The Sliver

by Lisa on January 30, 2009

panning_firetruck1“What’s that sound?” I ask my husband. Either it’s a fire engine coming down our street or it’s Ibbi in the back yard. Better go outside and check.

Leaping down the back steps we see Isabelle wailing and being led from the back forty by an entourage of frantic children. Sophia’s screaming, “Hurry, hurry! Come quick! She’s got a sliver!

We pick up the pace. Sure enough, Soph’s right. Isabelle has a sliver. And an impressive one at that. Right in the palm of her hand. Ouch.

My sharp-as-a-tack mind immediately goes into action. First—check the damage and turn off the 3 alarm fire bell. Second—remove the offending wood and wash her hands. Third—give her a great big hug, tell her how how much I love her and how brave she is. Fourth—send her back out to play.

She, in dire misery, was thinking other things. The wailing continued.

Parting the sea of children and inspecting the sliver, we decided indoor removal was best. We managed to maneuver her to the couch. Soothing tones and soft words along with some hair petting got the three alarm bell was down a notch to a two alarm. “Fetch a kleenex.” I say to Soph. David returns from the kitchen with a drink of water. Now we’re down to a single alarm. More hair petting and gentle words. Alarm off. Step one complete

Step two. Remove the menace. Oh…I can’t wait. I’m trying to be optimistic, but I just have a gut feeling this is gonna be a doozie. Under severe duress she shuffles from the couch to the bed. As she sits down she begins to whimper. “Daddy will be careful,” I tell her. “It may not even hurt. Sit still and it will be out before you can say ‘Jack Russell’.” Wink, wink to Dad. More for moral support than anything else. She’s starting to get revved up again. This isn’t  going to be a simple sliver removal.

David produces the needle and tweezers from their hiding place. Her eyes grow large, but with the finesse of a brain surgeon, David manages to get the needle toward the black line. He positions it directly above the culprit. “WAAAA WAAAA. NO! NO! You’re hurting me.” Calmly in my best mother-it-is-going-to-be -alright-tone I say, “Isabelle, you need to calm down. Daddy hasn’t even touched you yet.”


With nerves of steel and a steady hand David meets the skin this time. “WAAAAAAA WAAAAAA!” Surgery continues. He picks a little of the skin around the wood loose. Suddenly the hand is gone. Patiently David says, “Isabelle, give me your hand.” “NO! NO!” David: “Isabelle, GIVE me your hand.” Isabelle: “NO!NO!” David: “ISABELLE, GIVE ME YOUR HAND.”

Hand is back. The surgery proceeds.

Two picks later the hand is gone. Now she’s screaming. “Daddy…NOOOOOOOO…Daddy…”

My cheeks are flushed. Now in a not-so-nice-mother-tone through clenched teeth I say, “Isabelle, GIVE Daddy your hand NOW or else…” Or else what? I’m not sure, but it sounds good. Not to her. She doesn’t care about the “or else”. She continues shrieking. And, adds flopping to the mix. It’s getting ugly. “Stop it!” I yell. “Stop it right now. I’ll sit on you if I have to.” She boosts into orbit.

Now we are wrestling. Me, David, and she who is hysterical. It’s a smackdown on Elkay. WWF right in our own house. Soph is cheering from the sidelines, “Go Mama. Go Dada. Go Isabelle.”

We pin her. Sliver, you’re going down. I sit on her and hold her hand out. With cat like reflexes, David does a swift, precise, surgical sliver removal. Whew! We’re done, I think. Wrong. What’s that she’s hollerin’ now? It takes a minute to register.


Epilogue: I don’t remember if we washed her hands. Don’t remember saying ANYTHING to her at this point. I don’t remember if she went out to play. All I know is she recovered. And all we have to do is mention “The Sliver” and we all laugh.

I guess all’s well that’s ends well.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa P aka Titi January 30, 2009 at 9:47 pm

That reminds me of Alex’s first tooth removal! Just ask them. Not funny.
But effective nonetheless. And necessary when you have a screamer.
Sorry Allie Babba

Lisa January 31, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Well..Alex and Isabelle ARE cousins. I’ve also got a lovely story in the works about Isabelle’s front tooth coming out. It’s similar to The Sliver story. I think I’m beginning to see a pattern here….

Favorite cousin RACHEL February 3, 2009 at 6:39 pm

She wanted it put back?? Please explain that part to me.

Lisa February 3, 2009 at 10:36 pm

We’re still not sure what THAT was all about! Drama, maybe?

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