September 30, 2011 by rebelwithalabelmaker
So, last Monday night, I sat listening to five kids joyously bounding about on our trampoline. You know that sound–the giggling play that is the music of happiness just like that lovely smell right before a thunderstorm? Sure enough, there was a shriek, and a wail, and Anthony came racing inside, cradling his right hand. My first thought? I do not want to spend more time in the ER (I am still not so good at the sitting up for very long). On the bright side, my little frequent visitor's card tells em that we are only two visits away from having a wing named after us. They could call it Hepatitis Haaaaven. You could draw out the A really long so that people would know which Hepatitis–since I am told that's an important detail. My hospital wing could go beside Evan's hospital wings #1 through #427, so that we could steal his WiFi.
But right before those thoughts I was of course concerned for my son, just like a good mother.
"He hurt my haaaaaaaaaand!" Anthony wailed, holding his seemingly broken fingers forward, his little shoulders shaking with sobs. "We were wresting and I tried to get away, and when I tried to get away he grabbed my fingers and bent them backwards!"
The "He" in question is a thirteen year old boy. I had been planning to use the fake blogging name Mary Poppins for him because he is the world's nicest-to-kids adolescent male have ever met. Now, I was considering changing that to "Hulk Holgan". For the blog. For the police report I was planning to file, I would use his real name.
Fortunately, my brain triumphed over my mommy instincts, and I did not try to beat up and/or arrest Mary/Hulk without doing due diligence. Which is a good thing, because 1) I was kind of trying to pull of a teaching moment about the importance of not hurting one another, 2) Mary/Hulk had a big growth spurt over the summer, and I don't think I could take him, and 3) I don't really want the police to come to our house because I am worried about the tickets I would get if they saw our yard.
"So, Anthony tells me that when you were wrestling and he tried to get away, you bent his fingers back." I said to Mary/Hulk, in my most open and friendly way. Really, that is not sarcastic code for mean. I was nice. The fact that the kid has never so much as frowned at a younger child caused me to exercise some caution. "Would you be willing to explain to Anthony how you saw the situation?"
"Sure," said Mary/Hulk cheerfully. "We were on the trampoline, and the four younger kids all piled on top of me and started attacking me–which was okay, because it was all in fun. But then Anthony's hand got hurt."
"You see, Anthony," I said, trying my best to be fair, "When there's all those kids, it's hard to tell who is who, and he might have accidentally bent your fingers because everyone was on top of him–which isn't very safe." (Which sounded stupid even as it came out of my mouth–"Oh, I'm sorry, Anthony, that the fingers I grabbed and bent backwards were yours. I thought they were my sisters–and that would have been okay." What is the matter with this kid?).
"I didn't bend anyone's fingers back." said Mary/Hulk. "I'm very sure."
Who to believe? Mary/Hulk, on the one hand, has been unfailingly kind to Anthony since the moment they first met–when Anthony first reached out a drool covered baby hand and bopped him on the nose. To be fair, Anthony was too young to really have control of his hands–I think he was reaching for an ear. But in this moment, his tiny face a picture of humiliation and pain, I was sure that Anthony wasn't lying. You know that truth-y look they sometimes get? Anthony's shock and betrayal were completely sincere.
"He HUUUUURRRRRT ME!!!" Anthony wailed, tears still pouring down his tiny round cheeks. "He was laying there and all the kids jumped on him, and when I jumped on him, my hand hit him in the stomach and with his stomach he bent all my fingers back!"
"Yeah," said Mary/Hulk, "that's pretty much what happened."
Anthony's eyes shone with triumph–now, he was sure, that big bully was going to get it. No sense of another possible perspective, of any other way of viewing the situation. My son, ladies and gentlemen, had just punched another kid in the stomach and fully expected me to dish out the heck because he had hurt his precious fingers on Mary/Hulk's washboard abs.
Yeah, I am definitely giving this kid the blog name "Hulk". Which is good, because as I understand it, calling a 13 year old boy "Mary" is an invitation to all the bullies to go after him. And I would hate for all those poor delinquent youth to hurt their hands like my precious little pookie pie did.