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Oops He Did It Again

I have often used this space as a therapy session for myself. Yes, you poor people have been the unwitting recipients of my psychological effluvia. You have probably already sensed this on some level, I’m sure. I hope I’ve not done any damage to your psyches, or have deterred any of you from having children of your own after reading about some of the exploits of my offspring. Having said that, I apologize beforehand for whatever damage I may cause you by reading the following.

It’s about my son, but then you probably already knew that was coming as it’s been approximately two weeks since he’s done something column-worthy. Its time to tell you about yet another mind-bogglingly stupid action that my son took this week. First, let me inform you that being of semi-sound minds and stretch-marked bodies, we purchased a trampoline for our children.

We believed the advertisements that touted the health benefits for our little ones. We wanted them to be active and healthy and not couch potatoes. We made this purchase out of the innocent good intentions of our hearts.

We poo-pood the worries of friends and family.

“Aren’t you scared that your son will do something stupid and paralyze himself, thereby necessitating 24 hour care and a respirator for the rest of his life?”
Nooooo. We’re good. We even bought one of those safety nets that entirely surrounds the trampoline so that no one can fall off and break their necks.

We sat the children down, the three girls and the one boy. We included the girls there so the boy wouldn’t realize that all our cautionary tales about jumping on the trampoline were really just aimed at him. We know the girls aren’t insane. We’re fairly certain the boy is.

So, off they go to play on their new toy. All is well for nearly a month. No one is hurt, there are no broken bones or wrenched limbs. All is right in the universe.

Until my husband mowed the back lawn.

You see, in mowing the lawn, he had to move the trampoline in order to mow under it. Where it was once sitting close to the back fence, it is now huddled close to the house. Right below the second story bedroom window of the girl’s room. Right below. Close enough, in some prepubescent minds to hit from the second story.

Do you see what’s coming?

Ayup. He jumped. Oh, he made it all right. Landed right in the middle of the trampoline, bypassing being skewered by the poles to which the safety screens are attached.

No one saw him do it, because if any of us had noticed him with his legs dangling out the second story window, we would, naturally, have attempted to stop him.

The first inkling we had that there was trouble was when the man-child burst into our room and fell across our bed. He was writhing back and forth and appeared to be having a fit of some kind. His face was beet red, he was sweating profusely and he kept saying, “It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts…”

We went through the checklist of ‘what did you do nows’ and ‘are you bleeding anywheres’ and the ever-popular ‘what were you thinkings’.

He was in agony. He said when he landed, his legs snapped and his neck cracked.

The pain was everywhere. I was worried about internal bleeding. I was worried about everything, of course.

I’ve often told him that the number one treatment for any injury he sustains is catheterization. I tell him this in order to frighten him into not doing the first idiotic thing that pops into his head.

So far it hasn’t worked.

He was unable to walk upright for a few days without searing pain in his legs and neck, for which I am grateful. I have given him something, a mantra if you will, to say before he attempts anything he thinks might be in the tiniest bit dangerous. He’s to say to himself, over and over, “would I do this if my mother was watching? Would I do this if my mother was watching? Would I do this if my…you get the picture.

Let’s hope it works.


  1. Hmm... Statistically speaking, he'll probably survive...

    That's probably not that helpful! It's just that he's reminding me of my best friend in high school. He's married now, with kids. But we came fairly close to drowning when we were around 17 by taking his new canoe to a place where - well, let's just say you'd normally see BOATS, large ones, but no canoes...

    And there were the things he told me about from before I knew him, like when he was little and he and his brother would take turns putting each other in the drier...

    Watch your drier and don't buy no canoes...

  2. Well, so what ARE his injuries? Did he break anything? Tear anything like knee cartilage?

    Your son is brilliant. Stupid, but brilliant. He HAS to do this. He HAS to test himself.

    He MUST find out what his body can do...and what it can't. He NEEDS to prove to himself what a man he is, and find out this isn't it.

    It's inescapable, unavoidable, inexcusable, but absolutely necessary. This is how boys LEARN.

    You can't think through something like this. You have to experience it.

    I did stuff like this a million times.

    Jumped to the ground from the roof of my two-storey house. Jumped from a cliff.

    Did a belly flop from the 3-metre springboard. Leapt from one boulder to the other.

    Did a high-wire walk on top of a six-foot fence that was two inches wide. I fell, ended up straddling it. It hurt...but I learned.

    Not to minimize your motherly concern or to dissipate your anger, Pam, but I'm giggling.

    He's a boy, and he's being a boy, which is being stupid, silly, without reason.

    But it's part of what makes us, us.

  3. i have to be very careful about how i respond because i do not want to sound like the female equivalent of a sexist pig (see my hetereosexuality is taking a beating posting awhile back) but...sigh.

    okay, having he okay? and how do you manage to stay so calm?

    despite your disclaimer, i'm seriously reconsidering being a parent in any way shape or form. don't worry honey, it was a short drive for me to begin with. but when you started the story and mentioned the trampoline, my teeth began to ache in that way a body part of yours begins to ache when you watch a movie and think you know where the killer's dagger is going to land...
    my hat off to you dame pamela!
    you rock!

  4. Janet8:47 PM

    Sounds like my pastor's son who rarely goes 2 months without breaking one or another of his bones. It's gotten to the point that the congregation, on being informed of a broken bone in the pastor's son, asks," What was he doing THIS time?".

  5. Anna honey, I've nearly lost children to horrible, awful diseases and health issues. I was not this calm when I started down the parenting path. It's only because I really know what horrors are out there, that I can shrug off the semi-horrors of what happens now.

    Plus, the drugs, they help. :grin:

    Janet, I think your Pastor's son and my son must be related.

    WW, it's ok, I laughed too. After a while.

    Darius, he's not allowed to play with screw drivers around any appliances.

  6. I am seriously worried about the phrase "would I do this if my mother were watching?". I think that someone ought to explain that it does not apply to all activities. The psychological damage is far greater than the physical.

  7. No vicus, he's only fifteen. I want that phrase to follow him until he's at least twenty five.

  8. Tell him two more jumps and he gets his parachutist wings.

  9. OMG the funniest and unexpected posting, the vision in my mind is a crack up, hope all is ok though.
    My mum 'GAVE AWAY' our tramp to the neighbours- I nearly died and thought I had lost a family member- admittedly I was 24 years old, but it still hurt it was a meeting place, a spot to look at the clouds and imagine shapes, so much went on there!

  10. Good thing he's ok. Ummm, what medication are you on, Pammy? I may want to ask for a prescription for myself.

    WW is right that he's a boy and he needs to challenge himself, no matter what that does to the mother's sanity or lack thereof. Also, Vicus is right about not wanting him to chant "WIDTIMMWW?" in all situations.

  11. You know... I found that when my boys do something stupid I first get MAD and then I get concerned. MAD MAD MAD!!!

    Then I worry that they might kill themselves.

    We have an agreement that if they do something really stupid and survive they can't tell me about it for five years. I am very protective of my sanity.

  12. oh
    thank heaven what happened in real life WAS NOT what i pictured. i pictured him being hurled, trebuchet-fashion, into the distance where a wreching ayrd full of steel scrap awaited with gaping jaws.
    but bad enough, eh mom? *hugs, hugs, beer, more hugs*

  13. ...yeah. 'trebuchet', that comes out. 'wrecking yard'? phhft.
    you gits the idee.
    *more hugs, some vallium*

  14. Thanks everyone.

    He's off dirt biking today, so I assume he's all better now, or at least well enough so he can injure himself in some other way on a speeding metal rocket through the forests around here.

  15. cynic the hedgehog6:40 PM

    Holy moly, Pamela. Next Halloween he should go as either Evel Kneivel or Wile E. Coyote.

    It's a guy thing. My Stingray bike and I were invincible!

    That reminds me, did he ever pimp out those crutches?

  16. I bought my children, both girls, a trampoline when they were 5 and 8. They're now 15 and 18 and have so far (I hope I'm not tempting fate) sustained not one physical injury. A visiting boy, however, attempting to launch himself from trampoline to bough of nearby tree, broke his arm in less than 15 minutes. It's definitely a boy thing and then they compound it by growing up into men. I don't know how you cope day in day out - the drugs must surely be good ones!

  17. Being the mother of a very active 4 year old boy, this post made my heart jump into my throat. I can taste my own fear. Is that normal? I am absolutely terrified of the kinds of things my son will inevitably think up to do. What medication are you on? ;) I need some of the good stuff!

  18. Is tasting your own fear normal? I'm not sure about that. You may want to seek out expert advice on that one. :grin:

    Cynic, no we didn't pimp out his crutches. After a few days he refused to even use them.

    Ziggi, yes I agree. Totally a guy thing. Has to be.

    Drugs? Who mentioned drugs?

  19. Oh, Guru Pamela, plese may I borrow that mantra for my own home-grown man-child?


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