Not long ago, we ran an article about Irony. In it there are a number of highly ironic situations put forward as examples of situational irony, such as being run over by a speeding ambulance. Well, as it turns out, I now have a new example that happened to me a few days ago, and as the lower back pain has subsided, the apparent humour has only become more obvious.
It happened last Sunday evening. It was the night of Sean's — my eldest son — Christmas concert, which went well. At least, his part went well, and the bits that immediately followed. However, before long two out of three of our kids were getting a little antsy, and it was getting to be past their usual bedtime, we decided to slip out a little early. It was snowing and the roads were a little slippery, so we felt that the sooner we were home, the better. And so we slipped out the back of the sanctuary, got the kids' boots and jackets on, and started out.
Actually, that's not entirely accurate. As it was the first real snow of the year, we hadn't found Emma-Lyn's boots yet. And so we put her in her nice black shoes, and I carried her back and forth from the car. She's not quite two years old, so it's not like she's all that heavy. We figured it was a reasonable solution on short notice. So she didn't have any boots on. Neither did Nate, who, at a month old, was confined to his carseat anyway. Come to think of it, neither did I. In retrospect, that was probably my first mistake.
It may or may not have made a difference. My second mistake was assuming that I could do everything myself. Well, not everything, but more than I reasonably should have. I picked up Emma-Lyn, in all her bootless glory, and carried her on my left arm. Then I snatched the handle for Nate's carseat with my right hand, went out the door, and started down the steps. The partially snow covered and unexpectedly slippery steps.
Laura, my wise and loving wife, chose this moment to express concern. She suggested that maybe I was carrying too much, and offered to take Nate. As she was just carrying her purse and the diaper bag, that would have been a prudent and reasonable course of action. A course of action which I decided against, which was my third mistake. The fourth followed immedately thereafter.
"I should be okay," I replied. "Unless of course, I fall, in which case I wasn't."
Making that statement was my final mistake of the evening. For on my very next step, I fell down the stairs. There was more snow on the steps than I had realized, and my shoes (not boots, remember) did not have enough grip. On my back I landed, and then I slid down four or five steps before I managed to stop. I managed to keep Emma-Lyn from hitting the ground, and Nate's carseat remained mostly upright the whole time, so it could have been worse. On the other hand, I did trip Laura on the way down, and she fell pretty much on top of me, so it could have gone better as well.
Sean somehow was able to avoid all the chaos, and waited for us at the bottom of the stairs. I'm not sure if he thinks the rest of his family is a bunch of bumbling oafs, or a slapstick comedy troupe. Maybe both.
Once the rest of us got disentangled from each other, we did make it to the car, and safely home. There, after getting the kids ready for bed, it became apparent that while my back was sore, only my pride was actually bruised.
They say that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And while that's not always the case, I can attest that my sense of situational irony is stronger than ever.