There's this little game called basketball. The one where you take a round, orange ball and hurl it towards this little hoop hoping to make it in. Have you heard of it? Here in our house we have three forms of said game: 1) watching it on TV, 2) shooting with a regulation sized hard ball into the hoop purchased by The Rents residing in our garage, and 3) shooting the mini sized Nerf soft ball into the mini hoop hanging on the laundry room door. The latter being the most used at this time of the year and apparently also the most dangerous of all.
Last month, after donning the house with Christmas cheer, I entered the family room to find WJ sitting on the couch, extremely upset and fighting back tears. After asking what the problem was I was told about how the soft Nerf basketball had bounced off the rim of the cheap plastic hoop hanging off aforementioned door and careened into one of the equally cheap plastic candles adorning the mantle. Said candle then toppled off the mantle, crashed to the floor, and smashed the glass bulb to smithereens. Was WJ hurt? Had glass shards ricocheted off the train table and flown into his eyes causing him sudden and permanent blindness? Of course not. The problem wasn't pain inflicted by the breaking of the bulb, or the candle for that matter. It was fear that the revered hoop would be removed, dismantled, and potentially thrown away because this soft Nerf basketball had smashed the cheap ass piece of shit candle. If you haven't gotten the correlation yet, maybe last night's incident of epic proportions will clear things up for you.
After playing a few rounds of "first to ten" on the cheap plastic hoop with the soft Nerf basketball, I retreated to the comforts of my barstool. No. I do not have a bar in my house. It's what I sit on while working on the computer that's perched on the breakfast bar between the kitchen and family room. Though putting in a bar isn't a bad idea. Anyway, I digress. The TV was playing some college basketball game and WJ continued to shoot hoops while occassionally glancing at the screen. I lost myself in the world of Internet surfing and tuned out the dull noises permeating from the background.
I vaguely remember WJ telling me he needed a Kleenex and telling him to go to the bathroom to get one. But when your kid steps out of the bathroom door and says, "Hey Mom! There's blood on my Kleenex." your entire being jumps to ready attention and heightened sense of alert. I got up, wandered into the bathroom to investigate, and just as I turned to look at his nose the river of bright red blood spew forth dropping onto the floor. Thank God for linoleum. I grabbed a tissue, held it to his nose, and saw the pristine white paper product turn into a soggy red mess in my hands. WTF? How did this happen with a soft Nerf basketball? And more important, how the hell do I get it to stop?
A nose bleeder I am not. Never had one in my life. Not even after getting smacked so hard in the nose with an elbow coming straight down on the bridge during a (say it with me now) basketball game. I had no freakin clue how to get the river to subside, so after bringing WJ out to the couch, having him lay down while holding several more pristine white tissues to his nose, I returned to my post at the computer to search for some advice. I also sent an IM to a friend I'd been chatting with only minutes before. No response. And trying to read the various do this but don't do that articles online was taking too long when your kid is asking if he's going to die and you feel like you've just been dealt a hand you have no idea how to play.
So I did the only thing I could think of. I made the panic call. The oh my God, WJ's got a river of blood spewing from his nose and I have no idea in hell how to stop it call. I called the only person I could think might have a solution. A friend who's kid plays sports and, by the way, who's wife is a nurse. It's great to have friends in high places. Cold compress, light pressure. Seemed so logical after hearing it. And guess what? It worked. Within minutes the incident of epic proportions was over and peace was once again restored to our little kingdom.
Oh, one last thing. I think Nerf needs to come up with a different adjective to describe their toys because soft just ain't doing it in this household.