Kids are weird, man. They continuously defy logic. And one would think that somewhere along our evolutionary track, Mother Nature would have solved this problem. Why, for example, is it necessary to teach my daughter to not head-butt people and things? One would think that a single painful knock to the head would be enough to stop her....but no. It's something I actually have to teach her. The same way one might learn Algebra.
It's never ceased to amaze me that basically all parenting boils down to is trying our best to prevent a younger generation from destroying itself. Why don't we come out with a full set of teeth, spear in hand? "Thanks mom, point me toward the nearest watering hole so I can catch you some dinner." Instead, we are completely helpless creatures for the first several years of our lives. I for one, spend most of my waking hours following Madeline around to stop her from doing silly, possibly dangerous, things.
We spent last weekend in Connecticut visiting with Eric's family. While hanging around the hotel playing with Madeline, I happened to glance something strange in her ear. It almost looked like she had a piece of rolled up paper wedged in there.
I passed her off to Eric for a second look, and to Nana for a third. I briefly debated finding some tweezers and poking about there myself...there's that evolution thing again...but we thought better of that, and whisked her off to a walk-in medical facility for a closer look instead.
See this sterile lab container? It contains the googly eye extracted from Madeline's ear later that morning.
Googly eye is a very technical term for those plastic, wiggly eyes used in arts and crafts projects by preschoolers across the planet. Here's a closer look.
Thankfully, it took the doctor about two minutes to get it out. Although she did not complain before we noticed the eye, after having it removed, she kept saying that her ear felt funny. Of course your ear feels strange, dearest. You can hear again.
Much later that night, when that trauma of the doctor's visit had faded, I questioned Madeline about her ear. After some careful prodding, I learned that she had put the eye in her ear at school while "at the table." When I asked her if she told the teacher, she said, "I cried." When I asked if she was scared, she said, "Uh-huh!" Poor baby. When I asked her why she had put it in her ear, she told me, "I don't know."
We keep reiterating the lesson that we do not put things in our ears. Hopefully the message sticks, although I'm thinking we should probably add nose to the list just in case a pipe cleaner makes its way up there.