13 NovSomething to Cry About

My daughter is a pain weenie. She got a big ol’ sliver in her toe tonight. You couldn’t have asked for an easier sliver to remove. It’s big. It’s shallow. The end is sticking out. For this we get the screaming of bloody murder and traumatized small child and the flailing of limbs and the look of pure shining terror when we even go to look at the damned thing much less pick up tweezers. And more flailing and screaming of bloody murder and trauma.

We got her all calmed down and even got her to soak her feet in water with epsom salts to help soften the skin as well as swell the sliver for even easier removal… and she was fine until her foot was out of the water & then all reason and calmness was lost again. Incredibly frustrating. And damn she’s strong for a four year old.

On the one hand, it makes me really, really concerned about getting her cooperation in a serious situation, or in the case of a medically necessary event. On the other, as my Dad would point out (who is trained as a first responder to medical emergencies, even prior to the ambulance folks), it’s when they are sedate and not reactive that you really have to worry that something serious is going on, because they’re in shock. I know a fucking sliver is not going to send my kid into shock.

Still and none-the-less the hysterics & drama-princess & fireworks & the sheer refusal to suck it up for 30 seconds while I got a good grasp on the sliver & pulled it out pisses me right the hell off. She still has massive sliver, that would be so easy to remove, sitting in her toe.

“I guess I’ll just have to live like this until I’m a grown up & you can remove it then, when I’m brave.” Um. Honey? Bravery is not a virtue of being grown up. You make the decision at whatever age you are to be brave or not be brave. “Well, I’m not brave right now.” Ok, that’s your decision. But when you’re a grown up, you’ll remove your own slivers. “[sobbing]Bu-u-u-u-t it h-u-u-u-u-rt-t-t-ts ri-i-ight-t n-o-o-ow-www!” I’m really sorry it hurts right now. It would stop hurting if you would let us take it out. [terror & flailing limbs & general panic ensues just from the verbalization of this reality…].

I think this might be made a little more difficult by the fact that neither P nor I are pain weenies. I’m kind of fascinated by it in a weird way & minor home surgeries such as ingrown toenails & slivers & blisters & the like have long been a part of my life. I spent many, many years doing ballet & I think it may have permanently warped my perception of what pain is, as well as given me solid tools to deal with it. Part of it may also have to do with the recognition of good & bad pain. Good pain is the relief of having the sliver out so the body can start healing… you know? P is an ex-Catholic. I think that’s pretty much all I need to say about his relationship to pain.

Does anyone think I can get away with sneaking in under cover of darkness with a flashlight and the tweezers & removing the sliver? No. I didn’t really think so either…


[edited to say: cover of darkness + tweezers + flashlight + snoring child = a good three quarters of that damn sliver removed with a twitch or or there and a little incoherent mumbling in her sleep…]

2 Responses to “Something to Cry About”

  1. eileen says:

    ha! that cracked me up! my mom used to shit like that creeping under the blanket to extract the sliver that i wouldn’t let her take out. good thing she didn’t wake up right at that exact moment – TRAUMA!

    just thought i’d say hi, never been here before. trying not to read the entire history-of-your-life-as-a-blog and wind up staying up till 4 AM.


    ps i have some diaper wraps you can have if you need them.

  2. maia says:

    You know, the really funny thing is that I have very fond memories of my parents removing slivers and pieces of glass from my feet. It didn’t scare me – it made me feel all taken care of. But I was a child with eight brothers and sisters, so I suspect any undivided attention I could command was okay with me. Even if it involved a small amount of pain.

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