Now for the rantings from a life misspent.
We live back a road, if you will. We actually own the road from the state road to a point past our house, then the next house picks it up. There are several houses strung along the road, so we have neighbors, but not in the normal sense of the house next door.
The family across the road from us is, ummm, special. Dad is completely wrapped up in church. They spend a great deal of time there, and in addition he works with a church youth group (which doesn't include his remaining daughter) and plays guitar with some church-affiliated musical group. When he's not in church he bikes (by himself), plays tennis (with whom, I don't know, but it's not with his daughter or his obese, hypochondriac wife), flies an aircraft (again, by himself) and sometimes rollerskates. They used to lock themselves in church on Halloween.
I once heard an expression for people like him: So heavenly bound he's no earthly good.
All this and he was astonished when his oldest daughter left home and got married at 19. They "disowned" her and so resented the fact that her grandparents stepped in to take care of the wedding that they decided to relocate several states away to ensure that the grandparents could have no further contact with their remaining daughter.
This sounds like a tall tale, I know. But it's absolutely true.
Their house actually sold, for an astonishing amount of money. I was stunned. Given what they sold for, I estimate our house is worth over a half million, maybe even as much as 600K. Interesting to know that we own a house that we couldn't possibly afford to buy...
He's currently searching for a job in Kentucky. Don't know why Kentucky in particular other than it's a very long way from here.
His remaining daughter comes over here to play. Given the above, you can imagine that she has issues. Bad things seem to happen to our daughter when she comes to play. Things like shaved eyebrows, for example. I don't make too much of an issue of them because I figure it's children being children.
Our kids used to go over to their house and roller skate in their garage and on their blacktop driveway. Several months ago, in a rare family moment, their dad offered to take our kids to a skating rink with him and his daughter. About a half-hour later he's at the door demanding that we talk. It turns out that his daughter gave my son his skates one day and they skated on the blacktop. (I won't comment on the fact that his skates fit a 12-year old) When they got to the skating rink the people there said he couldn't use his skates on the rink due to the asphalt residue on the wheels. Rather than spend three bucks to rent a pair of skates and deal with things later, he opted to ruin the whole thing, abort the trip and throw a fit in our kitchen. I took the skates and after he left I spent a whole five minutes with a Scotchbright pad and cleaned the wheels. What a jerk. To rub things in I threw a good Airborne spit shine on the uppers. Gave them back to him and he said not a word.
Now with that as a background, and bearing in mind that bad things happen when his daughter is around (it's not her fault she was brought up by a**holes), had a good one last night.
I'm in the kitchen washing dishes, my son is getting ready for a baseball game and my daughter has already dressed for basketball and is playing with Hell Child. All of a sudden I hear a scream followed by crying. The Bear had her mouth open, apparently laughing and Hell Child flicked a paper clip at her which lodged in her throat. I looked in her throat with a flashlight and had a pair of needlenose pliers on hand, but I couldn't even see the paper clip. There was no doubt it was there--there was a pronounced huskiness to her voice. Called the pediatrician and they couldn't deal with it, so off to the emergency room. Spent almost four hours there, during which time it finally made its way to her stomach. They took X-rays, and of course it couldn't be a normal paper clip. Nope, this one is opened up to resemble a fishhook. So immediately there is concern about its journey through the digestive tract.
Let's total up the above: Pain. Anxiety. Missed basketball game. Missed baseball game. Two umpire crises I was unable to resolve. Three and a half hours in the ER. Potato chips for supper. Another missed basketball game (she's restricted on activity until we know that the clip has safely passed). Emergency room charges. Sorting through her bowel movements for the next few days. Notifying teacher and school nurse of the need for sorting through bowel movements. Embarrassment incurred when teacher has to notify nurse that Bear has to have a bowel movement. Followup appointment with pediatrician. Charges for followup appointment. Potential that there may be complications...
I'm I wrong for wanting to take his roller skates and insert them into his rectum?
I left a message with Bear's teacher last night and called the school nurse this morning, confident that dealing with swallowed items is not unknown in elementary school. Just my luck, she has never had this situation before. Bear reports that she rarely has bowel movements at school. Let's hope that the trend continues.
Oh, and Hell Child's mother drives her the few hundred feet to the bus stop each morning thereby ensuring that the cycle of obesity will continue. Hell Child usually gets out of the car and talks with my two kids. This morning she remained in the car until the last minute. And I'll bet a month' s pay she hasn't said a word to her parents.
Someday I'll have a normal life...