Tuesday, September 19, 2006

She Was A Klutz, But We Loved Her Anyway. . .

My mom was accident prone, to say the least. Some of the weirdest things happened to her, which as a kid I thought was really cool. Now, as an adult I shudder at some of them and wonder how on earth they happened to begin with.

Some of them she was just flat lucky to have come out of relatively okay, like the time she was reaching for the basket of french fries and stuck her hand into the hot pan of oil. She didn’t realize what she had done immediately, in fact wiped her hand off on a towel before it occurred to her what she had did. She had a lot of redness, some blisters and one spot of third degree burns, but it certainly could have been a lot worse.

There were so many things like that over my childhood years, funny, and sometimes so totally unbelievable like the time we had to take her to the emergency room to get stitches in her toe. It started out as a normal day like any other. . .

I had a friend stay overnight. We were in 5th grade and in love with the Monkees, specifically Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz. We had been up late the night before, listening to our Monkee records, over and over, and well, over again. In the wee hours of the morning my so very patient mom finally told us that if she heard “Hey hey we’re the Monkees” one more time she would personally break the album into hundreds of little pieces. We knew of course she wouldn’t do anything of the kind; her impatience was good-natured and long-suffering.

She was such a good mom, the neighborhood mom. All my friends hung out at my house. I don’t ever remember her showing exasperation or irritation at having a half dozen or more kids hanging out in her basement or back yard, trooping into the house for drinks or bathroom breaks. She had 8 miscarriages over the years, I was the only child that my parents ever had, and my mom should have had a dozen.

The morning started out pretty normal really, we had Rice Krispies and bananas for breakfast, childishly taking delight in over-sugaring our cereal and stirring it all together in the bowl, the sweet granules of sugar taking a long time to dissolve in the cold milk. Ahh, the lovely sound of Rice Krispies going snap, crackle and pop in the bowl then smacking them down in the bowl with your spoon to saturate them with the sugary milk.

Somehow a crispy little bit escaped onto the floor undetected. A Rice Krispie on its own, while very crunchy is still pretty soft when stepped on and will disintegrate into dust. But, a Rice Krispie that has been bathed in sugary milk, dropped on the floor and left to dry becomes a veritable weapon. The sugar forms a hard lacquer-like coating over the rice, which surprisingly becomes very sharp and durable, almost like a burr. And it can really slice your toe!

We had to take mom to the ER that day. She got 4 stitches. Honest!

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