It COULD Have…

Well, we have moved on to Berlin’s THIRD week of second grade.  Last week nothing remarkable happened.  This week she had to step it up. 

It’s 10:30 and I get a call from the school nurse. 

“Mrs. SuzyJ?  This is the school nurse.  Berlin is here in my office – she’s very brave – but there is an object stuck in her shoe.  It is protruding.”

“What is it?”

“I can’t remove it, but it has probably impaled Berlin’s foot.”

“What is it?”  I ask again, concerned that the nurse is going into shock and cannot bring herself to answer me.

“I can’t see because it is in her foot.”

“Is it glass, metal, a nail, or a razor blade?”  I am annoyed, but very concerned that the nurse does not have the stomach for this job.

“It is a paper clip,” she finally responds.  I say I will be right there and begin to pack up my desk and call the doctor.  The nurse there asks that I go to the school and pull the object from Berlin’s foot.  She tells me that school nurses tend to exaggerate, so I should not plan to bring Berlin in to the office. 

I quickly made my way to the school.  During the drive, I tried to work out the logistics of removing a foreign object AND a shoe from my daughter’s foot without throwing up or passing out.  I decide that my only option is to carry her to the doctor’s office.  It is well worth the $50.00 copay to avoid this situation.

Then I get to the school.  If you are unfamiliar with this child, read my post “Raising Berlin.”  No time?  Suffice it to say, the world has turned a little faster since this child was born – mostly because she is running it.  So, at school there is a crowd around the nurses office which includes Principal Marine and his second in command.  There is much concern.  I am ushered in by the secretary who is hurried and worried.  Well, there’s my girl, sitting on the little bed eating corn chips and reading a magazine.  The sole of her pink shoe is entirely red, which nearly takes me down until I remember that she was just grounded for coloring her shoes with red marker.  Still, there is a paper clip.  It is protruding.  It is rusty.  The crowd disperses and Principal Marine tells me I can call him directly any time to report the progress.  The tension disperses along with the crowd and I look at Berlin.  She smiles and shakes her head, “Don’t take that thing….Don’t hurt me.”  I hold up the extracted offender and Berlin squeals, “So it WAS just in my shoe!”  She scampers down off the table.  The nurse mentions that she raised some concern with the amount of screaming that went on when the paper clip entered her…shoe.  I assurred her that I was suspicious the minute she said Berlin was being brave ’cause that girl’s a screamer and a gusher!

We made our way to the lunch room where Mrs. First Year (she seems to believe everything Berlin throws her way – pity next year’s audacious child) is reassuring the class, telling them that Berlin’s mother is on the scene and Berlin will surely make a full recovery.  We walk in and the children swarm, wanting to hear all about the adventure.  So Berlin speaks to her breathless audience.

“I could have died.  It was a paperclip someone bent up like a SWORD!  It went into my shoe and stabbed my toe.  You know, it could have gotten into my bloodstream and I would have been poisoned.  I could be poisoned now because it poked me!  I could be dead tomorrow!”  A collective gasp rises from her audience, “I could have tripped on it and it could have gone into my spine, then I might have died!  At least it could have poked me in the eye and blinded me!  I’m a lucky girl.” 

Berlin nods her head slowly and looks off into the distance.  The girl can work it.  Thank goodness Mrs. First Year broke it up.  The classmates all reached in to hug their nearly departed friend and all was well in second grade.  Until next time.  Life itself is the greatest adventure.


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