Last night we took a family walk to check on the progress of our new house.
We made Michael exchange his summer flip flops for tennis shoes and warned him to watch out for nails and gaping holes in the floor. "I don't want anyone getting slivers," I said. "Or tetanus."
So, the kids ran around exploring. Matthew and Leah checked out Michael's new bedroom. Interestingly, it was Matthew who was enthralled with the future closet space.
Then, a four-year-old's scream sliced through the air.
Now, I have to mention that Michael is somewhat dramatic when it comes to injuries. By that I mean if you touch his big toe with a q-tip, he will scream as if you shoved bamboo shoots under his nails. The Boy Who Cried Wolf has nothing on this kid. His death wail at getting a tiny sliver is as intense as if he had bones sticking out of his arm, so my sympathy in most cases tends to be rather limited. Unless he actually has bones sticking out of his arm, I don't want to hear about it. Even then, I'm so desensitized to his overdramatic displays when he is not actually hurt that in the case of a compound fracture I might just raise my eyebrows and say, "Oh, ouch, that was probably painful. Now stop crying and wipe your nose before I take you to the emergency room."
So, in response to his shrieking, David and I responded calmly (and almost in perfect unison), "You're fine, Michael."
But, he continued his screaming, so I had him show me where he hurt himself. I couldn't see any actual injury, but he was insistent. "I stepped on a poke!" he sobbed through a curtain of snot and tears.
So I took off his shoe to check and found a nice bloody circle on the bottom of his foot where a nail had indeed pierced through his shoe.
Our house exploration was cut short, Michael earned a spot in the wagon for the ride home, and after I cleaned and bandaged the wound, he informed me that he should be he should be given top dog status in the morning. "You need to get my breakfast first, before Matthew and Leah," he said. "Because of my poke."
I'm so glad to see the nail did not injure his ability to milk a situation for all it's worth. He's been limping around and polishing his tale of woe to share with his friends later. And possibly his children and great-grandchildren. (Have you heard the one about Grandpa and the Nail?)
This afternoon he asked me in a trembly sort of voice if I remembered when he stepped on a poke. Um, yep. Pretty fresh on that memory, seeing as it happened yesterday.
I shudder to think what will happen if he ever breaks an arm.