Somethings are inevitable when your kid needs to have surgery.
“Wait!” said Master12, and the proceedings around his hospital bed froze.
Something incredibly important had just occurred to him. I suspected he needed to pee or something before theatre.
Turned out there was no number one pending – he just wanted to be a number two.
A smirk, which had been missing for much of the previous hour as the realisation he was about to have his first operation hit him, played across his face as his eyes danced from me to his mother and back.
“What am I getting for having the operation?” he asked.
“He’s picked his moment to negotiate well,” said a nurse, getting back on with the prep work.
“What do you want?” Tracey asked, even though we both knew what was coming.
“A Nintendo Switch,” he said predictably. He’s wanted one ever since they came out.
“What’s your second choice?” I said.
“Dad!” he moaned, and suddenly looked as miserable as he had since they’d done a scan and confirmed his appendix needed to be removed. “They’re about to cut me open. I’m scared. You know I might not even make it.”
“I’m not worried about that,” I assured him. “I’ve more than enough kids to be getting on with. Plus we could use your bed for storage.”
“What?” I shrugged at Tracey. “You only complained yesterday we need more storage.”
“Da-aaaad,” moaned Master12. “You’re not funny.”
“To be fair,” Tracey rounded on him, “neither was your suggestion we spend $500 for letting the doctors save your life.”
In the end we agreed he could hand over $200 of his savings at Christmas and Santa would put the other money in. We usually spend $200 on each of the kids at Christmas, so we figured it was reasonable.
I was really surprised, therefore, to receive a message from Tracey later that night which read: I think don’t rush it. Talk tomorrow. It’s a lot of money. We don’t need to pay him to do this.
All I knew is if she was going to renege on the deal then she could be the one to tell Master12 and I’d be the one carrying her to Emergency downstairs.
Then it occurred to me she was perfectly okay with the deal we’d struck and, now that I thought about it, her comment seemed to be replying to something.
I scrolled back.
Sure enough, I’d apparently sent Tracey the following message two and a half hours earlier.
Should we get josh the Nintendo switch? Like without him having to pay. I mean this is surgery and he’s terrified. I think yes we should.
“I didn’t send that,” I chuckled to my wife, who was sitting on the other side of Master12’s hospital bed. “That message you just responded to. I didn’t write it.”
“Well, who did…?” she started to ask.
We both turned our heads to the smirking shit perched between us in a purple gown waiting to be wheeled off for surgery.
“You really shouldn’t leave your phone on the bed when you have a nap, Dad. Someone might steal it or hack in.” Then his grin disappeared off his face and he took on a pained and pitiful expression again. He made a show of placing his hands over the lower righthand side of his stomach. “Besides, I might not make it to Christmas.”
“Keep this up,” I said to him, “and you might not make it to bloody surgery.”
Raising a family on little more than laughs