I nested and prepared for our second baby, as I continued to change the diapers of our seventeen-month old toddler. Baby wipes thirty years ago came in round tubs. The wipes popped up out of the lid through a circle of plastic teeth that made it easy to tear the wipe off at the perforation. I have NO other idea how to describe it. The first wipe had to be fished through the little circle of teeth, which could be a very tricky and sometimes painful process. Never had it created the pandemonium that broke out as I worked at this process one day.
Somehow I wound up with a finger through the hole. Those little cursed plastic teeth dug into the flesh of my finger. What the heck? OK, calm down. I would soap it up, and it would slide off, right? Crap! Scissors it is! I’ll just be super careful. Shoot, what would I do with that huge roll of wet wipes. They would dry out. I would just have to put them in a ziplock. My finger began to turn blue, and the scissors couldn’t get close enough. Time to call reinforcements. I called over to Mom’s, “I have a baby wipes cover stuck on my finger and its turning blue.” It sounded ridiculous, even to me, as I said it, and it clearly didn’t compute, as Mom came back with, “You what?” So as I explained in detail the issue and the hopelessness of this situation, we decided that my sister, the hair stylist, who was there with her toddler and very good at wielding a scissors, would come to my aid. Mom would watch the girls.
Said sister, Jolene, had called in to work because of a big black eye she had acquired earlier that day by hitting her head on the “For Sale” sign in Mom and Dad’s front yard. She was dropping her toddler off on her way to work, and wasn’t paying attention as she walked toward her car, head down reading through one of the poems that she had rescued from her part of the debris that each one of us had left behind when we, in turn, moved out. Mom, stressed from packing her own belongings in preparation for the move, was threatening to throw out the boxes of things that we were all “storing” there. So, Jolene, her toddler, and her shiner were hanging out at Mom’s, sifting through more discarded treasures, when I called for help.
After my sister’s failed attempt at cutting the lid off (I think she drew blood. It is a little foggy, though… benefit of the doubt, yadda, yadda, yadda), we decided there was nothing left to do. We giggled on the way to the E.R., probably because we were both a little bit nervous, and very embarrassed. I stared at my purple finger, envisioning the scenario and practicing what I would say. Oh, jeez, they were going to think I was in labor! I struggled a little bit more with the lid, hoping for a miracle.
As we entered the E.R., the first person we encountered, looking from my sister’s freshly bruised eye to my pregnant belly, asked, “Which one of you needs to be seen?” Hiding my hand, and my shame, I piped up, “I need help.” The obvious, “Are you in labor?” came next from her. I held up my hand for her to see and sighed, “No, I have this stuck on my finger, and it won’t come off. We tried everything.” I looked to my sister to bolster my story, and lend credence to the gravity of my predicament. She nodded, now looking more amused than embarrassed. The nice lady took pity on me and brought me back to the nurse, who immediately asked, “Are you having contractions?” “NO” I lamented, “I have this stupid lid stuck on my finger.” She took her scissors out of her pocket. White coat syndrome struck me, “I already tried to cut it off. That won’t work.” She looked at me as one looks at a pathetic child, “Sit down. I can cut it off.” Retreating to the maturity of the five-year-old, I whined, “You’re going to cut me.” Seconds later, she had the lid off, “There. All better.”, she reassured me.
My sister and I rode home with what was left of our dignity, thankful we hadn’t been offered stickers or suckers for good behavior. After the baby wipe debacle, My husband and I decided to splurge on the wipes that came in tubs, without lids that had vicious little plastic teeth.