This has been a dreamy summer for my kids—Fun Daddy has been working from home and taking generous breaks to hit the parks and pools every day, while Get-Shit-Done Mommy slogs it out in a Dilbert Cubicle with busted air conditioning. Every day has been a new adventure followed by homemade slushies and water fights in the backyard. The neighbourhood kids even started hanging around our house to get in on the fun. But last week the Serb hit a couple of speed bumps on his road to parental sainthood, and their names are Pootch and Matsie.
It began on Wednesday with a phone call from home informing me that my four-year-old daughter had stuck tweezers in an electrical outlet. He was wondering if a trip to the ER was required and I assured him that she was fine (kids stick things in outlets every day and learn the lesson to not stick things in outlets, am I right?).
I mentioned the mishap to a few co-workers and got the side eye when I answered that no, the Serb wasn’t rushing our kid to the hospital, and no, I didn’t realize a child’s heart could stop as a result of an electric shock. A quick Google search (“my child stuck tweezers in an outlet”) confirmed that over 700,000 people had dealt with this issue and most of them had sought immediate medical attention.
I called the Serb to find him already at a walk-in clinic, where the doctor told him we were lucky our daughter hadn’t been knocked unconscious, or worse. When I arrived home I saw the charred tweezers:
As well as the exit burn on my daughter’s hand:
I finally understood how lucky we were (as did my daughter, who kept telling me through her tears that, “I’m sawree and I learned a big lesson ‘bout ‘lectricity…sniff…don’t do it…”).
The next day I returned to work and my colleagues were eager to hear how my daughter was doing. Before I could relay the good news, I received a barrage of texts from the Serb:
For some reason, the snake freaked me out far more than the electricity. I called my husband, squawking about ERs and venom sucking, only to be told that my son had laughed it off (apparently there was a cute fourth-grader nearby) and was already over it.
I try not to be (too) superstitious but can’t help wondering if sending them off to go camping today, Friday the 13th, might be pushing everyone’s luck.