Sheltered Islander

If It Fits in a Ziploc Bag…

“Good morning, Ms. Flynn. You stand here in court today to defend the fact that you hit your husband in the face with a small log at a Christmas Tree farm. You have pled guilty. Let’s hear your story.”

“Yes, your Honor, and it helps that you’re a woman, your Honor, I think this will make sense to you. My husband, James, is one of those particular people, everything has to be done a certain way. You can’t skip any steps.

Every year we go to a tree farm to choose just the right tree. It was easy when it was just the two of us. It got a little harder when we had our daughter, but managing one child and one man at a tree farm where they can run loose has become an impossible task. I can’t keep track of a two-year-old, a four-year-old and a 45- year-old, especially when the four-year-old has a small chainsaw.”

“You mean the 45 year old has the chain saw.”

“No, your Honor, I mean the four-year-old. She’s fast and while I was wrangling her brother, she distracted her father and got the chainsaw because she’s convinced she can do everything we can do.”

“And that’s when you hit him in the face? For letting a four year old get ahold of a chain saw? I can see that.”

“No, that wasn’t it. He was afraid to go after her in case she did know how to operate a chain saw, so I left the toddler with him and went after her. She runs fast and is hard to catch, but whenever I saw people running for their lives, I knew where she was. I laid under a large tree until she ran by and used a sweeping leg move to trip her. I got the chainsaw, but she bolted. I found my husband by listening for loud crying and traded the chainsaw for the toddler.

Then I slapped my hubby’s face and told him to stop crying. Apparently our son ripped out sections of his father’s beard while he was struggling to get away. I told my man to stop inspecting every goddam tree and pick one.

But trying to get him to change his routine is like trying to bend a rock. He resumed inspecting every tree.

Another hour went by, I saw my daughter a few times between trees. I saw my man still meandering among the greens. I was out of toddler snacks and freezing. My daughter showed up, with low blood sugar, and the whimpering that goes with it. I called to Himself and he came over to tell me he just had four more rows to check and then he could narrow it down to three or four trees.”

“So you hit him with one of those little logs laying around to make him give up the search and get the car. Well, who wouldn’t under those circumstances?”

“No, that wasn’t it, your Honor. I told James I was dragging the kids back to the car to get them warmed up, plus I had some cheese and M&M’s in my diaper bag for my daughter when she gets like this. He said, ‘Fine,’ and headed off. I got to the car, fought them into their car seats, gave my son a bottle, but I couldn’t find the Ziploc bag with her foods. I decided to drive to my husband and pitch a fit until he got in the car. As I approached the driver’s side to get into the car, I saw an empty Ziploc bag on the ground. My son had eaten my daughter’s foods. And she was now past her low blood sugar grouchiness and into blood curdling screaming for her cheese.

“I drove the car among the trees like I was in a stock car race. I took out several small trees and sent people running. Finally, I saw Husband, still examining trees. I hit the gas and sent him flying into an open area. I drove to him and pushed him into the passenger seat, using a small log as a lever to get his legs in. I got back in the car and was pulling away when he said, ‘Don’t take the Interstate. I know it’s shorter, but I want to see the Christmas decorations on the residential streets.’

“And that’s when it happened. Like an out- of-body experience, I watched as my hand grabbed the log and hit him in the face. I watched as his unconscious head rolled back on the headrest. It was so peaceful. My son had fallen asleep, my daughter was in a coma, and he was unconscious. I knew, except for this little incident, it was going to be a good Christmas.”

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