I've always had a thing for popping pimples and extracting blackheads. Sometimes I watch videos of strangers get decades-worth of godknowswhat slowly pried out of their pores online and it really gets me going. If I ever get so lucky to suffer a splinter wound and am consequently blessed with the opportunity to cleanly slide that shard of wood from my skin, I'm too euphoric to speak. It's a similar feeling, I'd imagine, as winning a lottery that had been building up for weeks and being the sole jackpot recipient. Or I'd bet it feels a lot like walking into the kitchen and finding all the dishes had been extracted from the sink, leaving a pristine hole where there was once a blockage of plates and macaroni-crusted utensils. I don't know what that feels like to come upon a gift such as that, but I'd bet the relief is unmatched. For now, I'll pin down my screaming, writhing daughter if I find any sort of semblance of a clogged pore upon her sweet lil cheek or patiently await for that frantic, "MOM!!!!!!! Splinter!!!!!!" and gladly take off running towards my next fix.
But we'll get back to that. School started Monday and I just didn't feel it. Maybe it was because we are coming off a year-round school schedule and were only leaving behind three weeks of a summer break, but I really felt not much of anything. No tears, no outstretched, longing hand desperately reaching towards my precious babies as they bravely march out of my sight and into the care of not-me's. It was weird. Usually the sight of them wobbling towards the school's gate struggling to keep their little bodies upright as the new year's school supplies lend to a body composition made up of 90% backpack makes me lose it. It's so cute and sweet and sad and tragic and adorable and heart breaking/warming. But yeah, nope. Not this year. It sorta felt like any other school day.
And maybe it's because of the we-were-just-here feeling due to the summer unbreak but also maybe it's because Landon has been so damn difficult. Maybe its because my first grader has spent the last few weeks treating me like a whisk treats an egg when it's time for breakfast. He's been mean, irritable, impatient, so fucking inconveniently and constantly hungry for everything other than vegetables. He screeeeams at me, mocks me when I try to discipline him, and says words he shouldn't use. He's going through a phase. I refuse to believe that the precious angel-baby that use to tell me he woke up each morning simply because "he missed me too much" isn't hiding underneath the terror of a child that's living in my home right now. I know he'll get through this- but it does make my breaks from him seem a bit less like losing a limb and more like gaining some sanity.
It came shrieking from the other room yesterday, "MOM!!!!!!!! SPLINTER!!!!!!!!" and I uttered a "fuck yeah." under my breath and took off running to find the recipient. There he was, on top of our rustic wooden coffee table, upon which he wasn't supposed to be, clutching his rear end. "My butt!!!," Landon cries, "Mom!!! There's a huge splinter in my butt!!!"
So I snatch him up and lie him down on his stomach in the front room on top of a half wall room divider where I would have the most light. I feel like a world class surgeon, prepping my most important patient yet. This is the moment the medical world has been waiting for. I'm going to perform the surgery ofa goddamn lifetime and people are gonna talk about it. This will be the epitome of my foreign-object removing career.
I pull his gym shorts halfway down his backside and there it is. Right in the center of his right butt cheek. About a half centimeter of wood formerly attached to my coffee table delightfully peering out, giving me the perfect micro-handle to make this my most successful removal yet. After a moment of consideration, I decide to use my most effective and trustworthy tool, the pointer finger and thumb of my unwashed right hand. This is it. I'm going in. I pinch my fingers around the top of the splinter and pull. Lan absolutely loses his shit and starts to panic so I call in my highly trained assistant to hold him down. Troy pins him by his shoulders and I go for it again. I tug at the splinter. Nothing. Another yank. Nothing. Landon is freaking out so I give it one last massive pull and out it finally came.
Now listen carefully. I've been known to exaggerate. I embellish stories when recounting them to friends sometimes. I'm aware of this. But when I tell you this splinter was four fucking inches long, I'm telling the truth. And to someone like me- to someone with this absolutely maniacal relationship with splinter pulling- gets to relieve someone of a four inch wooden invader- the experience is indescribable. I felt like King Arthur releasing Excalibur from the stone. I'm almost positive I heard crowds of village people cheering. I'm certain the splinter made a "SCHHHING!" sound as it slid out of his tushy. I'm not convinced I didn't immediately stomp one foot upon poor Landon's back as I reached my arm toward the sky and presented the splinter to the gods to remind of them my unearthly power and to thank them for choosing me.
Anyway. My only regret is that I didn't keep the stick sword and make a necklace out of it. It most likely had some sort of magical powers. And I can use all the help I can get lately.
And, as far as Landon goes. I guess I will just continue to stay patient and wait for things to get easier. But at least it's pretty apparent now. He definitely has a stick up his butt.