You Answer to Hear the Words, “There’s Been an Accident…”

When I was a youngster I remember hearing stories about the telephone that sat on the desk of the president of the United States. That phone was a direct link between the president of USA and the leader of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev. The phone was only to be used in the event of an international incident, like say a nuclear attack. As far as I know, the phone was never used.

Classic Emergency USSR to USA Desk Phone
Classic Emergency USSR to USA Desk Phone

Nowadays, everyone carries a mobile phone or, like President Obama, a Blackberry. The cool thing is with these modern devices you can set a ring-tone for different numbers.

Like the classic USA to USSR desk phone, our home phone is our emergency phone number. If my Blackberry begins to play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony then I know that the shit has hit the fan at home. It is pretty reliable system that the members of our household treat with respect.

So the other day I am sitting in a client meeting, about to close a significant sale and my Blackberry begins to play Beethoven’s Fifth. I answer.


And then I heard five little words that made my world stop, “There has been an accident.”

Now I will spoil the rest of the story so as to not make you worry and let you know that everyone turned out to be okay. A little loss of blood, no broken bones and no loss of life.

However, that is not the message I heard when I answered the call.

Instead I heard, “Baby A had her hand caught in the door when it swung shut and it looks like it is broken. Its turning purple and swelling and she won’t stop screaming and she won’t let me put a cold compress on it.”

My mind immediately flashed back to the episode of Desperate Housewives (was it the season premiere this year?) where they showed the woman cutting her two fingers off in order to convict Paul of killing her sister. It’s a complicated story, just understand that there was a woman with two fingers missing from her right hand. I pictured my baby’s hand looking like Raggedy Ann’s hand.

As I was racing across town to the scene of the crime my mind dropped the Raggedy Ann-club hand image and I began to picture the Wile E. Coyote laying on the road with a steam roller having just passed over him. In my mind I could see her hand as flat as the Wile E. Coyote laying on the roadside.

However, when I did get home baby was snuggled in her nanny’s lap, fast asleep with nanny gently holding a cold compress on the injured hand.

When I walked in she smiled wanly and tried to begin explaining what happened. All I said was, “It’s okay. It’s okay. Let’s look at her hand.”

And you know, it was okay. Yes, she was hurt. Yes, she bled. Yes, her fingernail is now black and yes, she might even lose the fingernail off one finger. But it will grow back and she will be okay.

Sadly though, I might actually grow to hate Beethoven’s 5th Symphony if I have to go through that emotional trauma again.





4 responses to “You Answer to Hear the Words, “There’s Been an Accident…””

  1. caitlyn James Avatar

    Poor baby – both of you. Well, all of you, really. So glad it wasn’t more serious – and wish it didn’t even happen.

  2. stacey Avatar

    It was a learning opportunity for all of us.

  3. Forgetful_man Avatar

    oh man, as a dad of little ones, I know exactly what you are talking about. Then I think about all the crazy sh*t I did as a kid that ended up w/me getting hurt and I just want to call my dad to apologize for puting him through that.

  4. Wendy Avatar

    It’s such a scary thing when little ones get hurt. When I was pregnant with our girls, I was grocery shopping with Jonah, and he stuck his hand into the bottom of the conveyer belt at the cash desk, into the motor part. They had to break the conveyer belt to get his hand out, and the poor hand was flat as a pancake. I had all of these visions of him never being able to play sports…play a musical instrument, write properley, type…etc. It was horrible. The extra seconds I took to find my Save-On card and visa out of my wallet, he was busy inserting his hand into a tiny little crack and getting it stuck.
    Once the ambulance came, they were more concerned with me going into early labour, and his hand “re-inflated” and after x-rays at the hospital, turned out to be perfectly fine. It’s hard not to over-react and panic though.