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How to Effectively (or not so effectively) Remove A Splinter in 11 Easy Steps

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Tonight, during bath, I noticed my 3-year-old had a splinter on her knee. It was slightly raised and a tad red.


My first reaction was extreme "mom guilt," because I had no clue how long it had been there. An hour? A day? Three weeks? Your guess is as good as mine, because I struggled to remember when the last time I gave her a bath was. That's how I know it is the end of summer -- I don't know what day of the week it is. I don't know if I bathed my kids. I think I have been wearing the same pjs for the last two days, and I contemplated feeding everyone Cinnamon Toast Crunch for dinner (But that's a different blog post for a different day).

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I got over my mom guilt quickly, because my attention was brought back to the slightly raised and red spot on her knee that housed the splinter. So, my second reaction was a mini-freak out session. Is it infected? Should I call the doctor? Call my mom? Google?

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Yep, when my rational irrational fear of infection reached an all-time high, I decided to calm myself by finding more rational irrational people on the internet. I turned to Google. And for the first time, Google kinda let me down. There was nothing out there to really prepare a parent for what I was experiencing. Zilch. Nada.

And since splinters in children are about as common as a Kardashian with a first name that starts with the letter "K," and since the interwebs failed me, I decided to share my step-by-step approach to splinter removal.

Disclaimer: I do not have a medical degree. However, I have watched every episode of "House M.D." and I am proficient in "Grey's Anatomy" up until Cristina left, so I figure I am qualified enough to dispense this knowledge.

Here are the steps I took to remove a splinter:

1. Gave myself a pep-talk: "You can do this Ali! Your vision stinks and hand-eye coordination has never been your thing, but you've got 'stick-with-it-ness.'" I then paced around the room for a good eight minutes contemplating if I really had what it takes. Took a good last look in the mirror and committed.

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2. Got out the good ol' tweezers -- Slant-Tip and Point-Tip -- like a boss. (Actually, I went to CVS and bought them, because if you are anything like me, you have been too busy cleaning -- projectile vomit off of your shirt, toy explosions in your playroom, and lego pieces from your semi-shag carpet -- to have time to keep track of tweezers, let alone use them for their intended purpose of shaping your brows.)

3. Bought a new toy for my kiddo to play with because I believe in bribery, giving out of guilt, and other poor parenting practices. (Side note: Pharmacy toys are overpriced, but you know the saying about desperate times...)

4. Sterilized those tweezers like they had just come back from weekend at Coachella.

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5. Pulled out that blasted splinter -- after about five tries. In reflecting, my approach could use some work. The entire extraction vaguely resembled me trying to get in the double dutch ropes in elementary school.

Elementary School Ali: "Now? Do I go now? Wait...I'm soooo not ready. Okay, okay. I'm gonna do this. Do I get in the ropes now? Now? How about now?"

6. Covered the spot with Neosporin. Maybe slathered would be a better word for what I did. Yep, slathered. I slathered my child in Neosporin to about the same degree as a college student slathers on Hawaiian Tropic Dark Tanning Oil during Spring Break on the Jersey Shore.

7. Slapped on a Frozen bandaid. I also bought these at CVS along with some Epsom Salt because I heard that helps bring a splinter to the surface. (And some chap stick. A pack of chewing gum. A scented candle, a box of hair color and wine. Okay, okay, and apple shaped sticky notes. At this point, CVS owns me.)

8. Realized how exhausted I was, so I put the kids to bed.

9. Poured a glass of wine for myself.

10. Poured the Epsom Salt into the tub for me, because a.) the splinter was already out, and I hate the idea of wasting perfectly good Epsom Salt and b.) I want to prove to myself that I am financially responsible by using what I purchase. Ignore Step 7.

11. Soak, Drink, Repeat.

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