First, I want to preface this post by saying that I don't think parenting sucks. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be a parent, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Even on the days where I've been awake since 3:15am, unable to sleep for some unknown reason, and Gavin comes into my bed at 5:45am, just as I dooze off, jumping on the bed yelling, "It's time to get up! It's time to get up!" Or on the days where he's colored on the walls with a Sharpie while I was in the shower. I wouldn't even trade it then.
When you get ready to have a child, you know there are going to be some things that are, well, less than pleasant. You know you're not going to sleep, you know you have to change really disgusting diapers, and you know that you'll get puked on at some point. You know about those things, you hear about those things, and you're prepared for them. You're prepared to be a parent 24/7, except for the few times you're lucky to get a sitter for a few hours. You're even prepared to have to get up at an ungodly hour to take care of a screaming child after you've knowingly indulged in one too many adult beverages, and you know it's going to suck. You're prepared for its suckiness. But there are some things that suck that you didn't think about when you were anticipating the arrival of your bundle of joy.
Things like slivers. Not slivers in you, but slivers in your child. They suck. They really, really suck.
Today, the weather was gorgeous. Every last lingering pile of snow melted, the sun was out, and it was warmer than it's been in a long time. This, of course, meant that there were piles and piles (and piles and piles) of dog shit in the yard that had to be picked up before I could enjoy any sort of outdoor activity with Gavin. (Not because I never pick it up but because my dog needs to go a minimum of three times a day for some unknown reason). As I was searching for doggy doo-doo landmines, Gavin decided to get out his wheelbarrow and push it around the yard. Less than two seconds later, he came running up to me, holding his hand, crocodile tears in his eyes, lip quivering, and showed me that he had a sliver.
"No big deal," I naively said. "We'll go in the house, get the tweezers, and it will be out in no time."
I sat him on the bathroom counter, grabbed the tweezers, and before I was even six inches from his hand, he pulled it back and screamed, "Ouch!"
"I didn't even touch it yet."
"Don't touch my hand. Don't touch my hand. It hurts. Don't bend my fingers back."
I explained to Gavin that I would get it out quickly and then we could finish playing outside.
He shook his head no.
"Fine. If I don't get it out, it will get infected, and then it will hurt more. And, you'll have to go to the doctor."
That argument was enough to convince him to allow me to at least look at his hand, and touch part of his arm, but I wasn't getting any closer.
I bribed with a popsicle.
I gave him the popsicle as a distraction.
He was not distracted.
I endured 30 minutes of: "I want you to get it out. Don't touch it, though. It hurts. Don't look at it. Look at. Don't touch it. Get it out. I don't want to go to the doctor. I want my daddy to get it out. I don't want it in there. Just leave it in there. Stop, you're hurting me. Ouch. I want you to try to get it out in the kitchen. I just want to go in the living room. Don't bend my fingers. I don't want to watch. I want to watch." And, it was all to no avail. I was not getting within two feet of that sliver anytime soon.
No matter what I said, no matter what I did, I was not going to be getting that sliver out with tweezers, my fingernails, or anything else. There were tears and tears and tears and a whole lot of frustration on my part. There was no rationalizing with him.
So, now we're soaking the sliver, urging it to come out on its own. I hope it listens. If not, I'm not sure what I'm going to do to get it out. One thing I do know, however, is that I never expected so much drama from a tiny sliver. Slivers suck.
Get thee to an independent bookstore.
1 hour ago