Day’s Verse:
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5:3-5

Ian is off in Texas spending the weekend with his best buds in the world, Ben and Dan (no coincidence that our son is Benjamin Daniel) and Ryan. I’m “single parenting,” but really it just means I begged for extra help from absurdly willing grandparents. Many thanks to all grandparents for their extra help this week/weekend. The only tough part is getting up every night with Benji, when normally we split night duty.

Thursday night Benji woke up twice, consumed vast volumes of food, and went back to sleep. That’s fine, but I don’t do so well waking up every 3 hours and man that 7 am alarm sure felt brutal. I felt rather zombiefied as I went through Benji’s morning routine. Once I had fed Benji, I went to put him in his high chair while I made my own breakfast.

That’s when his exploratory fingers, which get everywhere, got into the latch of the high chair tray as I pushed it down. You have to push hard to latch it. Benji’s shriek of pain communicated perfectly the situation and I unlatched it, snatched him up, and held him. I could barely stand to look at his fingertip, which looked horribly squished and deformed and bleeding. He howled. He shrieked. Tears streaked down his face. His arms stood out straight in the “shocked and surprised” position. He was distraught and clearly in pain.

Meanwhile, I writhed inside and cried for him and cuddled him close. I was completely at a loss: If it was my finger, I’d probably ice it, put a band-aid on the bloody part, and go “Ow ow ow” when I used it. But I couldn’t even touch his hand without renewed screaming. I called Deborah — at 7:45 am, poor saint, I woke her up and then inflicted Benji screams on her. Our conversation wasn’t real productive, given that I only caught about 25% of what she said over the howling. But about an hour later, she showed up and stayed to help for a few hours, which at least helped me calm down.

Just to be sure, I called the doctor’s office, and they told me exactly what I’d expect: If his finger isn’t broken, which it wasn’t, I should just make sure it stays clean (ha!) and monitor it. There’s nothing they or I could do that his immune system can’t do better. So I just left it.

Sure enough, today, as far as I can tell, he’s fine. His finger looks red and swollen, not surprisingly, but he uses it normally with no hesitation. So whew. I know it’s only the first of many injuries, and even only the first of injuries I inadvertently inflict. I also know he won’t remember this, thank goodness. But I still feel a twinge every time I see his finger.

(For the record: We have a number of family lore stories about me falling on my head at least twice, getting my head shut in the van’s sliding door, getting my fingers slammed in the car door, etc. I don’t remember any of these [the beauty of head injuries?!] and look how I turned out.)

After that, I was heating water in the microwave — in a 2-cup Pyrex liquid measuring cup — and the water exploded* with an impressive FOOM. It blew the microwave door open, splattered me with boiling water, and coated the entire interior of the microwave with 1 1/2 cups of boiling water. This has happened a number of times before, but usually it remains contained in the microwave. The exploding door part was new, alarming, and rather painful. Not only that, but too little hot water remained in the measuring cup to even heat Benji’s milk. At that point, I really was ready to throw in the towel on the day, crawl back into bed, and start over the next day.

The day did get better, though, and today Mom gave me the gift of a lovely long ride with my team and some recovery time afterward, so things are actually going pretty well.

* Later I related this anecdote to my chemistry major sister and she immediately explained that it was because I was heating it in a smooth container with nothing for bubbles to form on. I could solve the problem by putting a glass stirring rod (or pebble, or plastic straw, or anything not metal — a good caveat to include to dunderhead here) into the Pyrex cup while heating the water. See, this is what we use our educations for later. Thanks, Colleen, for sparing me from any more boiling water explosions.

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