It was the perfect confluence of events.
Long weekend off from school. Our usual MLK day destination (Washington, DC) was unavailable because of inauguration craziness. Brutally cold temps meant outside activities were limited to an as needed basis only (as in, “Riley is crossing his legs, Mom.”). And winter’s nesting tendencies were coming out in full force.
It started in the guest bedroom. A few pieces of furniture rearranged (after figuring out that we really wouldn’t need the use of the separate wall heater so blocking it wouldn’t matter), add some curtains I whipped up, and voila! Instantly felt more homey.
The basement was the next logical spot for us to focus on, especially since the girls would be home to yea/nae any toys for donation. I carefully measured the dimensions of the space and dreamed up my design for how it could better function. One side would be the books and toys. The other would be the game/craft central with a full sized table and bench seating with storage.
We purchased bookcases to house our vast library of books on Saturday and set them up on Sunday. I convinced the girls to let me take the area rug that had been in their room (nice rug but didn’t seem to fit with their room decor no matter how much I wanted it to work) down to the basement. They were good sports about that and even gave up more toys than I expected (*sniffle*). It was going well.
By going well, I mean that the vision was starting to come together. If you were to walk into our basement, you’d probably either wonder how a tornado managed to come inside my home or call A&E to recommend me for hoarders.
Flush with success at their work, the girls went upstairs to take showers. I decided that I was still ready to work so I stayed behind to do a little more.
What I ended up doing was dropping four wood boards that had been my “table” stand-in onto my big toe.
Some important notes:
1. I was glad the girls were two floors away, with water running over their little ears, at the time. The words that immediately came out of my mouth were not ones they should hear until they’re at least 25, and then only in extreme circumstances.
2. I could now appreciate how a big toe injury is enough to sideline a top NFL player. Sorry for disparaging you guys as being “too soft” in the past.
3. I must have been whimpering something good while I lay crumpled on the floor because Riley came over and put a paw on my shoulder. I tried to get him to fetch me an ice pack and a cold Coke but that’s beyond our training at this point. I’ll need to work on that.
4. When I could stand and make my way upstairs the girls were very kind and loving towards their gimpy Mom. They even carried my bowl of popcorn upstairs to my bed (comfort food is required in certain circumstances).
5. You know how a body part can seem to have its own heartbeat when it is throbbing in pain? My big toe was beating so hard that it actually became a separate being. It filed notice that it went on strike at midnight. No more heels. No tight, pointed toe shoes (no matter how cute). And, for gosh sakes, only steel-toed boots when operating any tools and equipment, including my bare hands. The rest of my toes and feet are trying to negotiate a settlement, but so far the big toe seems to have the upper hand (couldn’t resist bringing the hands into this even if it was their carelessness that caused the mishap in the first place).
One doesn’t realize how much one takes toes for granted until they are nonfunctional. Finding a sleeping position that didn’t put any pressure on my toes was impossible. Sleeping with my foot outside the covers was unthinkable considering how cold it was last night. It was one of those nights where you are exhausted so you fall asleep after some fits and starts. Then your body forgets that it tried to remove one of its appendages earlier in the evening and it shifts like it usually does at night. That’s the point that the body is quickly reminded by said appendage of its transgression and the whole cycle starts all over again.
So, for the near future, if you see me hobbling around in my not so pretty shoes just smile kindly and know that I’d much rather be in my high heeled boots. And be thankful for cold winter days. While my big toe is wishing for sandals right now, the sight of it might not be something others should see.