Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Doing It All For My Babies

We listened to Huey Lewis tunes during dinner last night. Noah plays a mean air saxophone.

Remember this?

Yes? No? Really Scott, why are you showing me a picture of a jungle gym?

Aaahhhhh, you who know so much. They aren’t called jungle gyms anymore. Maybe it’s because they are neither found in jungles nor are they gyms. Maybe there is some awful, leftover, unenlightened, 1960’s racism in the term that we are all unaware of. I truly don’t know. And truly don’t care.

For those of you who don’t know, three years ago I worked my very rotund, white bottom off to build this jungle gym play structure for the boys’ birthdays. They had about six months of enjoyment until we up and moved to Connecticut.

Like a spurned woman, our play structure sat in the back yard of our Buffalo house and patiently planned the demise of my job and the necessitation of our move back into her arms. She also has some sort of communicative ability with Sam, who, upon our return in January, promptly asked when we would be bringing her over to the new place.

He also planned out exactly where it would sit in the yard – after he had torn down the fence between Grandma’s house and ours. Ha ha. Funny. Only not so much. The fence came down last week. And I went to visit the good old girl in the hope that she would come quietly without a fight.

Let me say for the record that I built the crap out of this thing. Every piece of lumber is oversized, and all the connections are either lag-bolted or carriage bolted (that means very, very strong). It exceeds all Federal Government standards for children’s play structure specifications. I kid you not. It’s better than the Obama girls’ – I’ve seen pictures.

I started to feel my way around tentatively, reacquainting myself with all her angles. She was all mine, swings to slide. My plan of attack was virtually guaranteed for success. She was coming home with me. Slowly yet confidently, I pulled out my shiny, silver socket wrench. I found the spot from where everything else would come undone. The socket fell snugly into place over the head of the bolt and I gave a short tug. Then another. She gave way. I gave a full stroke. Another. Another. More quickly now. Almost there. And . . . YES! Out it came.

It felt painful and wonderful all at the same time. Though I didn’t want to pull her to pieces, I knew then that she was going to bend to my will with no fuss at all.

I dove in once more, more forcefully this time. I found my next mark and applied the same pressure as before. It was a practiced skill now. In a moment I would have my second small victory. I placed the socket wrench into position and yanked.

Blinding White Light.



What the hell just happened?

I was on my knees when my eyes opened, the wrench on the ground. The lag bolt I was working on had snapped, and the socket wrench had rebounded and struck me full on square in the middle of the forehead. It hurt. Badly.

I came out from underneath the platform of the structure and sat down for a second to regain my bearings. My head was pounding, but I wasn’t disoriented. I figured at that point that hard as the blow was, I came out on the good side of the collision. Gingerly, my fingers explored the fast growing bump. They came away bright red.

At this point, I knew I had better get someone to witness my stupidity. I knocked on our tenants’ door and luckily Lisa was home. It wasn’t a large gash, and there wasn’t a lot of blood. And Lisa’s a nurse. Best combination possible. Bandage securely in place, I picked up my tools and loaded up the car to go home, utterly crushed by my play structure’s rejection. I spent the rest of the afternoon with a steady diet of Ibuprofen and an ice pack.

The next weekend I came back with power tools. Bitch.