SplinterWhen I was a child my father seemed to get great delight each time one of us would get a splinter. First there was a lot of gleeful expressions and rubbing of hands. Then he would ask my Mom where he could find a needle. After selecting his torture device he would light a match and put the tip of the needle in the flame – to sterilize it I think – while the patient victim watched anxiously. Since splinters were almost always on our feet the victim would be lying down on the couch on their stomach, knee bent so the afflicted appendage was sticking up into the air. He then would proceed to tilt the lampshade and commence surgery by sewing needle. Now I have always said that my dad is a little bit mean. I love him and we have a great relationship but, especially when we were kids, he wasn’t always nice. But I’ve wondered, was he really that mean? Last night I found out.

We’ve done a bunch of work on the yard and it’s looking better. One thing we’ve done is added a few trees and there are probably more coming. Anyway, last night Stefan was digging the holes for the last two trees. He had planted the first one the night before and we all “helped” but got eaten by the bugs. So last night we watched from the deck as he chiseled a hole in the quarry that is our backyard. Somehow Katie got a very tiny splinter in her hand. First I tried to get it out without any implement. Then we tried soaking it in water and more trying to get it out. Katie did not like this at all which did not bode well for what came next…

Katie, keep your hand in the water while I look for something.
Mommy, what are you getting?
A pin.
But I don’t like pins!
I know sweetheart but that’s the only way to get the splinter out.


She actually was very brave and let me use the pin to get the splinter out. I could tell it hurt her and she did cry but for the most part she sat very still and kept her hand on the table. After the splinter was out and a Curious George bandage was covering her wound she says to me, Mommy, I don’t like it when you hurt me. and I realized that all that with my dad was just an act. It was his way of coping with this. Because really, he couldn’t be that mean.


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