I am extremely guilty of overusing the phrase “a splitting headache”. Not in the sense that I complain a lot when I have a headache, more in the sense that I love a good pun and it’s one I get to use frequently. I made one on twitter just the other day.
My girlfriend will attest to the fact that in every single movie we watch (horror or otherwise), if someone gets their head split open I will say “man, talk about a splitting headache!”. Every single time. It’s a compulsion and I can’t help it. Bonus points if it’s done with an axe. I really like axes. Shout out to Christian Bale and Jack Nicholson. And Agent 47 in the Hitman games.
Another thing I’m guilty of is rocking in my chair. Always have been. And, until the age of 30, I have escaped from my crimes without punishment. Everyone always scolded me and told me I would lose my balance and crack my head open. I always laughed at them and in the face of danger. “I’m not an idiot and I know how to keep my balance” I would always reply. I may have lost my balance and wobbled a few times, but I never got hurt or fell over completely.
Well, except that one time in the 8th grade. Another kid tried to teach me a lesson and grabbed my chair when I was rocking in it. The chair fell backwards and took me with it. I hit my head on the table behind me. He felt very guilty and brought me lunch that day. Jokes on you, kid. I faked it! I didn’t actually hit my head, I was just pretending. I robbed you of lunch that day. Tell you what, if we ever meet again I’ll buy you a Pepsi and a sausage roll. With 15 years of inflation, that was a good investment on your part.
Anyway, by now you’ve probably put 2 and 2 together and can see where this story is going. Well, you’re wrong! I’m still undefeated and defying gravity. I’m rocking in my chair right now! This is why your teacher always told you to read the question to the end before answering it. But, I paid for my crimes in another way. I guess you’ll have to keep reading.
So, yesterday started as any day does. A bowl of coco pops shared between my daughter and I over breakfast. An argument when it was time to get dressed. Boring housework. Our morning walk. All the usual stuff. Well, the walk was slightly different. There were a few garage sales a couple blocks over. Chicago got to pick anything she wanted from one of them and have it free. Absolutely anything the owner said, just because she was so cute. I let Chicago pick whatever she wanted, hoping she’d go for the coffee table or air hockey table. She did not. She picked a Jack and the Beanstalk book. Imbecile. We thanked the lady and went on our way. We also met a really cute dog and Chicago got to pat it. Yay!
We got home and I turned on NBA TV, so we could watch the Bulls/Heat game. I had made a mistake though, the game didn’t start for another hour! I thought we may as well run to the shops and get a few things. As we left home, Chicago’s Pa rocked up to do some work in our yard. We said we’d buy some lunch whilst we were out and bring it back for him.
We returned home with lunch and started to get everything ready. Chicago was pretty hungry, so I made hers first and put her in her chair so she could start eating. I went back to the kitchen to tidy up and make my lunch. Then I heard a huge “thud” followed by a high pitched scream. I looked across and poor little Chicago’s neck was bent at 90 degrees, between the wall and the floor.
My daughter picks up on a lot of my habits. She swears. She is short tempered. She is obsessed with TV. She’s a fussy eater. She sleeps without a pillow. Turns out rocking in her chair is another bad habit she picked up from me. Oops.
I rushed over to pick her up and blood was dripping from the back on her head. She hit it right on the edge of the window sill. I couldn’t look at it because she was cuddling me, so we went to see Pa outside. He had a look and said it was split pretty bad and she might need stitches! Off to the emergency room we went.
I hate the emergency room at the best of times. The middle of a global pandemic is far from the best of times. First of all, I couldn’t actually find it because it had moved since my last visit. When we finally got in, it was jam packed. Poor Chicago was dropping in and out of focus and was still bleeding a fair bit. Unfortunately, we had to wait over 2 hours to see the triage nurse!
2 hours of being overcrowded and shoulder to shoulder with a bunch of strange people. It was muggy and everyone was mostly irritable. Chicago eventually started to perk up a little bit, but she was complaining about being tired and hungry. Me too, kid, me too.
I’m not trying to complain about the emergency department. I know that they have a tough job and it is just as hard on them. We did meet some nice people as well. People who saved our spot in line when Chicago wanted to go play outside. We met a family who returned my wallet that I had dropped. I had no idea, but they found it and eventually me. They didn’t take anything from it. Sometimes, my faith in humanity is restored.
Chicago was also incredibly well behaved. She didn’t cry or yell or throw tantrums. She kept herself entertained by watching the horse races on TV (it was a horrid day at the track for me!) and waving to other people in the waiting room. She liked to loudly point out when another baby was crying and constantly remind me that there were lights on the ceiling. I know, Chicago. I know. It was until the last 5 or 10 minutes that she started to get restless.
Thankfully, we got to go see a triage nurse at that moment. She was lovely. She had a look at Chicago’s head and offered to take us straight out the back to check her out. She washed her wound and said we could skip the stitches, but she would need some skin glue. She also had to cut off some off Chicago’s gorgeous locks so she could glue the wound together. Chicago cried a fair bit, but was mostly brave and took it like a champ. She gave the nurse a thumbs up and got an icy pole for her efforts.
And just like that, we were homebound. Chicago could sleep and I could eat. She isn’t allowed to get her head wet for a few days, which was awkward because it was raining. We also have to keep watch if she shows any sign of a concussion. So far, so good.
And that’s how, after all this years I finally suffered from rocking on my chair. My punishment was being stuck in a waiting room for hours. It wasn’t my daughter copying my bad habits. It wasn’t the gaping wound on the back of my daughter’s head. It wasn’t the concern I had that she may have seriously hurt herself. It wasn’t getting the blood stains of our clothes and furniture (the house looked like a crime scene and I can’t get the bloodstains out of my Bad Seeds shirt). It wasn’t even the sleepless night I had last night, just worrying about her.
Nope. All of that stuff sucked, but it wasn’t the real punishment. The real punishment was that I missed tip-off for the Bulls/Heat game. I had to catch the replay later. The Bulls lost. Drat!
The moral of the story? Don’t rock on your chair if you value watching live basketball. Or don’t have children. Yeah, that sounds better.