Abigail loves sweet tea, which I’m sure relates not at all to the fact that I drank Wendy’s sweet tea by the gallon while I was pregnant with her. The other day at supper, she and I finished off the sweet tea that I had made. When I poured her cup, I warned her that this was the last of it and if she finished this and still wanted more drink, she’d have to pick something else. Of course she didn’t listen, finished that quickly and asked for more. I told her we were out, and gave her some choices. She got a distressed look on her face, and cried, “But I’m not empty for those things, I’m empty for sweet tea!” Bless her heart, I feel that way too sometimes.
Catherine got to attend Bible school last week, having made the requirement of being three by a mere 24 hours. However, since there were 60-70 three and four year olds, no adult was brave or foolish enough to try to corral them on the stage to sing at the closing program Sunday night. All day I had explained to her that Abigail would sing on the stage and Catherine would sit with Mommy and Daddy and see if there were any pictures of her in the slide show. Apparently this didn’t sink in, because when we got to church and dropped Abigail off at her class and kept Catherine with me, she said, “Mommy, I’m gonna sing real loud!” I explained again that she would sit with us and WATCH the kids sing, to which she replied, “But Mom, I’m a kid!!” I think the main moral of these two stories is that I’m wasting my breath when I try to explain in advance things that my kids may have issues with, because I explain and then they still have issues.
Now for the tragedy. Elisabeth, as many of you know, is a serious thumb sucker. Over the past week or so, her thumbnail literally started peeling off. A chip here, a chip there, until the whole top layer peeled right off just like a sunburn peels. This caused her no apparent pain. Then another layer started peeling. Then last night as she played outside, she must have bumped it because she came in with a big piece just hanging. I gently lifted it up to see if it was just going to peel off like the rest, and it immediately was obvious that no, this was indeed what was left of the top half of her thumbnail. The next hour was very…interesting. I was trying to stop the bleeding, she was trying to suck her thumb. I sat her in the sink and then the bathtub and she was quite happy to play in the water, jerking her thumb out of my hands every few seconds for a quick suck. She looked like a little vampire because it was still bleeding as she was sucking, so she was getting blood all over her mouth. She finally sucked the flapping skin the rest of the way off, and the bleeding finally slowed down and stopped. She acted in no way at all like any of this bothered her, except when I tried to hold her hand still to look at it and she wanted to play with the bathtub toys. It was hard to tell last night if it was sore or not, because she was playing so she wouldn’t have been sucking it anyway. But today it must be sore, because every time she puts it in her mouth, she doesn’t fuss but pulls it out pretty quickly. It looks horrible, with a little tiny fraction of a thumbnail and then a big red and purple mess on top. The nurse assured me that this is common, and I don’t need to do anything except let it heal as long as it doesn’t show signs of infection. My sadness is this: I loved her sucking her thumb, and I’m afraid this is going to prove to be the end of that. I know, I know the irrationalities of that, and if anyone sends me a comment that says much better to happen now than trying to break her of it later, I will be very irritated with the sender. The jury is still out on whether this is the end, because she’s still trying, and as it heals over the next day or so, it won’t be painful anymore. I’ll keep you posted. But for now, her little thumb is quite ugly and staying out of her mouth.