Our five-year-old was sick.
For some households, that’s a daily occurrence. But when you live with a child who’s healthier than God, you get a little spoiled.
So when the fever started at midnight and he wandered into our bedroom asking to share some space, it was hard to turn him down.
But I was less than enthusiastic to share our queen-sized bed with two other humans.
Correction: I was less than enthusiastic about the five-inch strip of mattress along the edge of the bed that I had been assigned.
After getting the little guy settled with the big guy, I grabbed my pillow and headed into the guest room in search of wider pastures.
I collapsed on the bed and went to sleep. All was great.
Until 3 a.m. Then all hell broke loose.
It was a scream like no other. Stabbing and full of blood-curling agony.
It pierced through my sleep-addled mind and sent me on full alert. I’m a mom. It’s in my genetic code to Move-Assess-Defend.
I catapulted out of bed and took two quick steps.
And that’s when the Tilt-A-Whirl started, and I thought to myself, “Self? How in the hell did you get on a Tilt-A-Whirl at 3 in the morning?!”
And the next thing I knew I was falling face first. My knees skidded along the floor. My shoulder rammed into the door frame. I landed hard on my wrist and felt a large pop in my bicep.
But nothing was gonna stop me. I started crawling. And yelling. “OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD! OHMYGOD!”
OK. I’m usually calmer under pressure. But that scream had scared the you-know-what right outta me.
I dragged my battered body across the hall and into our bedroom. In the darkness, I could make out the outline form of my husband sitting up in bed. He shouted, “Are you OK?!”
I reached over and grabbed Gabe. “Answer Daddy!”
A pause, then my husband pointed at me and clarified, “I’m talking to you!”
That’s when I noticed our son had already fallen back asleep. Oh. Guess we’ll mark this one up to a bad dream and move along.
I sighed in relief then shrugged my shoulders and answered sweetly, “Why? What did I do?”
He snorted in response and said, “Out there. Across the hallway. What the hell happened to you?”
“Oh.” Pause. “That.” Another pause. “I ran into a little trouble.”
My husband asked, “What kind of trouble?”
Sigh. “My feet.”
I reached over and clicked on the table lamp. I closed my eyes and asked my husband, “How bad is it?”
I heard him shuffle a bit closer, followed by “Ewww!”
I cracked one eye slowly open and peered down. My right knee didn’t look too bad. Already swelling like I’d taken a baseball bat to it, but no blood. That was good.
Then my vision shifted over to the left leg and - !
It looked like I had raked it with a cheese grater then smacked it with a hammer then finished it off with a hot iron set to steam.
And it was oozing something that probably could be used for some whacked out Voodoo ritual involving a skinned chicken.
I flopped back onto the floor, landed on my busted shoulder, dropped the F bomb then gently rolled onto the other side.
“Are you just gonna sleep there?” my husband asked.
What a stupid question. I was never going to sleep again. I ignored him and asked, “Am I gonna need a skin graft or something?”
“No,” he chucked. “It’ll be OK.”
I didn’t believe him and gestured toward the knee of nastiness. “Seriously? I’m gonna need a skin graft. Maybe I’ll get lucky and the doctors will take it off my rear.”
“You won’t need a skin graft, and they won’t take it off your rear,” he muttered, grabbing his pillow and covers and obviously planning to go back to sleep. Oh. I don’t think so.
“Why not?” I asked. “I’ve got a lot to spare back there.”