Nifty {Slightly Traumatic} Sixty

If there is one thing our family does not excel at, it is vacationing.

Like the time my 13 month old got strep and a double ear infection on our beach vacation. (The same one where we hit a deer…possibly the only deer in the state of Florida.)

Or the time – on our first solo vacation since our honeymoon – my husband contracted Hand, Foot, & Mouth Disease and my 8 month old broke his collarbone at home.

We do not travel well.

Which is why when my brother, my boys, and I decided to drive up to Kansas to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday last week, I should’ve expected more of the unexpected.

Most of the week was great. Truly. It hovered around a degree outside (one single degree), so we spent most of our time inside playing board games and carrying around personal heaters.

The *one* day we decided to venture into the arctic to do something fun, we headed to a science exhibit at Union Station in downtown Kansas City.

It looked awesome. Had great reviews. Sounded like a little boy’s dream.

I’ll never know, because we didn’t even make it past the front doors before Hutton got his finger smashed in the giant, metal, railroad-stationy door.

He immediately let out a blood-curdling scream. (And I immediately had a mild-to-moderate heart attack because REMEMBER THAT TIME I CUT MY DOG’S TAIL OFF? Doors make me anxious.)

I bent down and started consoling him. “Oh, buddy…I’m sorry. Did you get your finger stuck? It’ll be oka—” and then I saw his finger. And I realized it probably actually wasn’t okay. (Door anxiety now in FULL FORCE.)

I scooped him up, divvied the other boys up with my mom and brother, and headed across the lobby to the bathroom. Along the way, his finger started bleeding profusely. Like, leaving a bright, red trail across the beautifully tiled floor.

One of the hardest parts of parenting is assessing a wound. Either this is totally fine and just needs to be cleaned up a bit or you need emergency reconstructive surgery and/or amputation. The line seems oddly blurred between the two.

Hutton’s finger fell somewhere in the middle, but definitely on the needs-fairly-immediate-medical-attention end.

I wrapped his hand up and headed back to the lobby where my mom was asking a security guard for first aid assistance. When I walked up, he held out the world’s smallest bandaid and said, “Do you need this?”

I looked from him to the 14 blood-saturated paper towels on the end of my kid’s hand, back to the security guard, back to the seeping blood.

“Uhhhh nah, bruh. I think we’re past a bandaid at this point.


But could you be a dear and point us in the direction of the closest emergency room?”

45 minutes and a set of x-rays later, a 12 year old walks into our ER room.

12yo: Hello, I’m the doctor who will be working with Hudson today.

*takes one look at the finger*

I’m trying to decide what to do. Let’s see…we could… *mumbles a few things to herself*….we’ll probably just try to clean it up a bit and he’ll be good to go.

me: Great! So it’s not broken?

12yo: Yes, it is broken.

me: Oh. Huh. ….feels like that should’ve been the opening line….Is it bad?

12yo: No. And I’ve never actually seen a fracture in this bone, so we probably won’t even splint it.

me: ….ok….

*older doctor strolls in*

doc: Hi! I’m the supervising doctor. So what we have is a fracture that is very common in kids whose fingers get shut in doors. I see it all the time. We’ll splint it.

me: *looks from 12 year old to real doctor and back* hmm. So will he need stitches? Or glue?

12yo: no.

real doc: yes.

And on it went. Turns out this hospital is a “teaching hospital” which makes sense because there was a whole lot of teaching going on in that room. It might have been that 12 year old’s very first day on the job ever.

Also, as an aside, we were in the hospital’s system already from previous “vacations”. So. That’s appropriate yet depressing.

Couple things:

  1. This “mitt” is adorable and lasted all of 12 seconds before we started buddy taping instead.


2. My brother is the actual best person to have in this situation.


3. No broken bone could stop us from sledding the very next day.

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It was great fun.

Until it wasn’t.


That’s life with little people.

From great fun to snotty hysterics in .2 seconds.

The rest of the week wasn’t *as* eventful, but by the end of the week, we did have, at last count:

  • 1 broken Kindle
  • 1 broken iPhone (complements of a toddler and a toy hammer)


  • 1 broken finger


  • 1 broken eyeball (complements of different toddler, a really intense goodbye hug, and a pair of glasses stabbing the birthday girl in the eye, bursting a few blood vessels)

We life hard.

We also travel hard.

I’d do it all again, though, because this lovely lady is 60. And what helps someone ring in a new decade better than great, slightly traumatic memories?

We’d argue nothing.



Happy birthday, Mom. (Sorry again about your eye. I hope it stops bleeding soon.) XOXO

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