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The Indulgence That Landed My Boy in the ER

This "Mistake of the Week" involves chocolate-covered coffee beans and blood, so if either of these make you squeamish, consider yourself warned.

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The Mistake Part 1: The Coffee Bean Wins

"It won't affect my sleep," I told myself scraping the bottom of the container with my hand.

I'd just gotten back from a trip to NYC to see my mother. I was jet lagged, and even if I hadn't come from a different time zone, I'd have felt drained from three days of nonstop doctor appointments and staffing up my mother's life to keep her safe from her encroaching Alzheimer's. Tod was putting the boys to bed, playing guitar and singing their favorite song, that endless classic "American Pie" by Don MacClean. I was in the kitchen doing the dishes — and by doing the dishes I mean quickly placing them in the dishwasher and then scrounging around for a reward for all the effort it takes. I'm still always looking for my gold star; it's just that now it looks more like chocolate balls.

I do the grocery shopping for the house but I'm always looking for unexpected treats, like there's some treat elf that comes up through the disposal with a tiny satchel of chocolate-covered everything. Although I can't confirm the arrival of elves, in my absence, a container of chocolate covered coffee beans had manifested itself in our cupboard! In the time it took Tod to finish the song for the boys, I ate half a box. "It won't affect my sleep," I told myself scraping the bottom of the container with my hand, "I'm jet lagged, it'll just level me out."

The Mistake Part 2: Much Worse

Having cut every first aid class ever offered, I literally had no idea what to do.

I stayed up for the next four hours binge watching nothing in particular, just staring at the TV.

The next day I picked the boys up from the bus stop with dark circles under my eyes, too tired to even put a bra on, and my wicked sugar hangover. I feel like I finally fit here at the corner of crack and freeway where the children are delivered to me daily.

"Mommy needs a quick nap," I told the boys in the car on the way home, "So you can watch your 30 minutes of TV BEFORE homework today." I was forcing my eyelids to stay open, not easy in the harsh glare of LA sun.

"No problem!" Gabriel said.

"No problem!" Gideon echoed.

We pulled in to the garage, "The keys, the keys, Mom!" Gabriel yelled at me. He loved racing ahead to open the door. I didn't always let him, but today I thought, "You're exhausted, just let him do it." I grabbed groceries out of the trunk. The thought of my sweet, soft pillowcase almost moved me to tears.

As soon as I opened the back door to the house, I hear the crash. I dropped the bags and ran toward it.

"What the fuck!" I said, before I had time to edit myself. I stopped cold in the living room, glass shards everywhere. The TV cabinet had a cartoon-like hole in it with spiked edges where a panel used to be.

"Mom, Mom, I'm sorry!" Gabriel yelled. I turned my head and saw him, sock-footed, crying behind me. In his enthusiasm for television, he had whipped off his shoes and they slipped right through the glass panels of the TV cabinet.

"What the fuck!?" I yelled again, hating myself for having let him run in ahead of me, hating kids' TV that gets him so excited he does dumb shit, furious at him for being a boy and at me for being a woman who can't be left alone with chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Until he lifts his hand off his leg and there is blood everywhere and the flesh on his knee is sliced open like the filet of an animal. Having cut every first aid class ever offered, I literally had no idea what to do. I called my husband Tod,

"The first thing you need to do is calm down, then stop the flow of blood."

I hung up on him. I didn't appreciate his patronizing tone. But the stopping-the-blood suggestion was good. I found a rag and handed it to Gabriel. Then I remembered our neighbor is a nurse so I ran over to their house and got him. That was the first non-mistake in nearly 24 hours. He asked Gabriel to touch the skin around the wound to see if it still had feeling. It did. "There's no nerve damage, but he'll need some stitches," Jose told me. Which he did. Eight of them to be exact. One trip to the ER and four hours later, we got home and he was safely tucked in to bed. I headed back to the kitchen to see if the elves had made a surprise visit.

The Rebound:

I have not eaten chocolate-covered coffee beans since.

I have not eaten chocolate-covered coffee beans since, and no matter how tired I am, I get out of the car and open the door to the house for them. I plan on doing this until they leave for college.

What's the "mistake of the week" you bounced back from? Share it in the comments!

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