Big giant head


In Other News


We had ourselves a scary night tonight. It was about 6:30 and Beth and I were putting groceries away when we heard a thump from the living room where Zoe was playing. A moment later she started crying a strange, muffled cry. We were in there before the groceries we were holding had hit the ground.

Zoe was lying face down on top of a folding stepladder. Her arms were twisted at a weird angle with her hands underneath her. She was crying but not moving at all. I don't know about Beth, but my brain utterly froze for a moment -- everything ground to a halt while I tried to make sense of what I was seeing. Then it unfroze -- a little bit -- and I rushed to join Beth at Zoe's side.

She'd apparently been climbing on the stepladder when it collapsed under her. It went down, she went down on top of it, and in folding it folded on her thumbs. Both thumbs. Beth lifted Zoe, still entangled, while I lifted the stepladder. I unfolded it and freed her thumbs and my brain froze again. Her right thumb was okay, but her left one was mangled -- it had closed right on the nail portion of the thumb, crushing it and tearing the nail half off.

I'm normally the cool head in an emergency. For example, I was the "go to guy" during the earthquake of 92, I was the calm voice of reason when Zoe was one and cut her leg so badly it needed stitches. Not tonight, not by a long shot. When I saw Zoe lying there crying with her thumb a mass of bloody hamburger, I just lost my mind. Breakers popped, fuses burned out, sparks shot out of my ears. This time it was Beth's turn to be the calm one, gathering Zoe up in her arms, finding the car keys, telling me to stop running in circles (literally) and go out to the car so we could get Zoe to the hospital.

We rushed her to the emergency room, where they took X-rays and bandaged her up and declared her pretty much okay. Nothing was broken and they even left the nail on, saying there was an outside chance it would heal itself back on. Two hours after it started we were back home and reading Zoe a bedtime story. Now it's almost 6 hours later and I'm still shaken by it.

I have to give credit where credit is due. Beth was in control of the situation and Zoe was a real trouper. She was crying, sure, but not wailing like you'd expect. Even though her thumb had to have been killing her, she was singing along with "Baa Baa Black Sheep" halfway to the hospital and even laughing when I changed the words around. That kid is tough. My wife is tough. Me, I was a jellyfish tonight.


Sunday - December 6, 1998
Beth Speaks

I've been badgering Beth to do a guest entry here for awhile now. I thought you, Gentle Reader, might enjoy hearing from her, and I knew that I would enjoy not having to write an entry. Well, she's finally taken me up on the offer. And so, without further ado, Beth speaks. Take it, Beth...

Some time ago I threatened Chuck that I was going to "guest" in this spot and write a rebuttal to his one-sided accounts of some of the more (or less) interesting facets of our daily life. Well, then I calmed down, inertia took over and I lost interest. Clearly, nothing he's written lately has inflamed me. Well, Thursday night he told me he wanted me to write something for this spot and he wanted me to do it some time over the next few days. So, here I am, today's special guest star.

Some things about me: I used to have a life. I spent the summer working for Sire Records in London when I was 17. I traveled briefly with the Talking Heads -- I dated their road manager. I've partied with David Lee Roth. I lived in Spain from 89-90. I met Jim Morrison. My first concert was the Doors at Madison Square Garden when I was 7. I dated James Honeyman Scott (the first Pretender that died) briefly. I've done a lot of travelling. Now I'm a mom and a domestic goddess. I'm a good cook and I make a really mean meatloaf. I quilt. I do at least half of the child rearing around here although re-reading Chuck's journal he makes it sound like he's the primary child care giver. I have watched at least as much home improvement TV as Chuck (I turned him on to it truth be told) but don't climb under the house. I'm messy and not good at cleaning the house. I can be a real bitch. I make really good homemade jam. I give great blowjobs (but too few for Chuck's taste).

I will mention that I don't think Chuck talks about Zoe enough in his journal. She is the beginning, middle, and end of our worlds and she does so many cute things on a daily basis I could fill a book. OK, I guess he's right it would get pretty boring. Just remember though, every time Chuck writes about something that's not about Zoe that she's done at least a dozen noteworthy things.

To do this guest spot I decided to review some of Chuck's past "takes" and add my comments. I started with August of this year since as I recall that was about when I got this brilliant idea. On to my rebuttals:

8/15: Photojournal-ism
I don't like this picture of me. I asked Chuck not to include it in his journal. My pleas went unheeded. I'm much cuter than I look here. Please don't look at this picture.

10/3: Portable Petri Dish
We're sick again. Until I had a child I don't think I was sick more than 10 times in my life!

10/6: Escrow Hell
This is not a fair picture of me. Yes, I did want to draw blood. Yes, I did want to drive to the buyer's work and slap her. And I'm not even this nice.

  • I do not suffer fools gladly
  • I don't like to lose
This whole process turned from a simple contract to an exercise in futility. I negotiate for a living. This was not a negotiation; it was a cluster fuck.

As an update: about a month ago we got cancellation papers from escrow saying the buyer gets back all her money less her escrow cancellation fees ($250). I did not sign that and she's still waiting to hear from us. I think she expected that money back in time for Christmas. Don't count on it. I'm going to torture this woman at least as long as she tortured me. It'll be at least another month till she hears back from me and she's not going to like what she hears.

10/10: Domestic Un-Bliss
This was the worst 24 hours of our marriage. I got sad all over again when I re-read this entry. I'll admit it-I fight dirty.

11/12: Dog Gone
We're keeping Suki. End of discussion.

11/21: Back to Work with Rube Goldberg
This and previous accountings of Chuck's forays into home improvement are not exaggerated. As I've told him dozens of times: Just because you've watched 30,000 hours of home improvement TV doesn't mean you can actually fix anything.

12/1: An Evening of Show Tunes
I spent the whole first act thinking about cutting my hair off and the second act thinking about the excuse to use when we were bailing out.

12/5: Insanity
Last night, after this most recent episode of home improvement hell Chuck "threatened" to give up all attempts at home repair forever. Well, it would certainly be quieter around here, however I was glad to read this entry. The intrepid tool man is back.

Thank you for this brief opportunity to present my side of the story. Questions, comments, whatever... e-mail me. And if the facts in today's sidebar do not accurately depict this evening's events you'll be hearing from me again. Very soon.


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Copyright © 1998
Chuck Atkins