Failure. Have you failed miserably in certain situations with your kids? Maybe your failure is giving them too much candy because it was easier than arguing only to face their little candy demons later. Maybe your failure was not paying attention because, that day, you just couldn’t and they touched the hot stove? Maybe your failure is one of them ate too much toothpaste? Maybe your failure is letting them stay up too late. Who knows. We all have different levels of what we consider a failure, what we beat ourselves up over, or what we just wish we could do over.
Well, let me tell you about our most recent failure. This is not the worst failure by far, nor will it be the last time we fail miserably when times get tough. As funny as it all sounds it is definitely on the top of my list of Do Overs if I ever get the chance.
Our oldest was playing barefoot on our new (old) swing set which I haven’t had the time yet to sand and restain. He got a splinter. Gasp! I know…terrible parenting headline Barefoot Child Plays Outside. Gets Splinter. Well, if you haven’t gathered from other posts, or maybe I just really haven’t expressed it yet, he’s kind of a frady cat. He’s rough and tough and he’ll jump off of anything, but at the same time he cries if gnats come hear him. It’s a strange way to be, but I’m blaming it on being 3 1/2.
So, trying to convince him to get that splinter out is where we pick up this story. I’ve pulled needles out of his hand from prickers in the lawn and even managed to douse some wounds with peroxide before he knew what that little brown bottle meant. All was well with the world. Whimpering yes, but still managing to get the job done. This time? Ha! This time? Nuh Uh! This time? Dad was involved. We all know what that means…business. I’m sure you remember when you were kid, if dad was involved that meant no whimpering, do it, get it done, no questions asked. They just don’t mess around. Well, maybe I haven’t threatened dad’s involvement in situations enough in his life so far, but getting dad involved simply turned into terror. Enter my best friend
Daddy started cool, calm, and collected. He first requested a needle, “a sharp one” right in front of the kid. Next he requested “the rubbing alcohol” and “a lighter”. My husband is the son of a doctor. He is by the book when it comes to sterilizing. Me? Eh, lets just say a needle run tightly through the freshly washed squeeze of my finger tips is clean enough for me. Get out the little brown bottle and some Neosporin later. The other thing about my husband, God love him, is that he doesn’t listen to anything I say. He only says “you were right” later. He has some things to learn still, but we’re working on it.
So, you can already see how this situation could go from bad to worse really quickly.
Guess who else is there for the show? The squirmy wormy 1 1/2 year old who thinks the alcohol bottle is water and would really like a drink. Yeah.
So, the fear started to show in my son’s face. Then he started to refuse this simple splinter removal. He was brave for a few seconds until Dad put the rubbing alcohol on the splinter. As you can imagine, crying ensued and my husband started to get frustrated. He then decided he’d fight it at all costs, kick his foot wildly, and make it abundantly clear that this splinter was now part of him. Forever. I could see the wheels turning in my husband’s head, but what came out of his mouth was not what I expected. All I remember is “emergency room” and “cut off your toe”. Oh boy! Hello Failure, nice to see you again.
Well, that challenge ended abruptly after the whimpering turned crying turned hysterics was enough to quit for now.
It’s so hard because as adults we know this thing is going to get infected. It’s going to get worse. It’s going to hurt. And, it’s entirely possible that we will end up in the doctor’s office although I don’t believe there would be any toe removal involved. At any rate the splinter, or blizzard as my son calls it, had to come out.
We attempted multiple times to talk him into it. I tried, thinking maybe the mommy way would work better. We both tried showing him how the needle can go into your skin and not hurt. My husband stuck it in his foot multiple times. I stuck it in my finger multiple times.
Really, I think that if I had been the one to go first the splinter would have been out no problem.
Step 1: NO RUBBING ALCOHOL (What?)
Step 2: Turn on the TV (Yup!)
Step 3: DO NOT tell him you’re going to use a needle (Lie if you have to! *FYI, that could be really bad advice*)
Step 4: Work really fast (Because it really doesn’t actually hurt)
Step 5: Promise a treat (Because candy is YOUR best friend!)
So, on and on we went with the “blizzard”. Daddy eventually promised a trip to Target for a toy if he would just. let. him. get. the. splinter. out. See Step 5, although I wouldn’t recommend skipping directly to Step 5 without properly performing Steps 1-4. See, the problem is that my poor little guy was so terrified about the ER and the toe removal, but not enough that he’d be willing to let daddy put that needle in his foot. Eventually it started to get infected as all dirty foreign objects placed under the skin would at some point and my husband decided that the middle of the night would be the best time to deal with it. Uh…hello…I said that. But, lets not worry about that for now. Toe removal is so much more dramatic and really did inspire this post.
Next morning? Well, the blizzard was gone. The toe was already mostly healed up and of course my son noticed right away because I’m pretty sure he was thinking that was going to happen on its own. He was right! He was saved! No ER. No toe removal. No needle.
Daddy said to him “I did it in the middle of the night”
“So, we get to go to Target now and I can pick out a toy?!?!?!?”
Huh? Hey Failure. Sup?
My last words before the two of them left the house at 6:00 p.m. headed to Target to reward my son for being the bravest he could be I said, and I absolutely quote “DO NOT let him come home with that booger game!”
Note to Self: Do Not allow husband to be in charge of, well, anything!