Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Unintended Consequences

My efforts to reduce our water use have continued. I didn't expect that the plants out front would put on a late-summer burst, but they really like this bath water allotment. I think there's even two more pumpkin plants sneaking in near the mints, in the sidewalk.

They probably won't have enough time to make new pumpkins. But they're a nice example of surprise outcomes of behaviors, in this case, pumpkin throwing last year. The apple blossoms are turning into baby apples, and who knows if they will ripen up?

I just keep siphoning and watering and trying not to wonder what I'll do when it's rainy and we still have bathwater to deal with.

But, and you knew there was a "but," it's not all beer and skittles. One day, I was getting ready to put the siphoning hose into the bathroom window, and decided that, given my family's history of graceful physical exploits, I could just throw the end of the hose through the open part of the window. It took quite a few tries, but I finally made contact. (Click for a nice closer view of the result.)

Since then, I've been meaning to fix it. It involves measuring the pane, getting frosted or colored glass, then sitting in a second-story window while scraping out glazing and paint, removing the remaining glass, and restoring it (or hauling out the ladder to do the same activities while standing), and I haven't done it. Nighttime visits to the bathroom have been livened up by the fresh air, and occasionally an insect flies through, but it hasn't been so bad. I even use the opening as a convenient place to pass the hose through when draining the tub.

Apparently, Thing 2 finds the crisp outdoor air pretty compelling also. She tells me that when she's atop the throne, she puts her hand out the window to "feel the air."

That works quite well most of the time. Yesterday, we were having a fine time making cookies (no-egg butter cookies with jam centers) to bring to our neighbors for the debate. I was grading papers, and other than prepping the flaxseed egg substitute and refereeing the occasional dispute, my job was pretty minimal. Then I heard it from the bathroom: "Waaaaaa! Mama!! I cut myself!"

Since I'm a veteran, I looked up from the computer and said, "Really? Can you bring it here?"

"Noooo! It's baaad!!!"

When this kid says it's bad, I go. So I walked into the bathroom to see her holding a bunch of tissue to the back of her left hand. Moving that aside, she showed me a laceration that gapped open if she moved her pinky finger. "Let's go," I said. But then, I looked at my watch. Ten of five -- maybe, maybe we could get to the doctor's office.

They just told me to go to the local emergency room. We've been there before. I don't know why they don't suture in-house, except maybe they wanted to go home. When I was 19, I got my stitches at my trusty pediatrician's office.

And how, how did this child open up the back of her hand? Well, as I said, she apparently enjoys putting her hand outside while she's in there. Most of the time, that works fine. Yesterday, however, unknown (or unnoticed) by her, the window was open a little bit. And while her hand was sticking through it, suddenly, as old Victorian double-hung windows are prone to do, it fell shut. We're fortunate that she didn't completely lose a finger, as I imagine the cut glass guillotining down on her tender flesh.

Two pleasant hours and two full vials of numbing medication later, she's three stitches enhanced.

She's also owed ice cream, because in our house, injections=ice cream. Not how we'd planned to spend our evening, but it's not what I had in mind when I started saving water, either.

P.S. In the "You will completely not believe this" category, Thing 3 just came screaming up from the basement. The kind of "Ow, ow, ow" yell that seems to bypass my ears and plug directly in to my brain stem. He was dancing and screaming, so I ruled out "perforated bare foot with nail" which is one of my worst fears, but he was grabbing at his pants. I got them off, and thought he was pointing at his thigh. Then he was able to speak, and said, "Something was crawling in my pants!" and I saw it -- a sting right on the family jewels. After I shook his pants out, she walked across the floor -- one of our bees. Why she was in his pants is a mystery. Poor boy. Never, ever dull at my house, I tell you.


Katherine said...

Oh man, poor Things! I told Mark about Thing 3 and I suppose this is close to his reaction: {{shudder}}

I gotta say, the thought of you trying to toss a hose through an open window is pretty funny. So sorry it got Thing 2.

suzee said...

Oh, HONEY. I was wincing about T2, and then got to his story and owie owie owie ow. Glad the bee and the cut weren't reversed...

Y'all need to keep up that insurance policy.

katesaid said...

Yikes, quite the chain of events there!

I cut my right pinky, between the knuckles, when I was in high school; broke a glass while doing dishes and got cut because I missed a piece. Severed the tendon in that finger, so we had the same drive-around-and-end-up-at-the-ER adventure, stitches followed by surgery. It's fully healed now, with kind of a cool scar.

Your poor, poor boy. That's even worse than the time my father got stung on the tongue.

I hope both your kiddos heal quickly, and that the other two stay out of trouble for a bit!

allisonmariecat said...

The universe clearly has a sense of humor, if we didn't already have proof of that. It's more of a farce/black comedy kind of humor, obviously.

I love sticking one's hand out the window to "feel the air." And two things felled one after the other...yikes. They both have great stories to tell someday, though Thing 3 may want to keep mum.

meg said...

I am a sick, twisted individual, because all I could do while reading all the trauma was giggle :-P
I am sincerely sympathetic to the Things injuries & pray for speedy recoveries, plus plenty of ice cream :-)

Janis said...

OHMYGOD, Thing 2 is so grown up now and beautiful!!!! I feel like I haven't seen my favorite kids in forever!


patricia said...

Let me get this straight: Thing 2 cut her hand on the window which *you* broke, and Thing 3 was stung by a bee from *your* hive. Hmm...better not let that police-calling neighbor catch wind of what's going on inside your house. The tree climbing is nothin'.


Pancake Goddess said...

lol, I'm so behind on your blog. Very sorry to hear about the injuries.

we made special treats for debate nights, too.

what do do on Nov. 4?? I am beside myself.