Monday, January 26, 2009

Two people did the right thing today

Boo Bug was the first person. Her sister Danger Mouse had told her a secret that troubled and upset her. She stewed about it all night and most of the morning. And then she did the right thing: She told her teacher.

Her teacher then stopped what she was doing, went to Danger Mouse’s classroom, confirmed what Boo Bug had said, and took Danger Mouse to the office. They called us to come take a look.

A few days ago, she had wrestled a bent-up ring she’d found on a playground onto her finger. It was damaged, so it began digging into the flesh at the base of her finger. She ignored it long enough that her finger began to swell, at which point she couldn’t get it off. It hurt an awful lot, but she was so afraid of how much more it would hurt to have it taken off that she intentionally hid the problem from us.

We might not have noticed on our own that something was wrong until it was really, REALLY wrong.

We’ve told our kids that there are times when a secret needs to be kept, and times when it needs to be told. It’s a delicate subject…another person’s trust is a sacred thing, and going around telling the secrets of others does not win any popularity contests.

But there are times when narking out your sister is completely appropriate. And I am so very, very proud of my Boo Bug for making the right call on this one.

And her teacher…you know, the more I think about it, the more grateful I am to her. How often have I brushed off one of my kids who was trying to tell me something…and she’s got a classroom full of six and seven year olds, all yammering and nattering and “and you know what else”-ing…but she not only listened, but took action on what she heard.

She didn’t pass it off to someone else, or make a note to tell somebody about it later, or tell Boo Bug that she should tell us, tonight…she took action. Right there, right then. Walked across the campus to Danger Mouse’s classroom, looked at the problem and marched her to the office for help.

Between them, they saved Danger Mouse from a lot more pain.

Oh, it hurt when daddy cut off the ring, it hurt a lot. I’ll be honest, the way she cried made me feel sick to my stomach. We just thought she had a bent ring that was making her finger swell because of cut-off circulation. A little split in the skin, that’s what we thought we had.

It wasn’t until the ring was off that we saw how bad the wound underneath it was. We bundled her home, put it in some cold water and quizzed her about how it had gotten this way. A few days? It’s been hurting for a few days?!

How many bacteria can breed in a wound over the course of a few untreated days…?

We took her to the doctor, who examined it carefully and said she was pretty sure we’d caught it in time. It is definitely infected, and the infection is in an ugly place, a place where it could easily dig in deeply and spread.

While we like to think it would be impossible that she could have gone much longer without one of us noticing…it isn’t as unlikely as we’d like.

That infection could have gone absolutely wild before it would have been so obvious that we couldn’t possibly miss it.

Caught now, it’s a simple course of antibiotics.

Left to grow…who knows. Maybe still no big deal.

Maybe a bone-deep infection.

Maybe getting the ring off would have been surgery. Maybe she would have needed more surgery to clean out the infection.

Maybe more of it to remove flesh or even bone killed by colonizing intruders.

Maybe…even worse.

But. Two people did the right thing, in rapid succession…and all she had to endure was twenty seconds of intense pain while daddy got the damned thing off, and a few pokes at it by her pediatrician. A swipe of peroxide, a new band aid…and the rest of the day has been bliss, a day of Taco Bell meals and ice cream while prescriptions were filled, of lounging on the couch eating grapes and watching cartoons while her parents dissolved with worry over things that did not happen, but MIGHT have happened got back to work.

Seem like such simple things, don’t they? To tell a secret, and to look at a child’s finger and take her to the office.

But together, they spared a child who knows how many hours of pain…or worse.

I’m so proud of my Boo Bug, for knowing when to tattle.

And I am eternally grateful to her teacher, for not just saying, “Well, you should tell your parents what you just told me” and leaving it at that. For not making a note to send a note to somebody saying someone should think about doing something.

For not just ignoring the whole thing.

She saved our girl a lot of pain.

May the favor be returned to her, three-fold.

dm ring

The offending ring…you see how gnarly that bent-in part is?! It just DUG itself into the bottom of her finger…OUCH!


Rena said...

SOOOOOO happy all is well. I'm sending my love to you all, and an extra kiss to Boo Bug for bravery (and here's one for Danger Mouse who was also very brave and needs to stop living up to her name).

Amy Lane said...

Wow-- good people, doing the right thing--but I've had that "OMG it was ALMOST...something I can't think about..." and you're holding up better than I would! (Very brave, both of them!)

Louiz said...

My fingers feel twitchy just looking at the bent bit... both girls have been very brave and that teacher - sounds like a good one.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow. Hooray for Boo Bug, and kisses for Danger Mouse... and many blessings on that teacher. What an angel!

natasha the exile on Mom Street said...

OMG. I usually leave those particular initials to the tweens, but in this case it seemed appropriate.

Congratulations on raising a kid who made the right decision.

I can only hope that my own little guy can do that someday.

Barb said...

Yeee-ouch! Poor little thing. I'm so glad her sister tattled...and I'll bet deep down she is, too.

Lydee said...

ow.ow.ow. poor thing. glad it was stopped in time.

Anonymous said...

So happy everything turned out well. That teacher sounds like a real keeper!

Crowzma said...

Tough call for anyone, let alone a little Boo Bug. I hope she will not have lost Danger Mouse's trust, but even if she does, she did the right thing. Hard thing to learn, that the right thing isn't always the easiest thing.

Teacher Lady gets an A+, too.

Boo Bug is personally responsible for a Very Good Thing.

Anonymous said...

OW. Ow, ow, ow. That could have been so very bad. Good job, Boo Bug and teacher!! And Danger Mouse, hope your finger heals up quickly.

(Ow, ow, ow...)

Anonymous said...

That shows a level of maturity that is wonderful to see in a kid as young as Boo Bug. I hope that she continues that way because the world needs more kids like her. I'm also really glad that Danger Mouse is okay and that everything was caught in time.

Yarnhog said...

Ooooo. Cold sweat sliding down my spine. I'm so glad they both did the right thing. How the heck did Daddy get that thing off?

mama edge said...

Yay Boo Bug!

Anonymous said...

In other circumstances, I might have suggested a Starbucks gift card for the teacher. However, we all know that's impractical. How about a thank-you note from the family, maybe with art by Boo Bug? It would touch the teacher's heart!

Dysd Housewife said...

Wowie. That just goes to show how easy it is for our kids to end up in a situation they THOUGHT they had under control. So glad it got resolved before a bad thing happened. A ROCKIN TEACHER ya got there. She's a keeper. word verification for this post is: Blessitu.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a perfect time for some stash busting. Perhaps the harlot will share her cowl cloud of cashmere pattern one day and you'll have the perfect yarn for it.

It's always good to know that there are still teachers who are able to take that extra step even with everything else they have to contend with.

Spidey-sense is alive and well

Anonymous said...

A brave daughter for telling a secret that needed to be told, and a huge thank-you for a teacher who took steps when needed. Possibly a note to the principal or the school board? To let someone official know how grateful you are?

Galad said...

So happy for all of you that Boo Bug and her teacher did the right thing. I like the note idea, as few people take the time to do that anymore. E-mail may be faster but handwritten from the heart is treasured.

Science PhD Mom said...

Ouchie, my finger hurts just looking at that ring! I'm glad Boo Bug did the right thing, and so did the teacher!! Talk about going the extra mile! And I'm so glad that Danger Mouse is okay and some antibiotics will clear it up for her. It's so hard to understand how kids' brains work sometimes..."this is hurting me, so I'm going to keep it to myself..." Yikes! Glad you got it taken care of.