Friday, February 17, 2012

Doctor Daddy - Watch What You Say

I linked this post up with Sandra's Writing Workshop Hop; a bloghop focused on helping writers improve their craft. This post is open to all those participating in the workshop to leave constructive criticism to help improve my writing skills. Please remember constructive criticism is kind and helpful. I reserve the right to remove any comments which are rude or mean-spirited.

The culprit
It's true. Doctor's have to walk a fine line when speaking to their patients. While wearing the white coat, they choose their words carefully in an effort to make sure their patient and their family fully understand the state of their health and/or available courses of action needed to regain or maintain their health and quality of life.

Doc H walks that fine line beautifully at the hospital.  It wasn't until our Little Buddy was in the first grade, we realized he must also choose his words carefully at home.

Back then, Doc H and I (or just I, if he was working late) would make the rounds to each of the kids' rooms to tuck them into bed and kiss them goodnight. (Nowadays, they tuck us into bed. Sad, but true.)
This particular night, we each visited LB's room and spoke to him, kissed him, tucked him in, turned out the light and shut the door. The kids were all well, all was good, they were safe.

It was Thanksgiving time and Little Buddy (LB) was asked to bring in a can a vegetables to school to make soup for the class Thanksgiving Feast. Doc H was given this bit of information at 10:30 the night before via email from his ex-wife. Now, this wouldn't have been such a big deal if I normally stocked my pantry with canned vegetables. However, as luck would have it...I don't. Call me crazy, but I just believe in eating fresh vegetables, especially since we live in an area where it is easy to get fantastic produce all year long.

So, it's 10:30pm and I'm in bed exhausted. I decide I'll wake up early and head over to the grocery store to pick up the can of veggies.

Early the next morning, Doc H is dressed and ready to head to the hospital. I am in my yoga pants and his over-sized medical school sweatshirt. The older girls are up dressing, doing their hair, and starting to come downstairs to chow down on the freshly baked cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I yell at Doc H to get LB down to the table. Next thing I know, Doc H is sternly asking me to look at LB's hand, "Look at what LB did to himself!" Doc H was not happy.  I looked at his little hand and saw it.

We had gone on a vacation earlier that year and our girls had chosen toe mood rings as their souvenir. Apparently, after turning out the lights, LB had slipped out of bed, found one of the tiny rings and slipped it on his finger. He slept with it on all night. All night, his finger swelled from a lack of blood flow.

LB's finger was worse than this...
Doc H was already at the sink with LB standing there on his tip-toes, eye-level with the counter top with his arm swung over into the sink with cold water gushing over his hand. I told Doc H I was heading to the store for the can of veggies. I told him to try butter or oil. And with that, I ran out the door.

As soon as I walked back in house carrying the can of veggies, I knew we were in trouble. If LB were a little puppy, he would've had his tail wrapped down in between his legs. He looked miserable. He and Doc H were in the same exact place as when I left for the store. LB has a combination of oil and butter slathered on his hand. Doc H is washing it off. Looking at me in disgust and still washing LB's hand, Doc H irritably announces, "I can't get it off. I'm going to have to take him to the OR to cut if off!"

With that, Doc H quickly dried LB's hand and ran upstairs to call the OR to alert them he was coming in with LB. LB ran to me and buried his face in my stomach balling uncontrollably. I could feel the hot tears and snot soaking through my sweatshirt and it dawned on me. I pulled him off of me and crouched down to look him in the eyes. "Sweetie, you don't think Daddy means he's going to cut your finger off, do you?"

LB had the ugly cry going on. Poor kid couldn't even answer. He just nodded as as he howled in angst. "No, no, Sweetie. He's going to take you to the OR to use the ring cutter! Daddy's going to cut the ring off, not your finger."

When Doc H cut the ring off, it exploded into three pieces. LB proudly took the three pieces to school for show and tell....along with the can of veggies.


  1. Poor LB!! But it does make an interesting show and tell!!

    Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

  2. I would have thought he was going to cut off my finger too - LOL! I think that this was well-written because it is a really short story, but you had the veggie sub-plot running through it in addition to the main plot and you tied everything up neatly (and cleverly) at the end!

    Over from Sandra's Blog Hop - I just put the link in her comments because I can't link up for some reason(!)

  3. Emma, great moment to dramatize! Thanks for linking up with my "workshop." Slow to start, as I had to repost; the linky wasn't working right. Anyway, good play here, on the close first person narrative! Maybe think about starting the piece in the midst of the drama, and flashing back – I wasn't able to really hear that the first-person character until the actual "scene" -- that morning when she wakes up and they discover the swollen finger. The first couple of paragraphs maybe could even just be cut? Launch right into the moment, then you can flashback to the info we need about the canned veggies etc. But it's in the midst of that actual drama that the real character of your "I" comes through. Would love to see how you might rework this! Thanks again, and hopefully we'll get more to join. Tweet or FB that it's for anyone who wants to try their hand at fiction!

  4. Nicely done - I like that you've woven a message in here so seamlessly.

  5. Kids! Mine went to sleep with a piece of gum in his mouth and got his hair stuck all over his pillow. Had to chop off a chunk to free his head, and he went around looking ratty

  6. Oh poor LB. but I bet it was a good show and tell.
    Dropping by from Sandra's blog hop.
    Here's mine Dance with me

  7. Oh poor kid!! I bet that terrified him! Wonderful story.


  8. I loved line about making rounds to the kids rooms- very nice referral to his doctorly duties. Also, "hot tears and snot soaking through my sweatshirt" Gross, but great descriptions!

  9. I finally had time to make my round reading all of the posts from Sandra's blog . Poor LB! Great job on recognizing his fear ...

  10. Oh my goodness that poor baby! I can just hear the sobs :( I am glad he is ok though. My hubby often speaks without thinking first, it almost always turns disastrous. Happy SITS day.

  11. Nice writing. You had me biting my nails throughout!


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