September 9, 2020

breakfast of family legends: shower door addition

We went out to breakfast our last day in Michigan (yes, last month, cut me some slack).  This part of the plan was genius, if I don't say so myself.  We had to be out of the house by 10 am.  I figured we'd be running low on breakfast food, and as an added incentive to motivate the kids to help us load the car QUICKLY, I dangled the out-to-breakfast carrot.  They bit.  Big time.

Tank ordered and ate every bite of a sandwich 
that had a half a pound of bacon on it.


Curly and Mini ate cinnamon swirl pancakes.  I will spare
 you the details of how long it took us to find a place open
 for breakfast on a Tuesday morning.  We were starving.

The other great thing?  If you eat a slightly late, big breakfast, then lunch is not a requirement.  We headed to the beach with full bellies.   Lunch was just granola bars, some fruit, treats, and juice boxes. 

We'll gloss over the fact that the minute we got to the beach Reggie ripped open a bag of chips and shoved them in his pie hole.  


The fact that this sentiment was shared by Tank speaks volumes, you get that by now, right?  

Anyway, while at breakfast we started talking about the infamous shower door incident. 

Allow me to set the scene:  circa 2009.  Coach drove off to pick up Lad from 6th grade football practice.  This incident falls into the time before Coach owned a cell phone.  Yes, by 2009 most adults had a cell phone . . . Coach wasn't one of them.  

I sent Ed and Tank up to shower.  Together.  In my master bathroom.  Prior to this the kids' shower had begun to leak into the kitchen.  As a result, Coach forbid the kids from showering in their bathroom.  

The phone rang.  It was my BFF, Mary Ann.  She had an earful for me.  

I was preparing to run our Catholic school's first annual garage sale fundraiser.  The pastor didn't want to wait for the summer as advised.  They needed $$.  We were going to do the sale on a 3 day weekend in November.  I tried to warn them - the donations would fill the school.  They waved me off.  Little did they know I was a garage sale guru in my former life, or more accurately when Lad was a baby and Coach was a full time student.   

Mary Ann was upset.  Her husband organized a basketball pick up game in the gym for some of the men of the parish once a month  They'd been alerted that his Sunday game would be cancelled that month due to 'MY' garage sale.  She was irate.  

Did I know that the men looked forward to this?  My brain stumbled to process this.  A woman calling me to bitch me out for VOLUNTEERING my time to run and organize a massive fundraiser while the classrooms were off-limits, filled with desks, etc.  No easy task.  Who the hell did she think she was?  

I'll tell you who she wasn't . . . she wasn't one of my very kind, dedicated, hard-working, fun volunteers (mostly school moms) who helped me pull this thing off.  Nope.    

While she was scolding me, I heard a loud crash.  I hung up, and raced up the stairs two at a time with 18 mo old Curly under my arm.

Ed (9 yrs old) was naked in the shower.  Tank (7 yrs old) was naked in front of the shower with a sheepish expression on his face.  Oh, and there was glass EVERYWHERE.  And blood.  

You mix a little blood with water from a shower and it looks like a freaking massacre - but in reality the boys were mostly unhurt.  

Before the shower door crumbled into a million bits, it was that illusion-type glass.  Not totally easy to see through. 

Tank got out of the shower first.  When Ed tried to exit, he didn't know that Tank was outside the shower door firmly holding the door closed.  Tank was having a good silent, mischievous laugh.  Shock.  Ed tugged at the door,  Nothing.  Tank decided 'joke over' and let go.  Ed yanked at the door harder trying to figure out why it was stuck.  The door BANGED open and shattered.  

The tempered glass crumbled into a huge pile instead of creating shards of glass that could have cut my kids to ribbons.

Well, this was TERRIFYING.  I had to put shoes on to go into the bathroom to rescue them.  I tried to close the bathroom door and put Curly out on the carpeted floor of my room, but I noticed that the carpet was shiny, covered in glass fragments that had exploded out under the door on impact.  Instead I tossed her in her crib.

I put each boy in the whirlpool tub and rinsed off the shiny dusting of glass they were coated in.  Ed 's bloody finger left creepy bloody hand prints on the tiled walls which didn't freak me out at all.  

6th grade football coaches fired up the team for a good 30 to 45 minutes AFTER practice, leaving the parents to mill around in the parking lot.  Me?  Call me crazy, but I prefer practice to end when it's supposed to.  

I called a mom whose husband owned a cell.  He was at the practice picking up.  "Can you please tell Fred to tell Coach to just grab Lad and get home.  I need him."  I might have been crying.  

I called my folks who live a few minutes away.  They don't always pick up.  I called Ann, she's a nurse.  She drove over, but she first called my folks' neighbor who then went and rung my parents' doorbell.

Neighbor:  There has been an accident with the kids at Ernie's house with broken glass.  

Yes, we are lucky that we didn't lose one of my folks to heart failure that night.  

Ann picked the glass out of Ed's finger.  No stitches needed.  My mom called, but she was too shaken to drive.  Coach eventually came home.  It took him forever to get the glass cleaned up.  It was EVERYWHERE.  

FAVORITE PART:  The next day, Ed showed up to school and was treated like Ferris.  Kids told him they'd heard he was hospitalized, or dead, or minus a limb, etc.  Word had traveled through the dad, Fred, at football practice.  

During this Michigan breakfast, Coach insisted that it was his late night at work, but we corrected him.  Nope, you were at football practice.  

Tank remembered things differently, as if he wasn't trying to be a little shit holding the shower door shut.  We gave him points for the attempt at pleading innocent, but no one believed him.  Ed still remembered his confusion in initially being unable to open the shower door.  Mini remembered trying to keep Curly happy in her crib.  

I remember how scary it was, but I also remember the audacity of Mary Ann's phone call. 

Does your family recount memories and remember things differently, or not at all (ahem, Coach . . . I mean, not to mention names or anything)?


Kari said...

I love the Ferris reference. That must have been frightening! I freak out about everything, so that would have completely freaked me out at the sight of that. As I am getting older, I am completely forgetting stories as they truly happened which is the kiss of death for a writer, as you know.

I am wanting to write a post about some friends of our family and I was asking my mom about them to be accurate and I had some facts turned around and we both laughed because she has a good 24 years on me and she remembers things better than I do. THAT IS SCARY. I am hoping it is my menopause and my medication for migraines. FINGERS CROSSED.

Ernie said...

Kari- how did I know you would like the Ferris bit? Tee hee. I am the memory keeper in my family of origin which only leads to my siblings thinking I made stuff up. While I am all: how do you not remember that?! When it comes to Coach we are all just lucky he remembers our names.

Anonymous said...

Total win with the Ferris ref! That was the first movie we watched this past March when things started to go insane. Comforting, funny, the dance scene slays, and Cameron’s existential angst about, well, everything was weirdly appropriate. (Sorry for digression! :-)

Blood, shattered glass... man I would have been apoplectic. You are one cool headed mama. Glad everyone was ok more or less!

I know someone who is one of three boys. They’re all good eggs but oh em gee the hijinks they got up to as kids. Their childhood stories are hysterical but whoa, epic messes. Like once they built a fort in the formal living room. A *snow* fort. From flour. *Flour Snow* inside the Formal Living Room. Their poor parents.

Their mom told me she learned from hard experience to get worried/go check on the boys if things got quiet in the house!


Ernie said...

Maddie - so glad you stopped by and left a message . . . where is everyone this week, still messed up with the day off on Monday? It was something I never expected to happen. There is no training for that kind of thing. I once found my 'quiet' kids in the upstairs bedrooms where they had dragged a bunch of mattresses into one of the rooms. It was like a trampoline party. I do wish I had started blogging long ago so that I could have a collection of their adventures. I fear some have been forgotten. The kids probably know. Will they ever tell though?

Busy Bee Suz said...


This is so darn scary...the stuff of Mom nightmares. YIKES. I'm glad it all turned out ok, but how funny that you had to call 'around' before you could get any help.

I think you should rename your blog: Mary Ann, that Bitch.

With only two kids and neither had 'emergencies', Well, Linds slipped in the tub once while I was at a girl scout leader meeting and Coach took her and had her chin stitched up. Lolo does have some horror stories of injuring herself playing softball or volleyball, but her horror was mostly us not taking her right away to get things looked at. "Hey, walk it off".
NOT parents of the year, here.

Ernie said...

Suz - taking the new blog name under advisement. Strongly considering it. ;)

You are not alone in the 'walk it off' mentality. Tank needed stitches once but I was not home. Happened on Coach's watch. I had to take him the next day where they scrubbed the cut on his head open before stitching it, and they asked me some questions about why we sucked so bad as parents, more or less.

The worst though- when my niece was here. Mini on all 4's giving her a horsie ride (they were the same age - like 4 yrs). Niece fell off Mini's back and complained of her elbow. I drove her to Coach's work. He thought the elbow was out of the socket (nurse's elbow, happened to our kids all the time), so he jammed it back in. Um, a few days later her mother Aunt Leprechaun, who is a DOCTOR, took her to get it checked and the elbow had a tiny hairline fracture. Oops.