My Fight with the Middle Finger

The last 72 hours have been a journey, to say the least. On Saturday while I was out shopping with a girlfriend, Miles injured his leg. How? We don’t know. I have gotten tall tales ranging from sibling rivalry to dinosaurs.

After him refusing to bear any weight on it since Saturday, a trip to the ER, followed by a trip to the pediatrician because I wasn’t satisfied with the ER diagnosis, x-rays and a knee wrap – he seems to be walking more. Thankfully.

Enter Jack. Stay tuned people – this is where it gets good.

This kid has an infected finger – from biting his nails. Disgusting, I know. Yesterday I noticed that his left, middle finger looked slightly more sinister than normal and when I asked about it, he wouldn’t let me touch it. I knew better – but with the craziness of the previous 48 hours and the normal morning craziness in general, I convinced him to let me put peroxide on it and dress it with some antibacterial cream before going to school.

Negative. That did not work. It only seemed to anger his finger more.

Just the words, “Let me look at it.” Were enough to send him over the edge, complete with a downward spiral of tears, snot and screaming. With the amount of drama that coursed out of his tiny, ten-year old body, if he doesn’t work in theater, I will be highly disappointed.

I begged him to let me look at it. Overnight the infection had gotten worse – I’ll spare you the disgustingly graphic details, but trust me, it was nasty. Something had to be done. I had to either convince him to let me drain it at home…or take him to the doctor where they would drain it.

Today my friends, is the day Jack and I lost our ‘cool.’

I initiated the conversation with, “let’s go to the doctor and get it looked at.” This only caused a meltdown. I then tried to convince him to let me do it – which may as well have been me asking for him to give me a kidney.  After almost an hour of yelling back and forth at one another, me going full on WrestleMania on him to get him to the ground so I could just look at it, and him locking me out of the house – he let me back in and I got ahold of this left, middle finger, gave it one good squeeze, and bam. It was successful and started to drain.

But my God, that only released a bigger monster.

Let me tell you, hell hath NO fury like Jack when he is pissed and you’ve just pulled a Benedict Arnold type move on him.

What I can only assume was pure unadulterated hatred began coursing through his veins in every direction that pointed towards me. There were not enough parenting books in the world to save me now. He was devastated that I had done that to his finger. That I had LIED.

*Note: I did not lie, I told him I was going to do it…just not in one big swoop.

After another thirty minutes of this back and forth coupled with him missing the bus to school, I looked at it again. It was still pretty gross looking, so I washed my hands – literally and figuratively, and we went to the doctor.

Why didn’t we just go to the doctor first, you ask? Oh, because that would be the easy way out, and when have I ever chosen that path for my life? That’s not fun, and then there wouldn’t be these stories to keep you entertained.

After a long wait, we were finally doing the procedure in the doctor’s office. The doctor also told him, “Bud, if you had just let your mom finish the job, you wouldn’t have to be here. She knew what she was doing.”

I am not even remotely ashamed to say that I took great internal pleasure in that big, fat ‘Boo-yah! I told you so!’ moment, even if I didn’t let it show.

He’s my baby. I held his hand and dried his tears because he was scared. I let him squeeze every ounce of strength out of my hand while they lanced and drained the rest of his finger. It was awful – but had to be done. I hugged him and told him I was sorry for going all Randy Savage on him to get a look at his finger. I told him multiple times that I loved him and hated when he was sick or hurt. I reassured him that he was doing a great job and being very brave. I also threw in the phrase, that despite what he may think, I do know what I’m talking about sometimes. Much to his hesitation, he agreed.

Now he is enjoying showing me the bandage on the tip of his middle finger every chance he gets. And while I know he forgives me for pulling some 90’s wrestling moves in order to save his finger’s soul, I also know he is enjoying having the ability to flip me the bird without getting in trouble. I’ll let him have it, as long as he’s healthy.


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Mother of three. Writer extraordinaire. Lover of art and music. Consumer of chocolate and wine.

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