Don’t Let Them Play with a Tape Measure

With twin boys, there are countless moments in any day when one, or both of them, is teetering on the brink of disaster. My voice is hoarse from saying, “Get Down!”, “That’s a bad idea”, “Drop that now!”, “Slow down” … you get the idea. For the most part, even when they are propelling through the air off the banister or running near a pot of boiling water, they are left unscathed. So, on Christmas Eve, at 9pm, when I finally sat down after plating everyone else’s dinner, I was simply too tired and too excited about my wine glass to yell. I knew I should tell them to put down the tape measure. To be honest though, I was just really thankful they were occupying themselves, so the rest of us could eat.

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Shane pulling the 30 foot tape measure across the room, but I had just put my first bite of food in my mouth. I said nothing. Then, I saw him pick up speed and pull it out to its full length. Now, I had a mouthful of really nice wine. I said nothing. Then, of course, “Owwwww”, followed by, “Oh no!! Aunt Karen, look!” The blood splattered all over the floor and on the wall caught my attention first and Lord help me, my first thought was, “Great, who’s gonna clean that up?”

You didn’t need a medical degree to look at Charlie’s index finger and know immediately he needed sutures. There was a lot of blood, and he wanted to keep it covered, so I didn’t get a great look. Still, he didn’t seem to be in too much pain. I did what every good mother would do. I held pressure on it for three hours as to not ruin anyone else’s Christmas Eve. When my family left, my husband took him to the ER. Two torn tendons, a hand surgeon and 6 hours later, they came home to celebrate Christmas morning. He is still in a cast and will need occupational therapy. Even if I wasn’t worried about long term damage, it has been a real hassle to keep it dry and to change the bandage every two days. Why didn’t I just follow my instinct and scream at them before it was too late?

The moral of the story is, yell at your kids at the first sign of danger. This way, even if they hurt themselves, you can say, “I told you so!”

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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Doctor, mom of five and founder of Tips From Town.


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