You know the old saying, "I need a vacation from my vacation"? Well, this was taken to the extreme in the summer of 2004 when I took a long distance trip with my husband and our then 17-year old twin sons. We drove to the Delaware shores from our former home in Wisconsin. The drive out was uneventful and we had a great time at the beach with four of my sisters and their families. However, the trip turned ugly on the drive home.
First of all, let me defend myself by providing some background about myself and the series of events that turned me into a Mother Clucker. I am Irish. Regardless of the SPF level and how often I apply and reapply the sun block, I can never escape extended exposure to the sun without burning something. My nose got it on this trip and by the time we left, it was on its third peel. Another affliction of mine is fever blisters. I don't get them that often, but this time I had the mother of all fever blisters.
So as we headed back to Wisconsin, my nose was peeling and crusty and I had a big fat lip. I also had the bright idea of visiting Gettysburg on the way home. Gettysburg is about an hour off the Pennsylvania turnpike, by way of country roads. My husband wanted to leave just about as soon as we got there. I was not pleased by this, but I begrudgingly made it a quick visit.
About 20 minutes after we left, in the middle of Podunk Pennsylvania, I heard some giggling from the back of the van. I turned around to see what was so funny. Instead, I was alarmed to see blood gushing out of my son Greg's nose. "Greg, what happened?!" I asked. "Roy shoved a gum wrapper up my nose", was his reply.
Roy had the back bench and Greg was in the middle. Roy evidently reached around and managed to get a wadded up foil gum wrapper up Greg's nose. I found out later that Greg had thrown a gum wrapper at Roy so naturally he had to retaliate, and not in-kind mind you. Noooo, he had to step it up, don'tcha know!
Greg only managed to shove the gum wrapper further up his nose when he tried to get it out on his own, causing his nose to bleed. On top of that, he was covering for his attacker by trying to be quite about it. Those two have always been united in one thing - even when they were locked in mortal combat with each other - to never let Mom know what they are doing. My husband I and were clueless to what was happening behind our backs, until they started laughing. For some reason, they thought the fact that blood was spurting out of Greg's nose was funny.
Now, I have always tried not to use a certain word when I yelled at them in the past. However, they were now 17 -- would be 18 in a few months -- and I was not in a very good mood to start out with, to say the least. So, I quickly turned into a Mother Clucker.
"What the CLUCK were you thinking?! What are you, CLUCKING three years old?! You CLUCKING morons!" They couldn't help themselves and laughed louder. This just made it worse. "You think this is CLUCKING funny?!" I'm sure you can tell by now that the actual word I used only rhymed with CLUCK.
I yelled to my husband, "Stop the car! Stop the car!" I was reaching under my seat for the first-aid kit, intent on getting a pair of tweezers to extricate the foreign object from my son's nose. Instead, he tried to tell me where the napkins were. "I know where the napkins are! Stop the car!" I yelled. He held tight, and kept driving. I think he knew that in my state, I should not attempt such a delicate operation.
"Great, we're in the middle of CLUCKING nowhere! We'll have to find a hospital. I'll be so CLUCKING embarrassed! What the CLUCK were you thinking?!" Cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluuuuuck!
I could just picture myself trying to explain how my son had gotten into this situation and how the nurses and doctors would burst into laughter. Luckily, Greg eventually got it out himself and we continued on our way. I tried to calm down, wishing we were the sort to bring alcohol on trips such as these.
Periodically, my sons would start laughing again. They took pleasure in seeing me so discomposed. This would just get me going all over again. "You think this was funny?! What are you, CLUCKING nuts?!" I am normally a fun loving person who likes a joke, but there is a time and place for everything. That was not the time, nor the place.
Luckily, I can also see the humor in things"eventually. A few days later, I overheard the story told by my sons to their friends. They did a great impression of me. It has now become one of my favorite stories and when I get to a certain point; I fold up my arms and flap my wings while I cluck away.