My darling niece. She’s five years old and she is wonderful, beautiful and vivacious. She’s a fierce cuddler and has one of the greatest laughs.
On Tuesday at my sisters house, we split wood for her winter stores. The kids were all told not to go out to the yard without shoes or sandals on because there was bits of splintered wood all over the place. Easy right? Even the three year old put on his sandals before heading out. However, shortly before dinner, Orla ran outside and promptly ran straight back in.
“I have a splinter – I DON’T WANT THE TWEEZERS!” she bellowed. It was obvious to all which part of her announcement was the most important.
Now, I will preface the rest of this story by saying that there was a small part of me that LOVED watching my sister work on the, shall we say more challenging aspects of raising children. It’s not easy, especially when they’re all little. I sure remember how hard some of my days were when my guys were all small, and I enjoy watching her have her turn. Yes, it’s kind of mean to say it, but it’s true. Call it vindication for any time she visited me ten years ago and commented on the mess/chaos/noise levels. I love you, sis, but this was fun to see the shoe on the other foot.
Anyway, poor Orla threw a very loud, very scream-y fit. And my sister had to run out quickly so she put on a movie for the kids and left them with me while she quickly ran to town.
As soon as she left, my dear and darling little niece, who had spent so much time giving me auntie hugs, holding my hand, sitting while I read to her, just being adorable, opened her mouth and without preamble, let out the loudest most piercing shriek I have ever heard.
I managed to calm her down but once mummy was back a few minutes later and she saw the dreaded tweezers, she was back to full on screaming melt down.
And then the best moment ever happened.
My sister calmly explained to her daughter that if she didn’t let her pull out the splinter with the tweezers, they would have to go to the hospital and have the doctors remove…her toe.
Ah, the lies we parents tell our kids. It was a beautiful moment. Seriously, I was crazy proud of her.
Orla tried to calm down, bless her. She really did. Those tweezers though, they got close to touching skin and she again opened her mouth and got out a quick “AAARGH” when all of a sudden, it was done. Splinter was out and there was Orla, with the biggest eyes a little girl has ever had, fat tears still shining in them with a sudden smile on her face. “That didn’t hurt” she hiccupped.
My sis and I exchanged a look of parenting knowledge. It was a look that spoke of grey hairs and exhausted nights and absolute draining love. All that in ten seconds of eye contact.
Tonight my daughter Aislinn comes home after spending two whole months back in Ontario wit her Aunt. The other kids are making her a sign that I can hold up at the airport when I pick her up. We can’t wait to be an (almost) complete family again. (We miss you, Liam!!)