It all started with Cameron saying, "I'm going to kick you in the penis!"

Actually that's probably not where it started. That's just the first thing I happened to overhear. My kids have been actively coming up with taunts and insults for each other pretty much since they were first able to talk. At first I worried that they were bullies in the making, but then I realized that boys just do that kind of crap. They have huge, compassionate hearts - especially for each other - but you'd never realize it to hear them banter back and forth.

"I'll kick you in the brain," Coby countered.

I was just around the corner, just out of sight. There was no tempering of the threats because Mom was listening; only the amusing exchange between a six-year-old and his four-year-old brother.

"I'll stick your gums to the ground," Cameron said.

Coby's turn: "I'll tie your mouth to a tree."

Amused, I started hastily scribbling down each new "menacing" threat. These were too good to forget.

"I'll stick your head to a tall tree and cut your body off."

"I'll break your self!"

"I'll break your whole head. Including your body."

"I'll throw you to America."

"I'll throw you to the earth's core where there's lava!"

It kept up, without a single pause. "I'll smash your face into the ground until it gets stuck!"

"I'll throw you into space without a helmet!"

(Side note: if these kids actually possess the physical prowess to carry out said threats, they'd better be raking in the dough as professional athletes and supporting their parents. Just sayin'.)

"I'll lock you in a shark's mouth!"

"I'll lock your lips up!"

At that point I decided to make my presence known. "Why are you guys saying such ugly things to each other?" I asked.

"We're talking like wrestlers!" Coby explained gleefully. "Because we're enemies!"

"Yeah!" Cameron chimed in. "Arch ones!" Then he turned back to the business at hand. "Coby, you're the meanest guy ever. I heard you get revenge on butterflies."

Enemies, indeed.

Wrist Watch

I am seriously feeling like the worst mother in the history of mothers, y'all.

Worse than the time I accidentally taught my son a bad word for a certain part of the anatomy.

Worse than the time I snipped my toddler's ear while attempting a home haircut.

Worse than the time I dragged my children to a parade in freezing temperatures completely unprepared.

And, okay, just about the same as the time my kid had a rare, potentially life-threatening infection and I didn't know it.

Two days ago, Corbin - my 21-month-old - kept whining a little bit as I'd put his arm into a coat sleeve or pull it through his car seat strap. At first I brushed it off, thinking he was just whining to be whining, because that's pretty much what toddlers do best. Plus, it always happened at a time when I was trying to herd four children out the door or into the school or whatever, which isn't the best time for needs to get addressed, know what I'm sayin'?

Otherwise, he was acting normally. And so we went about our day.

But then that evening, when I took off his shirt to give him a bath and he whimpered, I was kinda horrified to note that his left arm looked like this:

My first thought was to take him to the emergency room. But Curtis wasn't home, which meant I'd have to arrange for my mom to stay with the kids ... and get Corbin out into the cold, right at bedtime, to wait in the E.R. for Lord knows how long. And he was using the arm normally - gripping, climbing, picking his nose, punching his brothers. So I gave him some ibuprofen, tried to ice it (but he wasn't having any of that), and put him to bed.

Yesterday morning when we woke up, the swelling had gone down some, but it still didn't look quite right so I took him to the doctor. I felt kinda dumb when we went in there, because when his pediatrician poked and prodded on his arm, Corbin did nothing: no whine, no "ouch," no whimper ... nada. I just knew that the doctor was secretly thinking I was one of "those moms" who drags their kid to the clinic every time he sneezes. But to my relief, she said, "Let's order an X-ray, just to be sure."

So that's what we did. And then they sent us home and said they'd call. I figured that surely meant there wasn't anything wrong other than maybe a sprain or something.

But then I got a surprisingly quick callback. "Mrs. Templeton? Your son's wrist is fractured, and we're going to need to cast it. Can you come back in right away?"

That's how we ended up here:

The poor guy had a "buckle fracture" of both bones in his wrist. And though I have wracked my brain, I cannot think of a single incident where it was obvious that he'd hurt himself. He's always jumping off the couch or rough-housing with his brothers, but I can't recall him falling and crying like he was hurt. So not only did the little dude walk around for at least a whole day with a broken wrist - which makes me feel bad enough - but I don't even know how he broke it.

He sure does look cute in his neon-green cast, though. And he's proud of it. At least for now.

So if you're having a day when you feel like a crappy parent, just refer to this post. (And, okay, several others on this blog. Geez.)

You're welcome.


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