Once a month, I meet Kiki and Renee for a small group discussion on a book chosen by the three of us. Usually, we meet during the day for breakfast or lunch, but everyone’s schedule is jam packed in June, so we decided to meet for dinner. Tim and Josh left for summer camp today, so I left the goddess in the tender care of her loving older sister with strict instructions for no one to call me unless the house was on fire and they couldn’t get through to 911.
I drove away with a song in my heart, thrilled to be away from the gruesome twosome for what would surely be the only time all week. I arrived at TGI Friday’s and it all started out so well. I ordered a beer and the waiter winked at me roguishly and asked for my ID. Now I have not been carded in a good 15 years since by age 23, I was already starting to look like Margaret Thatcher, so this thrilled me to no end. I produced the ID and he told me he knew I was over 21 but less than 40. I would have offered him a sexual favor right then and there, but he struck me as a bit light in the loafers, so I resisted and thanked him prettily for the compliment.
Kiki and Renee arrived, we ordered appetizers and the evening was off to a wonderful start. I was right in the middle of making a rather brilliant pronouncement on the deeper themes of the book when my phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and groaned; it said HOME. I answered with some trepidation.
“Mommy,” the blonde goddess said, “can I go see if someone can play?”
Since it was close to 7 pm, I told her no and told her to go watch a movie with Abby. “But I don’t like that movie,” she said, “I want to play with someone.” I told her absolutely not and disconnected.
Five minutes later, the phone rang again…HOME. Wearily, I answered. “Mommy,” the goddess cried hysterically, ” I have a splinter in my foot and Abby wants to pinch it out and I won’t let her and it HUUUUUUURRRRRRTTTTTTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I was more than slightly annoyed and I told her to leave it alone until I got home. “But I can’t walk because it HUUUUUUURRRRRRTTTTS!!!!!!!” she wailed. “Then don’t walk on it,” I said forcefully and I hung up again.
Five minutes later, the phone rang again. “Mommy, I tried to get the splinter out and it won’t come out and I don’t know what do because I can’t walk on it,” she told me pitifully. Kiki and Renee were giggling most unkindly and I sighed in frustration. “Go sit in the bathtub and see if it will soak out,” I told her. “If it doesn’t, I’ll pull it out when I get home. NOW LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!”
A good ten minutes passed and so I was lulled into a false sense of security. Still, when the phone rang…again…it was not unexpected. “Mommy, I tried to soak it out and it wouldn’t come out,” she reported.
“Baby, just go sit on my bed and watch TV and I’ll pull it out when I get home, ok?” I begged.
“But I can’t walk on it, I have to walk on the side of my foot and it hurts REAL BAD!!!!!”
“Then get Abby to carry you,” I snarled.
I gave up. I begged Renee to make a house call and she looked at me like I was speaking in tongues. Sadly, I told Renee good-bye (Kiki having already left) and I headed for my car. As soon as I got in, I called her. “How is the splinter?” I asked.
“It’s still there and it HUUUUUURRRRRTTTTTS,” she wailed.
“Well, I have to go to Target and I’ll be home in a few minutes and I’ll pull it out, ok?” ‘
There was a moment of silence as she digested this. The goddess is NOT a compliant patient. When she has an appointment, Renee’s office staff is usually mysteriously afflicted with all sorts of ailments that prevent them from coming to work the day the goddess is scheduled. She is a bit, shall we say….dramatic….when it comes to pain inflicted upon her person. So the idea of me removing a foreign object from her foot did not appeal to her at all. “But it will HUUUUUUURRRRRRRTTTTTT,” she objected.
“We’ll talk about it when I get home,” I told her. I went to Target and got the few things I needed and then headed for the toy aisle to purchase a bribe. I was in no mood to deal with histrionics at home. I called her as I was leaving the store and told her I had a surprise for her if she sat still while I removed the splinter. “Is it a toy?” she asked excitedly.
“Yes, it’s a toy and it’s a great toy and I won’t give it to you if you don’t let me pull out the splinter,” I told her.
“But Mommy, it might HUUUUUURRRRRRTTTTT!!!!”
“Yes sweetie, it will probably hurt a little,” I said. “You’ll just have to deal with it if you want your toy.” Then I hung up.
When I got home, I found her hobbling around my bedroom in nervous anticipation. I told her to sit on my bed and show me the splinter. What I saw left me speechless. A microscopic piece of some pliable grass stuff was sticking straight out of her foot; it wasn’t a splinter at all. I reached for it and she rolled back on the bed, howling in agony like a wounded coyote.
“Sit up and let me pull the splinter out or I’ll give your surprise to Abby,” I told her callously. Whimpering, she stuck her foot back out and I casually flicked the tiny piece of grass stuff out of her foot. She keened for a moment, and then looked at her foot in surprise.
“Maybe it wasn’t a splinter mommy,” she lisped innocently. Then I gave her the surprise glass of special green kool-aid…no, just kidding. I gave her the stupid doll I bought her and walked out of the room. Next time I go out, I am leaving the cell phone AT HOME!!!