File this under “words you never expect to hear concerning your child.”
Saturday afternoon I was attending a work function when my cell shook. I saw it was the wife and excused myself into another room.
“Hey, bay-beh,” I said, expecting the usual “what are you doing” kinda conversation. I didn’t get it.
“Hello,” she said. Silence.
“Do you need anything?”
“No. ….. I just wanted to let you know Gabrielle fell in a septic tank this morning.”
” ……… what? ……. ”
“You know how our septic tank is covered? Well granny’s tank doesn’t have a top on it. Gabby was out picking flowers in her yard with her cousin (name of 5-year-old withheld to protect the innocent). She ran around a little building when suddenly I heard her screaming. The cousin came running up saying ‘Gabby fell in the creek.’ Cosuin’s momma ran out there and got her out. She’s okay.”
” ……. what? …. a septic tank? ….. are you serious?”
“Yes, but she’s okay. I took her immediately into the shower and washed her off. She cried the whole time until we got out. She then ate some cookies and was fine. She’s sleeping now. I called the doctor and they said as long as she didn’t swallow anything she’ll be fine.”
” … what??,” I managed, momentarily disgusted by the thought of Gabby gurgling some pretty awful choc-O-lit. “Why the hell is their septic tank not covered?”
“Granny said Pa was going to do it but he’s never got aroud to it. I had no idea it was there.”
… Silence ….
“Well,” I said. “Okay. You call me if if need me. If she gets sick or ANYTHING, call me, okay? I don’t have to be here. I can leave anytime. Okay?”
“I’ll talk to you later. Love you. Bye.”
I clicked the phone off and stood there a sec stunned – WTF? – before ending with (what I thought) was an entirely appropriate self-compliment. I patted myself on the back for NOT immediately demanding to know what SHE was doing while Gabby swam with the feces. But I guess all was well. Nothing I could do about it.
The next day I found out that, contrary to my wife’s initial on-the-scene reporting, Gabby had – thankfully – not fallen into a septic tank. Instead it was a deep hole half-full of spoiled, three-week old rain water. I’m not sure that’s a better scenario, but the wife assures me the smell was indistinguishable.
The latest event in the life of my lil one caused me to ponder a list of lines you’d never expect to hear about your child. I’d love to hear your submissions. Just leave a comment below.