This Dad has worked 2 days without a lost time accident. The best previous record was 1,427 days.
Being a Dad can be physically punishing, because when dads play with their kids they often can’t help but turn into crazy little boys themselves. My Dad, I remember, spent many a Sunday afternoon moaning on the couch after pulling something while fooling around with my sister and me. Even professional athletes aren’t immune to this phenomenon – New York Yankees’ pitcher Joba Chamberlain has missed the entire season thus far after injuring his ankle while fooling around with his son. I used to laugh at other Dads who limped around with an ice pack and bottle of Advil after playing with their kids, but not anymore. I lost that right this weekend.
Acting like a moron with the kids
As Heather mentioned yesterday, we watched our nephews and niece this weekend while my sister and her husband were out of town, and when I got out of the car at their house this dumbass was blissfully unaware of the sad fate that awaited him.
While Annie, Michaela, and Heather went upstairs to play in Michaela’s room, I took the Spencer, 7, and Danny, 5, into the backyard to play. We shot some hoops until I noticed an old fashioned red rubber ball in the corner.
“Whoa!” I exclaimed as I ran over and lifted it. “We used to play with a ball just like this in grade school!”
“What’d you play?” Spencer asked. “Kickball?”
“That and this game we made up where one guy threw the ball as high into the air as he possibly could, and if the other guy couldn’t catch it when it came down, you got a point.”
“Can we play?” Danny said.
“Oh, it is on, little man. It is on like Donkey Kong,” I said with perhaps too much gusto for speaking to a five-year-old.
For the next few minutes I hurled the ball skyward as hard as I could, and the boys oohed and aahed like they were watching an Olympic athlete.
“THE BALL WENT HIGHER THAN THE HOUSE!” Danny shrieked. “HIGHER THAN THE HOUSE!!!!!!!!”
“I bet no ball has ever been thrown that high before,” Spencer said matter-of-factly. “Not even once.”
“Oh, you think that’s high?” I said feeling like Mr. Cool. “Check this out!”
I spun around like I was preparing to throw a shot put and rocketed the red rubber ball toward the sky with an eardrum piercing grunt. As the boys cheered, Heather opened an upstairs window.
“You forget about your shoulder, Mike?”
“I’m fine, Heather,” I said with an embarrassed look at the boys.
“Really? Because last month you whined that you probably needed rotator cuff surgery.”
I laughed this off like Heather was crazy, then hurled the ball highest yet. Heather sighed and closed the window.
The next morning I woke up and felt like an elephant was sitting on my arm. I was mystified until I remembered throwing the ball into the air. Of course, despite feeling like an idiot, I could not let Heather know that I’d destroyed my shoulder any more than Ralphie could let his mother know how he broke his glasses in A Christmas Story. Unfortunately for me, Heather caught me choking down Advil with my pancakes.
“Let me guess,” she said. “Shoulder?”
“What? Of course not.”
“Then you wouldn’t mind throwing the ball in the air with the boys before we leave. Spencer! Danny! What do you say–”
I grabbed Heather’s arm, desperate. “If you have a soul, I beg of you. Do not finish that sentence.”
“That’s what I thought,” she said.
It is now two days later and my left shoulder is still barking as I write this. Hopefully by the time Annie is old enough to play ball I will be a little less of a moron or else I’m in trouble.
What is the deal with Dads acting like wild men when they play with kids? Seriously, what is wrong with us?
hahaha! I’m an Uncle but I can relate! I once broke my nose in a bouncy house!
I’m sorry for your pain Mike, truly, but this post was exactly the pick-me-up I needed. I honestly have tears in my eyes.
I have to keep reminding my 8 yr old daughter NOT to be so rough with my brother in law, as hes a year older than me but has less sense than her. Even his sons, 16 and 14, wrestle and play fight with him and they are taller than him. He has no sense but lots of aches!!
My husband has MS, so it’s really easy for him to hurt himself pretty badly when he’s playing with the kids. It’s hard for him to be in the pool with them and one is begging him to pick them up and throw them in the water like my friend’s husbands, my dad and (on a good day) I can. Every summer, without fail he hurts himself doing this once and then no more for the rest of the season. This is not a stupid man, just a man who loves his kids enough to forget the pain from last July.
You are also not a stupid man. So, the good news? Worst care scenario, you’ll likely only be dumb once a year or so.
My two nephews treat my husband like their own personal amusement park. He also had a bum shoulder which would leave him in a lot of pain after palying with them, but he did end up having shoulder surgery back in February. Luckily he’s back to 100% now.
Take care of that shoulder, Mike!
And my husband fell and broke his leg whilst horsing around with our son 5 weeks ago… 6 pins, a plate and a bolt across his ankle and no weightbearing for 5 MORE WEEKS…..
Eh…If it makes you feel any better the last (and I do mean very LAST) time my girl asked me if I could still do a cartwheel, I pulled something in my lower back and injured my left knee when I came down. Not sure why I took the challenge. I had not done a cartwheel in 20 yrs.
I’m so sorry for your injury. Forgive me, but I have to ask: when your sweet wife mentioned your shoulder, what went through your mind?
My husband has apologized a million times to his own father since we had kids. He attempts the same games as his dad & almost always gets maimed. I tell anyone, if you sit on the floor at our house, you’re fair game. You’ll end up with 3 shrieking wild girls climbing all over you.
Eh, it’s a dad thing. Be proud of it.
Roughhousing is good for kids, it’s a competitive form of social play, and studies show that dads are just better at it than moms (no offense, moms out there, it’s just that the typical mom is more comfortable playing with dolls or blocks rather than tossing their toddler in the air). Think of it as the price you have to pay for practicing in case there’s a baby boy Spohr in your future.
Tear and laughter at the same time – tears because I am so jealous that Annie has a Dad like you (sadly my ex has had very little contact with our three kids for 20 yrs and counting) and laughter because you are one funny guy!! I love the “too much gusto for speaking to a five year old”, “Olympic athlete”. So that little doll Annie and your future kids hit the jackpot with you for a Dad. I am so glad for them.