The Unfortunate Leash Incident


My husband and I have long believed that there was a switch in the hospital when our son was born. While we’re both relatively bright people, Mat’s intellect is off-the-charts. We joke that there’s a biophysicist somewhere scratching his head as he watches his redneck son desperately try to free his index fingers from dollar-store Chinese handcuffs.

Take this morning, for instance. I walked into the living room anxious to watch the season premier of Teen Mom 2 that has been patiently waiting in my DVR and found him there on his laptop.

Me: Hi! What are you doing?
Mat: Listening to Carl Sagan.
Me: Seriously?
Mat: Yeah. I love him. Why do you think he’s my profile picture?
Me: Oh. Is that who that is? I thought it was someone from Sesame Street.
Mat: …

See what I mean?

Even though we don’t connect intellectually, we do have some things in common. I think.

Me: Mat, what do we have in common?
Mat: 99% of our genetics.

Maybe not.

Mat makes me laugh. He’s quick-witted and entertaining, he’s a great storyteller and he could give Meryl Streep a run for her money with his hilarious accents. Perhaps the most (unintentionally) entertaining aspect of Mat’s personality, however, is his lack of coordination. He’s 6’3″ and lanky, so it’s not unusual for him to stumble or trip from time to time. Those moments bring me unspeakable joy.

[This might be a good time to admit to a horrible personality flaw. I have a terrible tendency to laugh uncontrollably at inappropriate times. Like when people fall or bang their head or walk into clean sliding doors (which, of course, would NEVER happen at my house.) I am not proud of this. I have tried to stifle my laughter to no avail. My family accepts that I am this way and loves me in spite of it. For this, I am eternally grateful.]

One of Mat’s favorite ‘horrible mother’ stories is the Unfortunate Leash Incident. It happened a few years ago. I had asked Mat to walk the dogs with me and he graciously agreed. It was winter and there was some snow and (perhaps) a bit of ice on the ground.

Side note: I believe Mat wore dress shoes. No joke.

We took a lovely walk around the neighborhood and had a lively discussion about something that escapes me now (probably not politics, though, because those discussions are less ‘lively’ and more ‘hostile’.) When we got home, Mat slipped on some ice at the end of the driveway and totally wiped out. I was about 15 feet ahead of him and crippled with laughter as he lay on the ground, groaning.

[Before you judge me, a) he wasn’t seriously hurt – just kind of…stunned, and b) it gets worse.]

The dog he was walking was on a retractable leash and she had continued to walk with me. Without thinking, I unhooked the leash from her collar and watched in horror as it retracted all the way down the driveway and directly into Mat’s forehead. That was all she wrote. My cackling could be heard ’round the neighborhood. I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe.

Mat: WTF is WRONG with you?!?!
Me: AAAHAHAHAHAHAHA…I..I..I’m…AHAHAHAHAHA…I’mso…AHAHAHAHA…I’msosorryyyyy!!!

My maternal instinct? Gone. On the inside I wanted to run to him so I could help him off the ground. On the outside I couldn’t move because I was trying so hard not to pee. Instead, I hobbled into the house so he would at least be spared the sound of my laughter as he staggered up the driveway.

Commence judging.

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9 thoughts on “The Unfortunate Leash Incident

  1. Clearly I am a superior mother with appropriate concern and care. I did not start laughing uncontrollably until I got to the part where the retractable leash hit his forehead.

  2. I, too, will laugh uncontrollably when someone trips or falls down. Just reading your story, I was visualizing it and was hysterical. (You had me at snow/dress shoes.) Sadly, I don’t save this terrible trait just for those I know. I will laugh at strangers, too. Terrible. Funny!… but terrible.

  3. Pingback: The Gift Of Silence « Stunningly Superficial

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