Here's the drill. One of my children announces, "I have a splinter and it HURTS, Mom." I ask, "Do you want me to remove it?" The child inquires in return, "Will it hurt? How will you do it?" My answer never changes, "Yes, it will hurt. I'll dig it out with a needle for you." Usually, I do not hear about the splinter again. The child's body either absorbs it, or the splinter makes its way out before my child would ever dream of me poking around their fingers or feet with a sharp instrument.
Not so today. Wise One came to me and shocked me by saying, "Mom, I'm ready for you to dig this splinter out. It's killing me."
I pulled out a bowl, filled it with warm soapy water, and asked Wise One to complete his language arts with me. Once he completed his page of past participles, he bravely asked, "My fingers are all wrinkly. Does that mean it's time?"
"Not just yet, Sweetie. I'll be right back." I collected Peace and invited him with me into Pooh Bear's pink room. "Pooh Bear, Wise has to get a splinter out, and I was wondering if I could allow Peace to entertain Wise at the expense of your Pretty Ponies? What I mean is, may Peace make big fun of your toys to help keep Wise's mind off the needle digging into his skin?" Pooh Bear's eyes became wide, but she agreed nonetheless. Usually, I won't tolerate my boys taunting and teasing one another with her "girl things" as it makes her madder than a wet hen and meaner than a snake. I strongly suggested she stay out of the room as her ponies where about to be ridiculed, but I think curiosity got the best of her.
My entourage followed me to my bedroom where I procured a needle from my sewing box and then into the homeschool room, where Wise One waited in fear.
"Oops. I forgot the tweezers and clippers. Would you bring them, Peace?" Peace, the resident comedian, reappeared quickly with the cutting board and a rather large knife in his hands. Wise One let out a nervous chuckle while Peace handed me the tweezers and clippers hidden in his pockets.
"No watching me, Wise, and get to work Peace." Peace knew just what to do. He drew out Pooh Bear's Pretty Ponies from behind his back and began asking, "Wise, why would a pony have goofy antennae and wings? How in the world can an animal as heavy as a pony possibly be a butterfly? Who ever heard of a pink horse with yellow hair and stars for eyes? What's up with this chariot? Are butterfly ponies supposed to ride when they could just fly? Is it some sort of pinky girly parade?" Once Peace exhausted the Pretty Pink Butterfly Pony Parade, he began to draw his own version. Instead of the standard pony heart shaped tattoo, he crafted human body hearts on his horse. Then he drew the horse on fire, and so on. Pooh Bear started to object, especially to the burning pony, but then she joined in with, "Make real stars in it's eyes like from outer space." They were having so much fun, laughing, I'm not sure Wise realized I'd finished.
"Here's the culprit of your pain." I held out the tiny sliver I'd excavated from beneath his epidermis.
"Huh" he mused and returned to the artwork he and his brother were creating.
I smiled with contentment.
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