There’s so much more I want to say about yesterday’s post, about this situation in specific and our society’s willingness to explain away predatory and aggressive behavior as something else, surely, he didn’t MEAN it that way and he would NEVER and by the way, what exactly was she wearing, hmmmm? But that will become a rant that never ends, in general; and in specific, I have pledged to sit on my hands until a satisfactory resolution is reached.
[I shared some of your comments here and from over on Off Our Chests with Chickie, by the way, and she was really surprised, I think, by the outpouring of support. (Which is a whole ‘nother level of sad to this whole thing, but…) Thank you so much.]
I may have had a hubris-filled moment, in the last few days, when I said to Otto SHE IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE EASY ONE. He may still be laughing at me.
And I probably deserve it.
This morning Monkey shuffled downstairs, all bedhead and yawns, to present me with his hand and some extreme indignation.
“I have a SPLINTER,” he declared, peering at it suspiciously, as if a plank of wood had snuck into his room last night and attacked him while he slept.
I examined where he pointed and confirmed that he did, indeed. “Where’d you get that?” I asked.
“Probably from running my hand down the bannister,” he replied. When I suggested that the bannister at school probably wasn’t splintery he assured me that it absolutely was and they weren’t supposed to touch it. I… still don’t entirely understand Hippie School, but decided to let the matter drop.
On a different day, with the moon in a different phase or the weather a different temperature, a splinter in my youngest would be cause for wailing and gnashing of teeth and GET IT OUT and DON’T TOUCH ME. I don’t know if it was because he’d just woken up, or if it’s just a good day, but he was very calm about the whole thing, even after I led him into my bathroom and started digging at it with tweezers, without any success.
I gave up after about a minute. “You’re being very brave,” I told him, dropping a kiss on top of his head. “But we need to move to Plan B. Come on.” I led him back into the kitchen while he peppered me with questions about what we were doing and was I just going to leave the splinter there?
Our one and only shot glass (hail to the not-party people!) was just the right size, and I poured some salt in it and then filled it up with hot water. At my direction, Monkey sat down and plunked his affected finger in the glass. He wanted me to explain why we were doing it and I could only manage phrases like “it helps draw the gunk out” and “just trust me.”
Five minutes later, we pulled his finger out, and my tweezers still couldn’t get purchase of that little sliver, but when I gently squeezed, it popped right out onto my waiting fingertip.
“Whoa!” said Monkey. “That was so cool! It didn’t even HURT! How did you know that would work??” I muttered something about osmosis and wished I’d already made coffee.
The truth? I had no idea if it would work, and everything I know about salt water soaking being useful I learned when I still had a (frequently-infected) (you’re welcome!) belly button ring. I’m glad it worked, but if it hadn’t, not sure what my next step would’ve been.
He went off to school happy, my “hard” child who is sometimes, unexpectedly, perfectly easy. I got lucky, this time.
I don’t know what the final chapter will be on this school thing with Chickadee. I know that my husband sent the principal an email last night that literally made me cry, it was so measured and logical and yet FULL of protection and love and don’t-mess-with-my-cub emotion. I know that it feels like our little family has drawn a little bit closer, the last few days, and we’re all aware that what ends up happening may or may not feel like justice, but we have each others’ backs no matter what.
Still. If only I could pop out Chickadee’s current splinter like I did Monkey’s… that would be okay with me.