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Sunday, May 22, 2005

Packing My Sunscreen

Don't you think it would be fun to take seven children, in varying stages of cleanliness and undress, to the emergency room, by yourself, at 8:30pm on a Sunday night?

Yeah. Me neither.

Which is why I didn't.

Just pass the BMY (Bad Mother of the Year) award over here and let me keep it. I'm making a permanent space for it on my mantle. Maybe I'll engrave my name on the little plaque.

My 4 year old was shuffling his feet on the hardwood floors, in the midst of a temper tantrum. And he got a huge splinter. Only I couldn't tell that there was anything wrong for a long time since he had already been screaming, crying, and generally just making my eardrums bleed.

When I finally did notice the splinter, it looked like a small pencil underneath his skin. And it was in there deep. I scoured the house and found a lame pair of tweezers and a needle and attempted to remove the splinter. Only the 4 yr old was sure I was trying to amputate his foot, and behaved as such.

After several attempts it was pretty evident that I wasn't going to be able to get it out of his foot without a few shots of whiskey and a leather strap to bite on, but we had no whiskey in the house and a glass of Pinot Noir did nothing for me. And neither did the beer I drank just for good measure. I just put him to bed and hoped a staph infection wasn't festering under the skin with the wood.

I awoke this morning and realized it was my lucky day! We already had an appointment with the pediatrician for the 2 yr old's physical and the doctor felt confident that she could remove the splinter. I slathered EMLA cream on his debilitating injury and off we went, him hopping on one foot, since he could not wear his shoe.

I gave him the nickname Hopalong today. No one in the doctor's office thought the nickname was funny, in fact some looked a bit horrified. It always amazes me how people can have no sense of humor.

He climbed on the table and the doctor looked at his foot. Then he proceeded to scream. And scream. And scream some more. When he wasn't screaming with his ear drum piercing screech, it was only because he was inhaling to scream yet again. All of this was before anyone even touched him.

The nurse and I both held him down while the doctor went to work with her special pointy tweezers. Half an hour later, the splinter was still as deep as ever. I was half tempted to grab the tweezers from her hand, push her aside and have a go at it myself.

The doctor kept saying, "I'm really not hurting him."

And I keep saying, "Yes, I know you aren't. He has a flair for the dramatic."

I think his screams were getting to her. They don't bother me since I am used to them, or else I may just be cold hearted. Whatever, just get the splinter out already.

By now the waiting room was now full of children, who were terrified. She sent us home with instructions to soak it and if it doesn't work it's way out in a few days, we'll have to head to a surgeon to remove it.

But Rob will be home tomorrow and he fancies himself quite a good splinter-taker-outer. The overly dramatic screams don't bother him either. If your going to scream, you might as well have something to scream about, is usually his splinter taking out motto.

During this whole thing my 9 yr old ADHHHHHHD son was jumping up and down between me and the doctor, trying to "get a better look". I asked him to stop and told him it was annoying.

He replies, "I'm not being annoying."

So I say, "Well, yes, you are annoying me."

He says, "I'm not being annoying."

I say, "yeah, you are."

He says, "I am not being annoying."

Well, you get the picture.

And then my head exploded and the doctor had to pick my brain matter up piece by piece with the tiny tweezers and replace it back into my skull.

We left the doctors office, splinter still intact, Hopalong still hopping, brain matter still oozing out of my ears. I said, "Good luck" with a grimace on my face, to the white faced children of the parents who didn't think my Hopalong joke was funny. Going to Hell, I am.

To top off the day, we were driving home and I was scanning radio stations, and a song came on that said, "if heaven were a pie, it would be cherry."

I hate cherry pie.

All I can say is Hell had better be chocolate fondue.


Blogger Jody said...

My son got one of those "mega splinters". The kids were helping me wax the floors. I dragged them around the floor on towels, buffing it after a fresh application of wax, and one child was slipping and sliding around in a pair of old socks. Lots of screaming was the first indication of impalement.

We had to take him into the clinic and dig it out. Lots of crying to be sure.

I hope your brain is feeling better now!

Isn't Kathy's site amazing!

9:35 PM  
Blogger Carmen said...

I have a card that says:

"Life is just a bowl of cherries. Dumped on a new, white silk blouse."

Hang in there. The splinter will come out,and next week it will be something else.

Ask me how I know. Go ahead, ask....

9:51 PM  
Blogger w said...

I'm rolling right now, tears flowing and all. Why? Because my 7 y.o. is just like your 4 y.o.

Last week, he had to see the plastic surgeon for a follow up appt to a minor procedure he had done. That, I'm afraid, is an entirely different story. RME.

However, this visit finally ended up with me dragging him screaming from beneath the bench, throwing him on the table, sitting on him, pinning his arms under my legs, and then holding his head still so the doctor could....are you ready for this.....LOOK at his incision.

I'm ashamed to say that after I was done I giggled. I understand now about those slightly horrified looks. The doctor said that he had never had a mother sit on her child before. Well, there ya go. Dinner conversation!

P.S. I am going to write the complete story in my blog, but I don't think you read my blog (so I can't be the copycat) and I will try not to copy you anyway!

10:06 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

We are living parallel lives. We had the splinter 2 weeks ago, and I still can't believe we had to go to the ER for a splinter. Luckily, my hubby was home (and restrained himself from cutting it out himself).

10:09 PM  
Blogger MJ said...

Im laughing at you now, cause i had my own er visit to deal. Luckily the other 6 children were appropriately farmed out ... or id be the one screaming. One xray, 2.5 hours later... we have a pretty much okay 10 yr old boy. Hope the splinter comes out easy tommorrow!

11:29 PM  
Blogger novaks8 said...

Oh gosh
Let me tell you about a splinter

My daughter,6, got one in her heel a while back. It was obviously something horrible like the treated wood from the deck because even though it was removed, it grew and grew and grew until it was a HUGE, GINORMOUS, Blood blister.
It was disgusting and VERY painful.
It eventually popped and dried up but man what a pain in the...foot.
Then my daughter,4, got one in her toe and I was SURE to remove every last trace of it. The bad thing is that she is freakishly strong and a drama queen to boot. So my oldest son and I had to hold her down and forcefully take it out.
Right in the middle of it as I was sweating and straining to hold this 40 lb kid down, I started laughing! It was just funny to me that my large son and I (not a small woman) couldn't manage to hold down this small child.
They have superhuman strength when they get mad, that's for sure!

Oh, I even disinfected that toe like crazy and it still got all nasty and ugly.
That wood is bad stuff.


you deserve a medal.

12:36 AM  
Blogger Field Trip Lady said...

I feel like we could start a splinter support group. I also have a splintery floor. I also have night and day children. My 22 month old who calmly sat and watched me dig with a large dressmaker's pin to remove a good-sized splinter from her foot that we just happened to notice was there because she didn't even fuss about it (she just kept saying "ear! ear!" because the pin looked like Q-tip), and my 8 year old who cried and flailed about when I easily removed a little splinter that wasn't even hidden under the skin.
I do have fond memories of the day my sister, who was 4, had a splinter and my dad decided to cut it out at home. I was outside, and you could hear the screaming down the street. He used a razorblade. He must have felt like the horrible parent that day, because by the time I ended up with a toothpick embedded in my foot a few years later, he took me to the ER.
As far as the ER goes, I don't know which is worse for the child, the pain of the injury or the rough, impersonal, suspicious treatment usually given to children there. I don't blame you.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous chuck said...

I was removing a splinter from the 10 year olds foot and when he asked why I could not just leave it there I replied (paying no attetntion) cause then they will have to cut your foot off.

I strongly do not recomend this direction to take. Added 3 hours of csreaming to a simple splinter removal.

6:31 AM  
Blogger MoMMY said...

I'm sorry to laugh at your child's pain but I too am an unsensitive mother. I have a giggle reflex. I too get that look of horrified parents when I call my children cute names *cough,cough* or make 'inappropriate' jokes.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

In defense of ds, I ran a huge piece of decking (oh, about the size of a spindle) in my foot. I cursed, and cursed and cursed. In a loud, screaming tone. Slather that sucker (the splinter, not the child) with butter and wrap it up all night. It worked for me, even though I was sure the little old neighbor who recommended it was some kind of voodoo witch.

8:06 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Wow, I guess this is why people get wall to wall carpeting. I had no idea splinters were such a problem.

Lisa, what did you wrap around your foot to keep the butter on. A little voodoo sounds good to me. I am thinking that a string of curse words coming out of his mouth would have been funny though ;-)

w, I have no idea who you are since you didn't leave a link to your blog! Leave one and I'll visit.

8:30 AM  
Blogger rugdesigner said...

You are a mother after my own heart! My sons are polar opposites, one that watched every splinter removal never making a sound and one that screamed at the mere mention of removal. Your post brought back so many memories! I'm still smiling and laughing out loud!

I, too, hate cherry pie, but I LOVE chocolate fondue!

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We can have a lovely party in hell - I'm teaching the 10 commandments and realizing I have only not broken 2. oops.

But soaking the splinter foot in epsom salts works very well. Soak the ADHHHHHD kid in 'em too, as they can be calming. The soaking worked really well when my husband had a huge glass shard embedded in his foot.

Right now I'm perversely feeling grateful that my drama queen is less damage prone than the others. And that at least my husband finds my little jokes/names amusing


9:51 AM  
Anonymous wendy said...

What amazes me is the fact that you still have such a sense of humor after having had many, many children and having manned said children for..well, one day for me would be too the fact that your humor's still intact after having done it for lots and lots of days...I am in awe. You make my day quite often. Thank you and carry on.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Silly Old Bear said...

I'm afraid I don't have a splinter story, but I do have a child with a "flair for the dramatic" and you would think we were amputating everything below the neck the day he had to get a flu shot.

After catching him for the third time (and that boy can RUN) and finally holding him down on the table and listening to the ear piercing screams...

I told him he could stop screaming. He looked at me through the tears and said "Why?"

"Well, they finished two minutes ago."

10:53 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

I got a splinter from big toe over joint into foot from sliding on old wood floors when I was 8ish. My mom took me to the ER but the impending 8 hour wait was too long so she took me to the animal hospital where my dad is a vet and they took it out...

11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ack! Hoping all is well and thinking that there's a big 'ole vat full of chocolate, and anything else you want to go with it, with your name on it!

Good luck.

(Liz @ This Full House)

1:01 PM  
Blogger Sleeping Mommy said...

Now I would have thought your hopalong joke was funny. Parents coddle their kids too much in my opinion, but then again there are those that think I am a hard-hearted bitch when it comes to "owies." Come on people, teach your kids to deal with discomfort and pain with HUMOR. It's character building!

Anyway, we've had a few splinter incidents around here too lately. Luckily I've been able to get them out while the three--nealry-four-year-old goes nuts screaming his head off.

All this to say, I AM SO WITH YOU SISTER!

4:21 PM  
Blogger stephanie said...

If Hell has chocolate fondue, I'm definately going. I'll know more people there anyway, I think ;-)

4:37 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Oohh...that just brought back terrible memories of sitting outside on the picnic table while my mom dug mercilessly in my feet, hands, and other appendages to remove splinters. THE PAIN! THE PAIN! Okay, so maybe I still have a flair for the dramatic.

But I like "Hopalong" for the record - I regularly call Sophia a variety of unflattering names based on her latest quirks/ailments, etc.

6:53 PM  
Blogger J said...

I once had a 4 inch shard of turkey bone wedged between my knee cap and, well, whatever's next to your knee cap, does that count? Hmm, how to keep this short...Dog chewed turkey bone, I was sent to clean it up, while crawling around, the sharp end of one of the shards jammed into my performed three hour surgery at the kitchen table while I bit on a wooden puked twice...I've still got the scar :)

8:22 PM  
Blogger George said...

With today's hectic lifestyles it can be really hard to keep on top of everything source . source

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

chocolate phone verizonif you have a sweet tooth for chocolate, then you must simply tatse the flavours of Peru, after all it's where chocolate came from!

7:54 PM  

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