Monday, July 11, 2011

Sisterly love

Brynn had an ingrown toenail. It's gross and I don't like to think about it much less write about it, but it had to be dealt with. It was infected and not improving quickly enough to ignore. So today we went to our family doc and Brynn absolutely refused to let him do anything to help improve her situation. It was awful, embarrassing, and frustrating for both me and the doc. She was screaming every time he touched it, not listening to him as he explained what he was going to do, and eventually refused to let him touch it at all. She was panicked and definitely not herself.

Upon threat of missing an afternoon playdate, she agreed to see a podiatrist this afternoon. Calmed by a dose of valium, she sat in the chair and behaved reasonably well while the doctor dug out the ingrown part of her nail, trimmed it off, and killed that part of the nail root with acid. The nail will look a little goofy for the next 92 years of her life, but it won't ever be ingrown again.

Brynn did not watch the procedure as it happened, but her little sister did. Callie was all eyes as she observed every move the doctor made. After it was over, she said that watching him stick instruments so far into Brynn's toe nearly made her cry.

After dinner she begged for a sleepover. "Can't Brynn PLEEEEAASE come sleep in my room?" No, I explained. She needs plenty of sleep for her toe to heal. "We NEVER do anything FUN in this family!" she yelled at me. Shortly after, she meekly requested to sleep on her sister's hardwood floor. She was shut down again. I told her that on Wednesday, after their next swim meet, they could have a sleepover.

Callie retreated to her room and when I went to kiss her goodnight, she asked me to help her arrange a pillow for her feet. "Why do your feet need a pillow?" I asked. "Because if Brynn has to sleep with her feet up, then I will to." Callie didn't just want a sleep over with her sister for fun. She wanted the closeness of it, the intimacy of sharing space with someone she cares about. She wanted to support her sister.

And so, with tears in my eyes, I went into Brynn's room and reminded her how much her little sister loves her, how lucky she is to have this sister relationship and how amazing it is that she gets to grow up with the person who will be her best friend forever.

Brynn smiled and asked, "Even though earlier today she called me a stupid idiot?"

And that's life, right? You get in a fight with your BFF, call her names, and then go back to loving each other, empathizing with each other, and caring for each other like it never even happened.

What blessed girls they are to have each other not only for family, but also for friends.


Court said...

I love the "We never have fun in this family"! I'm sure I said that one time growing up, but still not eager to hear it said.

Fulton said...

yeah I'm hung up on that line too: "We NEVER do anything FUN in this family". That's hilarious. Let her know that next time, we'll leave her at home while everyone else enjoys the cruise.

Grandma said...

I had to take Brian to the foot Dr. when he was younger and have his big toenail taken off! I about lost my cookies. I had to go to the nearest bathroom and remove most of my clothes because I was in such a sweat and about ready to pass out. I have had ingrown toenails in my past too. They hurt terribly! Brynn was a brave girl. Love the blog. I always wanted a sister to talk to. (and still do) My mom says its too late. haha

Hillary said...

So funny that two of you mentioned the We NEVER do anything FUN line. I don't even notice comments like that anymore. She's full of them, but then two seconds later she's laughing, so I take them with a grain of salt.

Yep, Grandma, I think your mom is right. It's too late for a sister. But at least you've got granddaughters!!

Annalea said...

What an awesome story (well, except for the painful trip to the Dr). I love, too, how it shows that children can't always put their finger squarely on what they really want . . . Callie's words make one think she really just did want to sleep over for fun . . . but she didn't have the experience necessary to identify what her real feelings were. Such an important thing to remember.

I recently dealt with an ingrown toenail, and lavender essential oil is awesome for healing them after they've been dealt with. It killed the swelling and got things back to new in just a few days. Put it straight on the bandage, and apply fresh lavender oil on a fresh bandage every 12-24 hours. Hope this helps!