I always tell Mady we should have given her the middle name Grace – because she had none.
My poor oldest daughter takes after me. No athletic ability, no coordination and an inane knack of getting hurt at the most inopportune time.
This manifested itself last weekend as I was outside grilling. I bet you can see where this is going with that one sentence.
I was doing a roast on the grill on Saturday, so of course I was outside and the grill had been on for about an hour and a half. The girls had been playing outside but moved into the garage due to the intense heat, and as far as I could tell they were staying there.
Maura was riding her tricycle inside and playing with Play-Doh. That was “babyish” to Mady so she decided she was going to ride her bike.
As I was checking the temperature on the meat, making sure that it was still juicy but burnt enough that my wife would eat it, I overheard a conversation.
“Move your dumb tricycle,” Mady said.
“No,” came her stubborn sister’s reply.
“Move it, now,” Mady argued.
“No,” said Maura, as she busied herself with the Play-Doh.
“Wait a second, Mady and I’ll help you,” I said, probably realized full well that Mady doesn’t have the patience to wait.
She attempted to push her bike past the tricycle and promptly stumbled.
I had the grill lid up and a thermometer in my meat, and couldn’t see what happen.
Mady calmly put her bike kickstand down and walked into the house.
“Must be frustrated,” I thought, as I went back to grilling.
Then the screaming started.
“I burned myself on the grill,” Mady yelled as I could hear her riffling through our freezer trying to find an ice pack.
I ran in the house, to find her with a bag of frozen pearl onions on her arm.
“Oh, it couldn’t be that bad,” I told her, then lifted up the bag.
Yep, I was wrong.
I was quickly on a trip to find burn cream and gauze. Thankfully we had a fresh Ace bandage around – because Mady gets her klutziness from me.
A week prior, the girls had left to go Pennsylvania to visit Sarah’s parents.
Being left to my own devices on Father’s Day, I planned to treat myself. I found a recipe for a sourdough biscuit bread and promptly started making dough Sunday morning.
Everything was going fine until I couldn’t get the sticky substance out of my food processor. Thinking I knew how far down the blade was, I reached in, starting to pull dough from the sides.
Now that I think back on it, it’s probably good I didn’t lean over too far or I would have started the processor. Instead I simply impaled my right hand pointer finger on the blade. Quickly pulling it out, I thought I had escaped injury. No blood.
I spoke too soon.
Within seconds my finger started squirting and wouldn’t stop. I put peroxide on it (later finding out that you’re not supposed to do that anymore) but the bleeding wouldn’t stop. I called Sarah in Pa., and she gave me probably the worst advice. “Sit down, drink a coffee and keep pressure on it, you’re fine you wuss,” my always loving wife told me.
Thirty minutes later, I took the towel I had wrapped around my finger off. Instead of stopping, the bleeding had only gotten worse. Soon, I was in MedExpress, getting glued back together while I cursed my dumb luck.
Of course, Mady would follow in my footsteps.
A few weeks earlier, I had taken her and Maura down to the tennis courts in our subdivision to ride bikes. It will be flat and safe, I thought to myself.
Mady can make safe dangerous very quickly.
Maura, who is still on training wheels, puttered around the court while my father-in-law and I looked on. Mady, meanwhile, has upgraded to a 20-inch bike and was feeling her oats.
She raced by her sister, zooming in between her and the poles that held up the nets at the court.
I was quite proud of her, as she had come a long ways from earlier in the year.
Quickly, my pride turned to terror.
Mady cut between one of the poles and turned her wheel sharply – too sharply.
Going at a fast rate of speed, she flipped over her handle bars and almost in slow motion I could see her land almost face first on the pavement. Thankfully, her Frozen helmet jutted out at the end and that took the brunt of the blow. Still, I could tell she hit her mouth and I expected her to come up with a mouthful of blood.
As I carried her off the court, I looked and didn’t see blood. We lucked out, I thought, as her dance recital for the Orange School of Performing Arts was the next day. I hurried her home to get checked out while Maura continued to ride, not ready to leave just because her sister ate it.
That’s when we discovered that Mady’s bottom teeth nearly went through her top lip, a very visible hole formed where she must have missed going through by a few centimeters. A bruise started to form, and thankfully she was wearing a lot of makeup the next day.
So come last weekend, we were prepared for her burns and subsequent drama – that’s just Mady.
Sadly, she takes after me.