The day started off like most any other Saturday. It was Tristen’s turn to get up with the boys so I slept until 8:30 or so. When I got up, I remember thinking, “I’m going to do some things today. I’m going to add the shut-off valve under the kitchen sink. I’m going to put together this mattress foundation. I’m going to…” Anyway, I had some plans, but as it’s said, “the best-laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men gang aft agley.”

Tristen hadn’t rested well the last couple nights, so I told her to go get a little extra sleep. Milly was with her mom this weekend (went to see the Lambeths). The boys have been into “Mouse Mas” lately, or Mickey Mouse Christmas, which is a couple collections of Disney Christmas shorts, so that was probably on.

It was getting close to 11:00 when I think what happened happened. I think I was over by the dining room table getting Fawkes or Phoenix off their little red chair, which is supposed to be a time-out chair but is often conscripted into other service, such as helping them reach light switches, which was the case at the time.

I heard a bump and a cry while I was over there and saw that Griffin was on the floor between the little futon and the covered-up collection of comic boxes/changing station below the TV. He was face-down, though his head was turned, and both of his arms were down his sides with his butt in the air, similar to how he sleeps more often than not. I assumed he fell off the futon, but it could have been that he fell off the changing station. We try to keep them off of that, but the boys will sometimes try to climb. up it.

At any rate, Griffin can be a little dramatic sometimes and I figured that was the case. I just sat him in my lap facing me and he was fine sitting there for a while, but eventually I picked him up to re-situate him and he started wailing. Tristen was coming into the room when that happened. We figured maybe he’s got a tooth coming in or something. She held him for a while but ended up putting him down for his nap a little early, and even that didn’t go as smoothly as usual.

In the meantime, Torrie dropped Sebastian and Gabriel off. She had a tattoo appointment and Johnny was recovering from his birthday the day before. They were good. Sebastian told us we had the best house, and when I asked him why it had something to do with us having some colored blocks and shapes he was playing with. Gabriel gave me some kisses on his own volition.

Griffin’s nap was was a little longer than usual, but that in and of itself wasn’t unusual because he does take longer naps now and then. When I went to go get him up though, he was still lying on his stomach as opposed to standing with his blanket. I put my head down to his level and rubbed his back through the bars of the crib and that seemed to comfort him some.

Tristen was the first to notice that his right arm didn’t seem right. It was slumped a little and he wasn’t using it much. When I tried to get him to reach for a pacifier with it, he did reach a little but stopped himself from reaching all the way. That’s when we knew for sure something was wrong with him. Tristen bundled him up and took him to a Medac to get some x-rays, but the place she went happened to have five or six people in for x-rays so they were able to schedule her a quicker spot at another location.

In the meantime, the backdrop to all this, we were planning on going to Airlie Gardens for their Christmas lights. We do it most years, although we didn’t last year because it was raining on the night we had tickets. Tristen had been trying very hard to find tickets on a night we could all go and take Milly, but most of the available tickets were for after the boys’ bedtime. She’d been looking since they became available and finally bit on tickets for tonight. We invited Erin and Daniel to go with us, but Daniel was working. Erin came over though, and it’s a very fortunate thing she did.

So, we’ve got a few moving parts here. The tickets were for 6:30. Tristen and Griffin were gone and might not get to go. Erin was on her way here. Tristen told me to go ahead and take the twins and she and Griffin would meet us there if they got out in time.

I got warmer clothes ready for the twins and got dinner prepped and served it to Fawkes and Phoenix. Then I went to the bedroom to put on some warmer clothes myself but decided I should use the bathroom. While I was doing that I got a call from a friend, but I didn’t want to answer it right then and there so I called him back when I was done.

I’m not going to go into the details of the next bit because it’s not my story to tell, but the friend was upset over an incident that happened at their house and I decided it was important for me to go over there, even though it was pressing into the time we’d need to leave to go to Airlie.

So I rushed out the door and asked Erin to get the boys as ready as she could. I got to the friend’s house and did what I could to just be there, to listen as well as try to counsel the friend about the situation at hand. That situation got somewhat settled, at least to the point that I was no longer needed there, and I headed back home, threw the boys in the car, and went to meet Tristen and Griffin near Airlie.

When we got in the van, Fawkes asked a few times, “Where Muffa seat?” Muffa is his word for Griffin. Muffa’s seat was, of course, in Mama’s car.

Tristen had told me somewhere in all this mess that Griffin was confirmed to have broken his clavicle. (That’s the collarbone for the anatomically uninformed out there.) I felt terrible at the thought of my 19-month-old baby having broken a bone like that, especially on my watch. I worried that it would hinder some of his motor development or cause something to grow weird or for him to have some sort of lasting mark, mental or physical. I felt guilty that my baby had a major broken bone when I’ve maybe ever broken a pinky toe in my life.

I wouldn’t say I felt guilty, per se, as it’s not like I was out of the room or ignoring him for my phone or anything… I was actively parenting and I don’t think there’s anything I did wrong in the situation, but I do hate that it happened while I was watching him. I can’t say I didn’t get teary about it.

The day to this point had been very stressful. Griffin had been super sensitive and it turned out he’d broken a bone, there was a flurry of activity trying to get the twins ready for the night, the situation I was helping my friend with was a pretty harrowing one. I didn’t get the sink fixed or the bed put together. I didn’t do the other thing I was planning to do. The only way I could think to describe it when talking to Tristen later was that it was just a shitshow of a day. Thank goodness Erin was there to help out, because I don’t know what I would have done.

So the day was terrible, but the evening was wonderful. We put Griffin, who had his arm wrapped to his body in a sling-like position with some medical wrap (is that what you call it), in the stroller and he was satisfied with that. He even laughed and made noises now and then, which made me think he wasn’t feeling too bad, all things considered.

But what I really loved was seeing the wonder with which Fawkes and Phoenix experienced the Christmas lights. It warmed my heart to see them running around being excited and in awe of the lights. They were good the whole time too, though they had to be carried some towards the end, and it was a wonderful salve for the preceding part of the day.

When we got back to the car for Tristen we thought for a minute that we might have locked the key in the car, but she fortunately found it.

We got home and put the kids to bed, then I took Erin home. On the way back I considered calling my friend Jason or my parents just to unload about the day on somebody, but I also decided I was going to buy myself a candy bar with some money I’d won betting on when Johnny was going to pass out for his birthday. I called Tristen to tell her my plans and told her I was going to get her something too because we deserved it today. She pointed out that she was hungry because she hadn’t really eaten much of anything today. I realized I was hungry too because of the same reason and I told her I’d get her whatever she wanted, so we got some Chick-Fil -A.

So one more near-disaster for the day: Right after I placed my order at Chick-Fil-A I remembered that I didn’t have any cash or cards on me. I upgraded my phone yesterday and I’ve had a case for a long time now that stored your cards in it, and since my old case didn’t fit my new phone, I had forgotten to grab them. I’m just so used to having them with my phone in my pocket, ya know?

Fortunately they accept Apple Pay and I had gone ahead and set my cards up when I was setting up the phone. I didn’t know how to pull it up though since I went from an iPhone 7 Plus to a 12 Max Pro, and the interface had changed a good bit since then. Fortunately the guy at the register was able to tell me what I needed to do.