Routinely Bedtime Donal, and Pyromaniacs of the Past

6 07 2008

I just finished what D has taken to calling his “medical stop.”  All he has to do before bed is follow these simple steps:

1- get clean sheets out of dryer & make bed.  (Most people do this weekly- D does it nightly.)

2- Brush & floss

3- Deep cleanse & treat face for acne

4- Lactic acid cream on shoulders for keratin build-up in pores

5- Antibiotic for infected hair follicles on legs, lower back, etc.

6- Poison Ivy spray & bandages on ankles

7- Cream for irritated skin under arms

8- Apply cortisone cream to mosquito-bite-generated ulcers

9- Strap on anti-bed-wetting system.  A highly technical process.

10- Take Melatonin & vitamin B-12 complex (so he can get to sleep)

11- Kiss mother good night

12- Finally go to bed!

Poor kid.  The doctor commented that if he only had eczema and ringworm he’d have pretty much the full complement of skin problems.  Incidentally, we have an appointment with a urologist next Friday, and I’d appreciate your prayers.  Please pray that this person won’t give us the brush-off, but will really take the time to look at Donal’s problems.  And pray that God will give him the wisdom to do something about it.  We’ve been praying for Donal’s healing for nigh unto five years now, and we’re ready to see some improvement.  He’s going to scout camp next week, and he’s going to have to drag an awful lot of embarrassing stuff with him that other boys his age don’t have to deal with.  How about a little break-through around here?!?  (Oh, and it wouldn’t hurt if you’d pray that the other boys will accept him and include him despite his, ah, unusual qualities.  It would be lonely to spend an entire week getting mosquito bit and ignored by everyone around you.)

To change subject, we are nearly finished with my wallpaper.  We only have a foot and a half to go.  This would be a snap if we hadn’t run out of paper about ten feet ago.  We’ve been piecing it out with bits and cuttings from the other strips.  I think we’ve done a good job so far.  But it’s getting harder as we go.  Almost there…

Neal decided that Donal was old enough to light fireworks this 4th.  He was, of course, over-the-top thrilled.  What man doesn’t like to play with fire?  Neal was having a little too much fun lighting the next fountain off the tail end of the last fountain, and a couple times I was sure he was going to burn his eyebrows off again.  But he didn’t.

With adult supervision of the quality provided by my pyromaniac husband, of course D had an accident.  Despite being cautioned, he tried to light a fountain while it was in his hand.  When it started firing, he dropped it on the ground and jumped back.  Unfortunately, the fountain chased him!  It was shooting flames and sparks, and for a few seconds, it pursued him around the parking area.  Then it circled and started heading toward where the little kids and I were sitting.  I had Pat on my lap and nearly knocked the lounge chair over on Mike trying to get out of it.  In my opinion, it was the best part of the entire fireworks exhibit (because no one was actually hurt, of course), but I certainly didn’t tell my son that.  I don’t think he’ll be lighting fireworks in his hand any more.

Neal burnt his eyebrows off the first time throwing an old, dry Christmas tree on a burning brush pile.  He say it went up like a fireball right in his face.  Ka-WHOOSH!  It burnt his bangs back to his forehead, and gave him a nice January sunburn, too.

Of course, my ex-husband was worse.  John and his friends liked to go out and burn papers in the charcoal grills outside his dorm.  They would squeeze the can of lighter fluid into the flames to make giant fire balls.  I kept telling them this was insanely dangerous, because if the flames burn back into the can, it can explode like a bomb in your hand.  But they ignored me.  This is but one of the reasons why eighteen-year-old boys should probably not be allowed to live on their own.

John also tried to use lighter fluid as Draino once.  His dorm room sink was clogged.  He tried to clean it out with lighter fluid.  Why?  DO I look like I know?  Because he didn’t want to walk half a mile to the store and buy drain cleaner, probably.  He was also a college freshman, which means his room-mate’s pet hamster probably had more sense than he did.  The unfortunate thing about lighter fluid is that it is lighter than water.  In addition to NOT clearing the clog, it sat on top of the water in the trap and refused to go down, no matter how many times he tried to wash it down.  The room stank of the stuff for weeks.  He was too ashamed or afraid to call maintenance, so one day he decided to solve the problem himself.  Lighter fluid burns, doesn’t it?  So he set the liquid in the sink on fire.  (I was not around or I would have put a stop to this one.)

The sink lit up nicely, but it unexpectedly produced massive clouds of choking black smoke.  They threw the windows open and tried to run water on the fire.  (Remember the hamster?  Right.)  Of course that didn’t work, so the two room-mates and the hamster evacuated.   The fire department came and extinguished the sink, and I spent a weekend helping clean the blackened ring off the ceiling and re-painting the room.

So I guess Donal still has a ways to go before he qualifies as a certified pyromaniac.  But he’s made a promising start.




3 responses

7 07 2008

Bottle rockets and Roman Candles are lots more fun. I saw a piece on TV about China being the largest producer of fire works in the world and thought that the safety police are trying to totally eliminate them in the U.S. How can us pyromaniacs have any fun????

8 07 2008

Too funny. I am too afraid of fire to let my children any where near. Though at my Brothers renewal last year He let them use roman candles. I of course was watching and standing right next to them when Jim put one, LIT, in my hand and I screamed until it stopped. Gave everyone a laugh. I still get palpitations when I think of it.

9 07 2008
Linda Miller

Dear Angel,
What a wonderful bonding time for Neal & Donal – you’re so right about most men being pyromaniacs grown wiser!!
Being Donal is not at all easy but with wonderful parents looking after his needs, he is coming through the pre-teen time pretty well. I’m hoping the doctor’s appointment will indeed give his some additional help. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Donal finds a new buddy at the Scout Camp. We’re all hoping for some folks who will treasure and encourage his individuality.
Love & hugs,

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