Chekhov’s Milk Glass

If you were an English major like myself (ha, dad, see what I did there?), then you may be familiar with the literary term “Chekhov’s gun”.  It refers to a literary technique “whereby a seemingly irrelevant element is introduced early in the story whose significance becomes clear later in the narrative” (ps- I can use Wikipedia. Jealous?!).

In the narrative of our lives, it will be known as “Chekhov’s  Colin’s milk glass.”

I present to you in three acts, “Colin’s Milk Glass”:

Act I:

[Colin takes his mother’s drinking glass and pretends to drink from it.]

Kate: Good job! You are so good at drinking from the glass!

Colin: (giggles. Pretends to keep drinking)

Act II:

[Colin drops glass. Shards everywhere. Kate scoops up Colin and places him in highchair and proceeds to clean all glass up. She moves furniture to ensure she has every last piece cleaned up. She places glass pieces in garbage bag hanging from a drawer pull since they do not own a garbage can. She looks warily at the bag and questions whether she should move it. She decides to do so after Colin has gone to bed]

Act III:

Kate: Time for bed! Do you want some milk?


[Colin runs to kitchen and slips and falls. He clutches his head. Kate turns around to find her son bleeding at the temple.]


Well, there was more. There was some frantic walking around the house clutching Colin and a little tiny bit of whispered swearing. There was an upended first aid kit I somehow managed to locate and throw into the sink. There were paper towels and Curious George band aids and neosporin.There was a short drive to the hospital and some very nice nurses and some not nice nurses. There was a $60 cab ride home for Kase to meet us at the hospital. There was foaming at the mouth when the doctor tried to treat him. And after a $75 co-pay, we left one less Curious George Band aid and one crisis later.

His little face is no longer absolutely perfect (What?! It was!), and perhaps his modeling career might be on hold (What? He is!) but I can take comfort in knowing one day, some girl (or boy) will ask him, “How’d you get that scar?” and he will make up some awesome story of how it came to be. Much more awesome than “My mom was too cheap to buy a garbage can and I nearly died because of it!” And as the tall tales begin, so does the mom guilt.

Which reminds me. Did I ever tell you about the time my finger tip was amputated when my mom held me too close to a closing door? (What?! It was! And she did! I can show you!)


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