My Life is Like Shattered Glass*

March 16, 2014


Jim had a good summary of this early morning’s events:

The scene: 1 a.m. Sunday, March 16, 2014. Lights out, I’m asleep, Kari’s playing Spider on her phone. Enter The Boy.

“Dad, I think I might have swallowed some broken glass.”

“Say what?”

“I dropped the glass in my bathroom and it broke, but I drank from it anyway.”

“You drank water from a glass you just broke?”


“Did that actually seem like a good idea at the time?”

“Not really, but I didn’t think there’d be any pieces left in it. When I finished drinking I saw some little bits in the bottom.”

Factoid 1: The wait time to get a Kaiser advice nurse on the line at 1:00 a.m. on a Sunday is about 20 minutes.

The nurse asked the usual litany of questions. “Is he having trouble breathing?”  [“No, he’s having trouble locating his common sense.”] (I didn’t actually say that; in fact, Kari was the one on the phone. I was the one under the covers doing the facepalm thing, wondering if there was a rewind button somewhere that I could push. The owner’s manual that came with this child unit doesn’t have a chapter on late-night glass ingestion.)

Factoid 2: Swallowed glass rarely causes any problems. The size, shape and orientation of the piece has to be just right to lacerate anything. Add in the fact that the tongue is adept at detecting even very small foreign objects before they can be swallowed, and the risk is low. Present, but low.

The nurse consulted a doc, who (when he finished doing his own facepalm) advised monitoring The Boy for any unusual symptoms and calling back for a consult in the morning. (The normal people’s morning, the one where the big yellow ball is up in the sky.)

The boy goes to bed, and all’s reasonably well again. Except that now it’s 1:30 a.m. and I’m wide awake. I read until 3:00, when I decided that remaining awake any longer would be a really bad idea. Got up at 7:30 (normal people’s morning), checked in with The Boy (he’s fine), and will now see how long I make it without a nap.

Welcome to Sunday!

* Completely unrelated to this post, but I couldn’t resist the title. It was the name of a poem a classmate of Peter’s wrote in 4th grade when Senora Marchand taught a poetry unit. Each kid wrote his/her own poem, which ended up in a published, hard-bound book. The highlight of the unit was presentation day: the kids transformed their classroom into a “beat cafe,” and, one by one stood on a makeshift stage and recited their own poems for the invited patrons (parents). They offered a menu of drinks and snacks, and served as waiters and waitresses, all the while decked out in their best beat-poet attire–sunglasses, black turtleneck sweaters, beads, berets. A particularly troubled kid wrote and presented a startling poem that described, in disturbing terms, his life experience. I’ll never forget it. I hope his home life has improved since then.

2 Responses to “My Life is Like Shattered Glass*”

  1. Elliot Margolies Says:

    hilarious. If you ever find that teen age boy owner’s manual you won’t have to work another day of your life. There’s so many of us who have an order on back-hold.

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