Monday. Ali woke up singing. I let her sing a for few minutes until her song began to downgrade into a whine, then I went to get her. She was holding a bunch of her stuffed animals…

“Good morning!!! What were you singing about?”

“Well, I was singing a song about flowers and love to White Bear. And then I was singing a song about struggling to Star Mouse.”

“Struggling? Do you Struggle much?”


I started to explain to her what struggling meant, but then I realized that she was paying me no attention whatsoever (stuffed animals are always more interesting than Mommy), so I gave up.

I then noticed that she still had splinters in her hand from a run-in with the porch yesterday…when she wouldn’t let us take them out. Except the first one – and only Pop could remove it. No Mommies Allowed.

But it was starting to look red, and we weren’t going to be seeing Pop again anytime soon, so I began prepping her for the fact that I really needed to get her splinter out.

She let me know with all of the panic, stubbornness, and illogicality that a three year old can manage that I would not be taking out her splinter.

I reasoned with her. “It will hurt you more if you don’t let me take it out.”


After several minutes of useless effort to contain a wiggling panicky ball of nerves, I called Chris and put him on speaker phone. I subtly told him to make his daughter let me take her splinters out.

He talked to her….he calmed her down…he reasoned with her…he demanded of her.

“So will you let Mommy take your splinter out?”


I gave up on the Daddy strategy, and began working on an illusionist strategy.

I asked her if I could clean it with a wet wipe, and she agreed. I wiped it for a minute, then I sneakily slipped my tweezers under the wet wipe and started trying to work without seeing what I was doing.

But I was never meant to be a magician.

It didn’t take her long to figure out my amazing illusions. And she wasn’t impressed with my magic trick.

I finally managed to fight her panic for long enough to get Splinter Enemy Number One out, but it wasn’t easy or fun for anyone, including the stuffed animals.

After that, we talked, we comforted, we agreed to be wise next time.

When we got downstairs, I remembered our conversation about struggling. I asked her, “So, were you struggling when I took your splinter out?”

Very decisively, she told me “No.”

“Oh. Then what does struggling mean?”

“It means that you don’t color in your coloring book.”


I’m sure glad she’s got it all figured out.

IMG_8627 Photoshopped

12 thoughts on “Webster’s Dictionary: Toddler Edition.

  1. Jackson calls them "Blinters" and he is a big ole blinter in my hiney when I have to try to get one out of his finger. You would think I was cutting off fingers! Seriously, they don't hurt that bad!

    And that picture of Ali is beautiful! I'm glad she wasn't struggling in it!

  2. Yikes! We haven't had to deal w/a splinter yet. I'm sure that will be fun. :{

    Why is it their nature to argue? Sometimes K is absolutely convinced that I am wrong and there's no two ways about it. :)

    LOVE the picture! How did you make it look like that?

  3. Wouldn't it be wonderful if that was the biggest struggle she ever has to face?! That picture is awesome.

  4. I feel slightly unoriginal but that picture is wonderful and I would also like to know how you did it!

    I sympathize with Ali; I'm not a splinter removal fan myself.

  5. I can't take credit for anything special about the picture – it was actually just a lucky shot! I didn't do anything unusual, except photoshop out the edge of a lady that walked into the corner of my picture as I was taking it. :)

  6. so this is what worked when my girl was 6. We had had a previous traumatic experience with a tick when she was 4 or 5, so it was with great trepidation that I proceeded. I had tweezers, a sterilized safety pin (because the splinter was pretty far in there), an ice cube and the TELEVISION. I turned on the tv to Scooby Doo and faced her towards it with her hand to the side of her so the removal wasn't happening right in front of her. The ice cube was for numbing a bit as we went (when the television haze wasn't fully engaged). Then I started with the tweezers and as necessary, used the safety pin to help and we got the splinter out. It was pretty awesome, because it did hurt her, but she was so brave about it. There was foot stomping and crying but no full on hysterics.

    Glad you got Ali's splinter out without TOO much drama.

  7. Yikes, splinters are horrible! Rayna had one in her hiney once and we had to have it removed at the hospital. She slide across a wooden bench at the Pumpkin Patch and in it went :(

  8. LeighB – Thank you thank you thank you!!! That was an excellent idea. I put her in front of the Imagination Movers and pulled her hand behind her head and took out 6 splinters and she never even realized I was doing it! After I finished, I told her what I did, and she said, "And it didn't even hurt!!!"

  9. I hate getting splinters taken out, I was horrified of it as a child and don't think I'll ever be able to take one out myself…hopefully daddy will always be around if that is needed!
    Luke has already had a very dramatic experience with getting a splinter out and he was scarred for months!

  10. LOL…Jack's a struggler all right!
    I took out our sweet little neighbor's splinter. THAT was TRAUMATIC for everybody involved but she still talks to me now. :)

    Jack is sensitive enough that no TV will get a splinter out of his fingers. I've tried….I haven't managed to do it yet. Luckily, his splinters seems to work themselves out without causing infection. He's got one in his thumb right now that's making me nervous.

    Is splinter removal in your list of available services?

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