One of the things that you can never be fully prepared for, as a parent, is the sound of your child screaming and shouting incomprehensibly while fully caught in the grip of sheer, abject terror.
And of course it's only made worse when you're the one who's got your kid terrified -- or, more precisely, the tweezers in your hand. Which you are trying to use to remove a splinter that is starting to get scary-looking.
And I am not kidding about the "being scared" bit, either: she was screaming hysterically, so loudly, for so long, that I thought for sure that our neighbors were going to call the cops. In an ordinary neighborhood, they might have.
It was like Noriega with the heavy metal music, is what I am saying.
Apparently the splinter came from pulling weeds at my grandmother's over the weekend, and that (plus the killer mystery poison that makes you want to scratch all your skin off) is exactly why I don't do yard work.
But oh my lands -- we bribed her with everything we could think of. Candy. Money. Clothes. Shoes. At one point I might have promised to buy her a bike. Anything, if she would just calm down and be quiet for two seconds so we could pluck that splinter right out. It wasn't very deep, or very big, just on her left hand, right under her pinky finger, but it was red and she was complaining that it was sore, so it needed to come out.
It should have taken ten seconds, max. It ended up being an ordeal that went on for literally more than an hour. She would tense up and make tiny little fists and kick and scream and wail and throw punches and ... well, we ended up not getting the stinking splinter after all.
Until we were in the tub, when it came out on its own, confirmed after another wrestling match to just look at her boo-boo.
Oh and by the way? That kid is strong. Even soaking wet and naked.
She insisted on a unicorn bandaid and some "cream" afterwards, which is really neosporin ointment but she calls it cream because it looks like A&D to her, and then everything was fine.
Except I still have this ringing in my ears, and I think I've run out of nerve pills.
And I don't have the heart to tell my husband that this is nothing compared to what the first break-up is going to be like.