Nothing says “I love you” like a punch in the face.
It’s not exactly how Hallmark encourages us to celebrate, but it makes for exciting life around our house.
* * *
There I was.
Minding my own business. Busy thinking about the 101 things moms have to do each morning.
Make the bed. Wake up the kid.
Get showered and dressed. Wait five minutes.
Go back into son’s bedroom and wake him up again.
Wait another five minutes.
Go back into his bedroom and threaten him within an inch of his life that if he doesn’t get up and dressed for school, there will be no Cocoa Puffs at breakfast because I will have given them all to starving kids in Africa.
Kid starts to move.
Then I head downstairs. Let the dog outside. Dodge the Kamikaze cat who attacks from the landing.
Open the pantry and find said Cocoa Puffs. Get son’s lunch ready. Confirm that his book bag is packed, homework inside and by the door. Find my own breakfast. Remember that I’ve yet to tell my husband “Good morning.”
Tell said husband, “Good morning,” as he sits at the kitchen table huddled over his own breakfast and the newspaper.
Receive caveman-like grunt in return.
I shrug and continue with my day.
Read the newspaper, pack my own lunch, let the dog back in and search for my shoes.
Let the dog back out because she heard a noise outside and thinks we’re under attack.
Briefly wonder why we’ve never put in a dog door.
Let dog back in. She begins to chase Kamikaze cat around the house, thanks in part to husband who eggs them each on with a “Get ‘em! Attack!”
Roll my eyes and wonder again why I didn’t marry John Cusack.
And then it happened.
The punch heard ‘round the world.
Husband, standing in the kitchen with his back to me, picks up his coat and reaches back to slide an arm into the sleeve.
And I walk right up behind him at the very exact same time.
We couldn’t have coordinated our watches ala Mission Impossible any better.
Fist? Meet nose.
* * *
Page 2 of 2 - I would like to say I took it like a man, like one of those punk-crazy Ultimate Fighter dudes. The kind of guy who could have a limb severed and just wave it off with an “I’m good. I’m good.” while he limps back into the middle of the ring for the next round.
I would like to say I handled it with grace, with dignity befitting my station, like a character from Downton Abbey. Merely shrugged and said, “Oh my goodness. That tweaked a bit. Let me sit down and have a spot of tea until I feel better.”
Uh. But, no.
It went more like this....
Pain exploding in my nose.
Stars shooting everywhere.
And I went down like #2 did in “Slap Shot” after Steve Hanson clocked the guy just ‘cuz he looked at him funny.
Husband whirls around - and before I can ask for a priest and Last Rites - he panics and hollers, “What the hell were you doing right behind me!??!”
I didn’t realize it was so frowned upon. I’ll be sure never to do it again.
By this time, I have curled myself into a ball and cry out, “AmbIbleefing?!”
My husband bends over and carefully touches my arm, “What?”
“Bleefing? Amb I bleefing?” I wail.
He looks at me and shakes his head, confused. “I can’t understand a word you are saying.”
OHMYGOD. I’m brain damaged!
I look at him in shock and try once more, “Amb I bleefing?” while pointing at my throbbing nose.
“Oh,” he says, smiling, “You want to know if you are bleeding?”
Bad idea. Pain radiates throughout my face, and I am this close to passing out.
He grimaces, “Uh, no. Sorry about that.” He reaches down and hauls me upright.
I stand there, wobbly, waiting for the world to stop spinning. Finally, it calms, and I shove down the urge to hurl my breakfast.
“Yeah,” I said. “I’m good.”
See? I soooo could be an Ultimate Fighting Champion.
You can follow additional adventures at kelleybaldwinlifelikemine.blogspot.com. Kelley is a former editor of the Maryville Daily Forum.