Father of the Year or Wanted Felon?

2011 was a big year for my daughters, especially the oldest.  She had the opportunity to be an extra in the movie “Fun Size” starring Victoria Justice and the both had a chance to meet her in person.

For those who don’t know who she is, there is a show on Nickelodeon called “Victorious” that she is the lead actress in.


In June, we went to Cleveland Heights and spent literally all night filming a trick-or-treat scene.  We snuck away to get a picture after she had her hair and makeup done.  I wish there was more to the story but I don’t think you want to hear about the short burst of “hurry up” and the hours of waiting in between.

201106242217- Jordan Niemiec @ Fun Size after makeup

A month later, I caught wind that Victoria Justice was signing her new CD at a Walmart in Mayfield Heights.  I packed up the kids and the whole way there, they are singing the songs from the CD and I am working on my acceptance speech for “Father of the Year”.  When we arrived, the kids took off running through the parking lot toward the store.  I told them to wait a minute, as they were several cars away from ours at that point.  I opened the trunk, grabbed my camera and slammed the trunk.

Do you know that feeling when you hear a noise that isn’t right, you don’t know what it was, but your stomach turns anyway?  Happened to me.

I looked down to see my oldest daughter holding her head and starting to cry/scream (can’t blame her!)  I gave her head a quick look, didn’t see anything and told her let’s get into the building so I can take a better look.  500 feet later, my youngest asks as we enter the building, “Daddy, what’s on her face?”  I looked again to find a crimson river already reaching her shirt.

We scurried to the bathroom where I grabbed a shopping bag and started wetting down paper towels to clean up the already impressive mess that has occurred.  At this point, I started thinking about how a lot of parents would freak out/pass out at the sight I was enduring.  I was thankful for two things:  1)  My years of watching professional wrestling taught me that the wrestlers “bladed” themselves across the forehead because they bleed like crazy without causing and damage/scaring.  2)  My Safety Coordinator at work, who just had me trained to join the first responder team.  Both of these facts allowed me to stay calm and keep the kids calmer as well.

After cleaning out the wound, I was able to see about a 3/4 inch gash in her head just above her hairline.


I knew a hospital trip was in store for us.  At home, a trip to the ER means AT LEAST 2 hours wasted!  I had to start breaking the news that we may not be able to see Victoria after all.  This didn’t help the trauma drama already happening.

I cleaned up her face, added a new cold compress (okay, wet paper towel) to her head and went out to the “courtesy desk” (anyone who’s been to Walmart knows why I quoted that phrase!) and asked where the nearest hospital was.  As luck would have it, we were across the street from one.

The Cleveland Clinc at Hillcrest Hospital was seconds away!  We walked into the ER, being met only by a security officer.  I told him what happened and he said we had to go to the Pediatric ER (ever hear of that before?) and we would have to call someone down.  There wasn’t a soul in that room when I called, and once I did, we were met immediately by nurse who took us into an examination room.


Once in the examination room, my youngest got sick right as the doctor walked into the room.  The following exchange is between the Doctor who walked in at that exact moment and me:

“Oh honey, what happened?  Are you not feeling well?”

“She’s not the concern”

“But she just vomited.”

“Yes, but the one up on your bed bleeding from her head is the one I need you to look at, I’ve got this one.”

At that point, he went over to tend to the head wound.  I cleaned the youngest up the best I could along with getting the better part of the floor’s mess, as well before we all went back into another room where we waited a few minutes.  This is where I had to fill out what happened.  I knew there would be questions about how and why my daughter was hit in the head with a trunk.  My “Father of the Year” speech turned into my testimony on the stand.  “Father does 25 to Life for Attempted Decapitation” I heard the local newscasters report.

The team came back in, washed the blood out of her hair, cleaned off her face, and popped 3 staples in her head without the slightest hint of numbing and using what looked like a Black & Decker tool.  (OUCH!)  When we were released, it was a whopping 45 MINUTES later…. Wait, what?  45 minutes?  WE CAN STILL MAKE IT!  I asked if they still wanted to go and, of course, I got back “YES!”  You have to admire their determination!

So back to Walmart we go!  I looked at them walking into the store, one with blood down the front of her and the other one….breakfast.  So back to the girls’ T-shirt area!  (Thank you, Victoria, for doing this at a Walmart!)  With our new duds on, we joined the line.


Ugh.  A new fear took over.  Victoria was only signing 500 CDs today.  There was a TON of people ahead of us.  We may STILL be shutout of meeting her.  After several hours of waiting, we finally reached the register where we bought the CD to sign.  #484 and #485!

IMG_0293WE MADE IT!!!  Now there was nothing but excitement!

As we reached to doorway to the Garden Center, this was our view:

201108051343- @ Victoria Justice Signing

To the left, you will notice trees.  Right as I took this photo, the guy next to me said “She’s not going to pose for you.  Take your photo as she’s signing the CD.”  Right, gotcha.  Made it to the point between those trees.  There’s another guy “Take your pictures as she’s signing.  She’s not going to pose.”  Fine, dude.  I got it.  Made it just past the second tree…. yup, you guessed it.  A THIRD guy saying “She’s not posing, get ready to start taking pictures.”  I GOT IT!!!  Talk about a triple buzz kill!!

Being the good little soldier, I followed my triple instructions.

201108051344- Victoria Justice

I was able to get one where you can kind of see my girls in the corner.

201108051345- Victoria Justice, Jordan Niemiec

Victoria looked over at me, smiled and then this happened:

201108060144b- Victoria Justice, Jordan Niemiec, MacKenzie Niemiec, @ Victoria Justice Signing

Would anybody else call that a POSE?  HA!  EAT IT SECURITY DUDES!  I walked over and informed the star that my oldest was an extra in her movie.  She looked at my daughter (who was completely tongue-tied, by the way) and with a sweet smile said “Thank you for doing that for me.”  I thanked her for her time and made our way from the table.  At this point, my daughter could have led Santa’s sleigh because she was GLOWING!

201108051039- Jordan Niemiec @ Victoria Justice Signing
And that was our big year with Victoria Justice.  What did we learn?  One, always double-check where your kids are when you slam a trunk.  Head wounds bleed like mad!  Walmart’s courtesy team isn’t very courteous.  Security teams don’t always know what they are talking about.  And don’t start writing your “Father of the Year” acceptance speech until you actually get your children in front of their favorite star!


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