"Son, I told you not to do that...."

Wanda Holderman: March 17, 20080 Comments

On two memorable occasions when our children were young, my husband was offering his fatherly advice about "lives lessons" with the intent to keep our precious boys out of harms way. Our oldest son was traveling with my husband in his work truck and was satisfying his innocent childhood curiosities by asking a multitude of questions about the gadgetry on the vehicle's dashboard. One item that was particularly fascinating to our son was the cigarette lighter. He said, "Dad, what's that for?" My husband proceeded to explain the functionality of the device, the procedure to engage the heating ring, and cautioned our son, "do not put your finger on there as you will get burned".

My husband didn't think too much more of their conversation until he had made it to the next stop on his work-route and needed to temporarily leave the truck to make a delivery.....he again reminded our son of the importance not to push in or touch the lighter. Upon my husband's return, what do you suppose he found? Our son was shaking his finger vigorously saying "wow Dad, you were right!" My husband asked to see our son's finger and sure enough, there was the mirror imprint of the metal ring from the cigarette lighter burned ever so carefully and precisely on the tip of our boy's finger!

On another occasion, our #2 son, after watching the classic "Christmas Story" asked my husband about sticking his tongue on a frozen metal object and if it would really have the same effect as in the movie. In his gentle manner, my husband admonished our son not to try this as indeed, there would be consequences. Some time had passed since that encounter and one day we had returned from the grocery store and were unloading the bags. I asked our son to take the meat and put it in the upright storage freezer out in the garage. After he did not return for some period of time, my husband and I went out to check on him and what do you suppose we found? #2 son had stuck his tongue on one of the shelves of the freezer and he was, well, immovable. We told him to stand still and allow us time to go get a pitcher of warm water to pour over the area so he could go free, but before we could return, he was determined to loose himself from this predicament and essentially ripped his tongue free of the frozen shelf only to leave the top layer of his tongue behind!

Oh boy! Life's lessons! I suppose that's why there are rules, laws, statutes, regulations, protocols, and guidelines and someone in authority instructing us to follow them so we are protected. Not too unlike in healthcare....I can remember when I worked at the bedside, and I knew that I should wear gloves and protective eyewear when I was engaging in certain procedures, I knew I should ask for help when lifting an awkwardly cumbersome patient, I knew I shouldn't overstuff the sharps container, and I knew I should not try to walk across an area that had been freshly mopped...but I did it anyway! Yikes!

Do yourself a favor, respect the "decrees" that are there for your protection and stay out of harms way!