgot to re-pack some in my bag since the last time. I did, however, have a partially used paper towel stuffed into my empty McDonald’s coffee cup. I open it up and rip off an edge big enough to suffice. I reach back to give it to him without looking because I’m driving, you know. A few minutes later, I ask him a question. He doesn’t answer. I ask him again. Nothing. I turn back to ask him again and there he is, gingerly holding a completely blood-soaked piece of paper towel in front of him like it’s a bomb. His nose, mouth, cheeks, chin, neck, sweatshirt, car seat buckle and straps, and pants are soaked. It was a bloodbath back there. It was like a scene from Carrie.

Since I’m one turn away from being home, I rush home and pull into the driveway. I grab whatever napkins I could find (I may or may not have grabbed them from the trash can in the van) and start wiping him off, so he could at least open his mouth which was cemented shut both by the dried blood and his own choosing. I open the basement door and rush in, not caring that my husband was on a work call and start running…no…sprinting…no…FLYING up the stairs to the kitchen. I was going so fast, when I got into the kitchen, my momentum just kept me going, head first, onto the kitchen floor. I felt like I did another 3 steps like Wile E. Coyote does off of a cliff. I was going so fast that after I slid through half the kitchen, I still had enough momentum to transition into a dog running on all fours, and then progressively upright like Homo erectus. I could easily have been the poster you all see showing the progression of ape to man. I ran for a roll of paper towels and then a pack of wipes, back down the stairs (I was told later that I sounded like a tornado), and out to the van.

It took forever to clean him up. Trying to wipe it all off of his face, hands, hoodie, pants, straps and buckle was not an easy feat. I got him cleaned up enough to get him in the house and undressed. After all the kid-cleaning was complete, I attempted the car seat again and started taking it apart. Taking out a car seat is the worst feeling, but having to also take the cover off and remove the straps is like entering Prince Humperdinck’s Pit of Despair.

The kid was successfully cleaned and the clothes and cover were soaking in the sink that perpetually has something soaking in it. I still had to clean the straps. Simply washing it by hand with wipes, paper towels and 4 different kinds of cleaning spray did not work. Every paper towel had the remnants of the nose faucet previously inhabiting the car seat. My husband carried the car seat up to the kids’ bathroom and put it in the tub. I grabbed some detergent and sponges and met him in the bathroom. We just stood there and stared at each other. The realization that this was a bad idea was gut-wrenching. We let out a collective sigh without even exchanging words. The only thing I could think of was pressure washing it but since we had a little mishap with the pressure washer last fall trying to clean a pair of white baseball pants, I was out of luck since I haven’t been able to replace the burnt hose. That reminds me, “Alexa, put pressure washer hose on my list.” The next best thing was the garden hose. I asked him to take the car seat downstairs while I run to the other room to check the soaking clothes.

I get downstairs and start to walk out to the garden hose and notice there is no car seat. I ended up finding it down another set of stairs, sitting in the garage. At this point, I’m ticked. I’m tired. I’m TNT. Tired N’ Ticked as we frequently call my brother-in-law. I vigorously grab the car seat and make my way into the basement and up the stairs. I take one step up, and then it all begins:

My left foot steps on a dragging strap, the car seat gets caught and while it gets pulled out of my hands, it falls to the floor. I’m still taking my next step and my right foot goes IN the car seat, the car seat starts rolling sideways, my foot steps deeper into the car seat, my big toe finds one of the holes, my knee buckles, and I go down. My left foot steps on the bottom of the car seat, the car seat seesaws up with my foot still stuck in it, and my thighs and knees land on the hard plastic. As I attempt the graceful landing, the car seat gets flung into the air, it releases my poor toe and foot and just for shits and giggles, it lands on my ankle.

I immediately grab my toe and foot and start writhing on the floor. My son, the reason behind this whole mess, is at the top of the stairs just laughing at me. I’m rolling around thinking of my ouchie and I see the dog speeding down the stairs straight towards me, tail wagging, ears up in the air and eyes open so wide, it looks like she’s trying to win a staring contest. The kid is still laughing hysterically, I know something has to be wrong with my foot and then there it is…endless dog kisses. I’m on her level by laying on the floor and she thinks its time for her to lick my face off. The kid, well, still laughing. I yell up to him, “It’s not funny! This hurts!” He sits on the steps, extends his arms in front of him and yells, “C’mon Mom. It’s funny. Really funny. Just laugh.” I couldn’t hold it in anymore so I joined him, wondering how I could spin the story into something that resembled something sensible or simply normal.

I had to get back to work so I grabbed a bag of frozen avocados to wrap on my foot and toe. Fast forward to an hour later, I was trying to walk around on it and just kept going about my day as best I could. I was not going to miss my daughter’s first High School softball game. The kid and I drove an hour to her game to go watch her and her team. We had to take the other car because my car was missing a car seat. I hobbled around and was able to bare it enough to make it through. On the drive home to pick her up at the school, I asked the kid if he would like to go to McDonald’s. It was my rare treat since I realized I was a horrible mom because it was 8:30 and he hadn’t eaten since lunch. He didn’t answer. I asked again and then a third time. Silence. I figured he was asleep since he didn’t nap but I felt the need to turn back to look at him. And there it was. Again. He was sitting there like a statue, blood everywhere with his mouth clamped shut to keep all the blood out. Thank goodness we were close enough to the school that I was able to get us there to clean him up enough to get home. Repeat. This time I asked my husband to bring the car seat in. After he brought it in, he said, “You know, I stepped on the strap and almost fell when bringing in.” All I could do was walk away. Wait. Limp away. I went to urgent care the next day to get x-rays and was happy to see my cousin-in-law get to diagnose me with my unfortunate but entertaining fracture.

The moral of the story is to tuck the straps into the car seat when carrying it, always have tissues or paper towels handy if your kid has frequent nosebleeds, and always keep frozen avocados in your freezer.