23 July 2019

Bess Tuggle's Memoirs of Surviving Children: Oklahoma Revisited

Now that it’s hit home that I said something a little negative about Arkansas and didn’t commit suicide with two shots to the back of my head, it occurred to me that I left a lot of details out of my Oklahoma trip with Thing 4.  The good, the bad, and the ugly – or at least some of the highlights.

I had to surrender the title to my bike (88’ Honda Rebel) to borrow the car.  The collateral wasn’t against a wreck or any kind of damage – I just wasn’t allowed to smoke in it.  Yeah, right.  Still have my bike, but am proud of my baby for not ratting-out on me.

Other plumbs pulled from the tree – one of Thing One’s WORST punishments was pulling rocks out from underneath the bushes, one, by one, by one.  All litter had to be cleaned out and each rock had to be replaced debris-free – one, by one, by one.  I never saw him chunk a cigarette butt again – they all went in appropriate receptacles.  Lesson learned, to my amusement.

Then came the weather.  For the three days we stayed there I was CONVINCED there was going to be a thunder storm.  I counted ‘booms’ but never saw a strike of lightening.  The thunder ranged from 3 seconds to 10 seconds, but never seemed to take a break.  We never saw a drop of rain.  I finally asked my eldest about it – and was informed that was the artillery range.   Yes, he said it with that “duh, Mama” look on his face.

After Oklahoma, we came home and Thing 1 headed to Texas for medic training.  WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT!?!  The child that was so scared of needles that the Health Department would have a room ready for him to walk right into for inoculations appointments – so as to not scare the other kids with his screaming.  He knew where he was, and knew he was going to get at least one shot.  Even with all the doors closed, you could hear him in the parking lot outside.  The one time he needed stitches on his leg (flash light tag – food for another column) he almost broke my hand holding on to it with each stitch – and he was under an anesthetic!  And now he decided he wanted to be a medic.

Most of his training went well.  It was boring to him, but he did learn to do push-ups in the back of the classroom during the lectures, and that really helped his grades to come up.  For anyone that scoffs at ADD, raise one or two with it.  It’s real.

Thing 1 was pretty good about writing home.  Most of his letters were funny (I have one, that I might frame, about him being so bored he braided the hair on his toes and wrote in detail how he did so) but the absolute BEST letters came when he was learning to give an IV.  He had to practice on –himself-!!!  Mr. Needle-phobia using himself as a pincushion.  Priceless!  

Thing 1 went on to graduate medic training –and- earn his National Medic certification.

While he could work on anyone else with confidence, he never could bring himself to give his Mama a couple stitches when needed.  Go figure…

- Bess Tuggle 


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