Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Sliver Incident

Last week I was a little under the weather as you may have read. It was fun, as it always is with small kids. After a morning spent cooping the younger two up inside, in full neglect mode in front of the t.v., when Ethan came home from school I figured I would take them outside to the backyard. I mean, I can sit in a lawn chair just as well as I can sit on the couch, right?

Well, that lasted about five minutes. Connor got a sliver in the heel of his foot. And not just any sliver, a BIG ASS sliver. A good half an inch long, nice and wide, and buried deep.

YEAH. Of course, he is crying his face off and screaming that it hurts.

Well, kid, I hate to break it to you, but it's about to get a whole lot worse.

I reminded him on our walk back into the house that this is why he is not supposed to be outside without his shoes on. He had been wearing them, but went back in the house, took them off, and came back outside without them and immediately got a sliver. Now, if we didn't have the deck that we did, it would make perfect sense for little boys to be playing outside without their shoes on, but our deck is a sliver nightmare. So therefore we have this rule about shoes. And he broke it. 

And you know how you feel differently about a kid's injury when they received it while rule breaking? Like, when they are climbing on something they know they are not supposed to be climbing on and they get hurt and it's like, "Oh hell no, I don't feel sorry for you, I'VE TOLD YOU NOT TO CLIMB ON THAT!" But if they had been doing something legitimate and got hurt in exactly the same way, all of the sympathy comes pouring out?

Or am I the only asshole that feels that way?

So, in other words, I was mad. We got into the house, my anger building that this even happened in the first place, and he was still screaming and crying and snotting everywhere. I set him on the bathroom counter, washed his foot, and put some teething gel on the spot to numb the pain as best as possible (did you know about that?) while I grabbed all the sliver-removal surgical tools: a needle and tweezers. I sanitized them with rubbing alcohol and as soon as Connor saw me heading towards his foot with the needle, he literally started shrieking at the top of his lungs.

I put the needle down and closed the bathroom window. Clearly, this was going to get ugly. We have neighbors. And please don't be alarmed at my foresight to close the window to contain my kid's screams. I swear we don't abuse them and know all the tricks to "hide" it. It's just that when, while in my house, I've heard the neighbor girl, while standing in their bathroom with the window open say, "Oh, so-and-so, the toilet smells GOOD!" (I'm dead serious. And so was she.) I know that sound travels well. 

So, window closed, I resumed surgery. I hate digging out slivers. It makes me nauseous. I can read bloody murder novel after bloody murder novel and not even bat an eye, but digging out a sliver makes me nauseous. And that fucker was buried deep and I couldn't even tell which end was the entry point. I started digging up one end and Connor was ten inches from my ear and shrieking like he's being scalped and trying to pull his foot away. I was starting to sweat. Progress was not being made. I gripped his foot a little tighter, dug a little more, and thinking the whole time, if only he had put on his fucking shoes.... uuuuggghhh. It could not have gotten any worse. 

Then he started screaming, "YOU'RE HURTING ME, MAMA! YOU'RE HURTING MEEEE!"

At the top of his lungs.

Over and over and over.

Okay, it just got worse. Thankful that I shut the window, but still figuring that the cops were being called right then, I started sweating more and tried digging at the other end to see if I could pop the sliver out of that end. No go, so I went back to the other end and finally got the tip revealed enough that maybe I could get a grip with the tweezers. Nope. So I had to dig more, and I was sweating profusely while my stomach was churning, churning, churning, and Connor was shaking and crying and screaming that I'm hurting him over and over and I was wondering if he was just going to finally pass out to make this all easier and also was wondering if I would actually be capable of hearing the knock from the police over his shrieks or if they'd just end up busting down the door and tackling me to the ground, when Ethan showed up in the doorway and asked the life-saving, sliver-removing, light-coming-through-the-parting-clouds-while-angels-are-singing question.

"Mom, can we play Sack-Boy?"

Are you fucking kidding me, kid? "Sack Boy" is a video game. We're going through this and Ethan is casually asking, over his brother's bloody-murder shrieks and my dry-heaves, if he can play a video game? I gave him the nastiest, hairiest hairy-eyeballed, stinkiest stink-eyed look I could muster and went back to the surgery. 

I was pushing my fingernail in at one end, trying to birth the sliver out of the opening I had dug and grasping the other end with the tweezers and it just wasn't working. Over and over I tried, to no avail. It was getting dire. I was starting to go deaf in the ear closest to Connor, was on the verge of throwing up, and screaming inside my own head, WHY DIDN'T YOU WEAR YOUR FUCKING SHOES, CONNOR? when suddenly, I got a good enough grip and the damn sliver came out.

Jesus. 

As soon as it was out, silenced immediately commenced. At first, I thought I had gone deaf, then I realized that Connor had just stopped screaming and shrieking. Shakily, I wiped my forehead, swallowed down the last of the nausea slobber, put Neosporin and a band-aid on his foot, and put away all the surgical tools.

Hey. Connor. Wear your shoes next time. 



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22 comments:

  1. OH boy do I know this trauma! My son (now 15) can't even see a needle without having a fit! 3 years ago my husband and I were holding him down in our apartment kitchen to pull a huge sliver out of the side of his foot while he was screaming "For the live of God STOP you're killing me!" I kid you not I was SURE CPS would be called!!!! This went on for at least 15-20 minutes! Not an isolated incident for sure!!!!

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    1. Nice, Shoshannah! Yep, that's why I wrote this one; I knew every parent out there has dealt with the exact same thing and could totally relate!!

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  2. I'm an asshole too. No sympathy for rule breaking injuries!! Haha! Great story!

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    1. You're my kind of asshole! :-)
      Thank you, glad you liked it!

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  3. OMG...I just peed at my office chair laughing hysterically.

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    1. YES! *Triple air-punch* I LOVE making people wet themselves!

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  4. Love you. I was laughing pretty hard, but was able to contain myself in order to keep the baby asleep ( learned that lesson last time you made me laugh.... He didn't sleep for hours...)

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    1. Oh man, I don't like being the cause of babies not sleeping. Glad you were able to contain it this time! Love you, too!

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  5. I'm with you. NO sympathy if the injury is a result of NOT listening to mom. These things happen when you DON'T listen to MOM. No one EVER gets a sliver on their feet if they'd just listen to mom and wear your damn shoes. I've almost gotten to the point of saying 'if you keep screaming, I could miss the sliver entirely and accidentally cut off your foot, now stop screaming!'. This is the part where in the back of my head I want to say what my mom always said: Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about.

    Good job, Dr. Elizabeth!

    Teri
    Snarkfest

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    1. Glad to know I do not stand alone in the lack of sympathy for the Injuries That Shouldn't Have Happened!
      And oh my, I grew up hearing that exact same thing from my mom. EXACT.

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  6. I read it as "he got a big... ass sliver." And I thought, ooh, that sounds bad. Also, why was he scooting around on your deck with no pants on?

    We haven't done sliver excavation yet on our toddler, and I'm not looking forward to it. As I understand it, a lot of slivers can just be pushed out gradually by the gradual growth of skin pushing up from beneath. So, to wait for that to happen, just keep off the skewered part for a couple months. Maybe we'd have to strap her down, but that also would teach her the "always wear shoes rule."

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    1. I didn't even think about it being read that way! HA! Although, if either of my kids scooted around on the deck without their pants on, I wouldn't think anything of it. They're strange.

      Well, I am very glad that you haven't had to endure the nightmare of removing a sliver from your daughter yet! Ward that off for as long as possible! (As if you actually can help that....) There have definitely been slivers that I've left but some of them, you have to deal with, and that's what sucks. And yes, hopefully, they learn. :-)

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  7. Oragel, alcohol, neosporin? Paging Dr. Madness. Damn, girl. You are good.

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    1. Well thanks there! Too bad it didn't spare any agony....

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  8. Oragel, how smart. Too bad I threw all mine out afraid my kid would suffocate/choke/die, thanx baby center!

    Any who, I'm that kind of asshole too. "don't come crying to me when x happens..." it's what my mom would say. I hated it and remember when I would come crying to her she'd be all pissy. I hated that, and promised I would never do that to my kids.

    LOL, it hasn't happened yet to my kid cuz he's an infant. But I'm already pissed He's gonna ignore my rules and force me to use oragel on site of injury so I can pull something out off his screaming, crying body

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    1. You can always buy more! Since you know it IS going to happen!

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  9. Yup. I especially don't feel sympathy when they are rough housing and one gets hurt. Hey, you chose to play that way, what do ya think's going to happen? And I'm a window-closer, too.

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    1. It's the best way for them to learn the consequences of their actions!

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  10. I've already trained my 3yo not to expect sympathy when he hurts himself doing something he shouldn't. I'll hear a bump or a shriek, run in, and ask what happened... He'll look down all sheepishly and say, "I was acting a fool."

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    1. Oh my gawd, that is HILARIOUS! I would have so much trouble keeping a straight face if one of my boys said that! Super cute!

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  11. So I am definitely not the only mom who says, "oh, you bumped your head because you were jumping right next to the table? Well, now you know." As I recall, my mother and her mother before me used the very same words.

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