Yesterday I had a little taste of what that expression could mean. Older women (old enough to be my mother) are forever saying this to me, and I just smile and laugh it off. For the most part, my boys aren’t typical in the respect that they don’t get into too much trouble. Chad seems to be the exception to the rule of late. He seems to be the one who finds trouble, and unfortunately, he also tends to be the one who gets hurt as a result.

The day began smoothly with everyone getting up and ready as scheduled. Both older boys made the bus on time, and I thought I was going to have a relaxing morning catching up on a few chores around the house. I had just gotten out of the shower and decided I would water the potted plants on the decks. Chad was helping me, and just as we finished up, he headed into the family room. What I didn’t know was someone had left a sealed plastic bag containing some type of white powder. It looks like it was the dry mix for plaster from a craft kit, but I still don’t know for sure. No one will fess up as to how it got there; it must have been left by the “resident ghost”, you know, the one responsible for all the mishaps no one knows a thing about.

As I was filling the watering can for the last time, I hear Chad scream, “I need a wash cloth for my eyes!”. I look up, and his clothes and face are completely covered with the mysterious white powder. At this point, I hadn’t been in that room, and didn’t know it had been left on the floor. I thought he had had some type of lotion that had squirted into his eyes, and he had smeared it all over his face trying to get it out of his eyes. I ran into the room with a soaked dish towel, and dragged him towards the kitchen sink. I was trying to rinse his eyes with the sprayer, but he wasn’t quite tall enough. I rushed him upstairs into the shower, and luckily we have a detachable shower head, so I was able to flush his eyes with it. Note to self, if you ever have to do this, don’t question them as to what it is and what happened while spraying directly into the child’s face. You can’t understand the answer.

After a few minutes he said his eyes didn’t sting anymore, but they were pink, and the skin and eyelids around them were a little swollen and pink. Luckily the pediatrician’s office answered quickly (usually you have to call several times to get through). I explained what had happened and what I had done, and asked if he could be seen. I was concerned because I didn’t know what the substance was. I had called the elementary school office, explained what had happened, and asked that Joel call me as soon as the bus had arrived. I thought he would know what had been left. Oh, I forgot to mention that before I could make all these calls, I had to hunt down the cordless phone unit. I only had the wall phone in the kitchen, but I can’t use that and go around the house at the same time.

The doctor said his eyes would be irritated looking, but were ok. He wrote a prescription for erythromycin ointment to prevent an infection, and we returned home. By this time, the adrenaline rush had subsided, and I told him how lucky he was. Bad as it had been, I explained that he could have lost the sight in both of his eyes. He was shaken up by the ordeal, but I think he understood how important it is to not touch what doesn’t belong to you or you don’t know what it is. All is good now, except for the new gray hairs that resulted.



  1. A reply from Patty: My older boys, ages 14 yrs and 9 yrs, understand that Natalie and Julian are related biologically, and would have been considered their sister/brother if my husband and I have carried their pregnancy. They know they are still biologically related regardless, but they consider them to be “cousins” of a sort. Their actual cousins are in their early 20’s, so they enjoy having a relationship of this nature where they are the older ones. My youngest son, age 5 yrs, doesn’t call them anything per say. He used to say he wanted to “see the babies” (pictures Marti would send), but he does call Brian, the twins’ father, Uncle Brian with the twins. The boys have an Uncle Brian (my husband’s brother), and he is known as Uncle Brian in San Francisco or California, at least according to Chad.

    I think it would be safe to say that we as a family consider the Bailey’s as extended family, such as cousins or close friends that are considered part of the family. This is also true of our extended family; the Bailey’s visited in March, and we had a party for everyone to meet.

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