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Once Upon A Time

An Ex Lightbulb
Samantha's idea of a holiday snack.

Now, anyone who knows me, understands that being sarcastic and making "suggestions" about what I should or shouldn't do only leads to trouble. You would think that my daughter would know me better than anyone else, but nooooooooo. We were happily decorating the house/tree for the holidays when I point out that I still have the end of the light bulb she chooses to be snarky and tells me that I should put it on my website...well, it's not like it wasn't her idea.

Back in the year of 1990, it was a few days after the holiday and we had had a really good snowstorm. Bad enough that John actually took out the little power shovel thing to clear the front walks after he got home from work. I was inside with two year old Samantha and Alexis who was only a little over a month old at this point. I was cooking dinner and the kids were in the front room of the house which was the living room at the time, since we were redecorating the actual living room.

It all sounds so Saturday Evening Post doesn't it? What kind of bad could come out of such a tranquil domestic scene you ask? Well, I guess you underestimate the power of the karmic convergence that is known as Salim's Lot.

Let's recap the positions of the family members, John's out on the front walk, clearing snow with a power shovel, Samantha is (two years old and easily amused) perched on the couch peering out the window and laughing at the snow being tossed in the air by her daddy, Alexis is in the playpen, probably spitting up green (that's another story though) and I'm walking back and forth being the living room checking on the kids, and the kitchen where I'm cooking dinner (macaroni and cheese casserole, if details matter to you that much).

On one of my passes into the living room, I went over to the window and looked out with Samantha to see how John was getting along and realized that the child was crunching on something. Well, it's Christmas...I started to tease her about stealing a candy cane off the tree and began looking around for the remains of the candy when I see, clutched in her chubby little fist, is the electric strand of the lights around the window frame.

She had bitten off the glass from one of the bulbs and was happily chewing away at it. Idiot child. I screamed so loud that John heard me outside, over the sound of the shovel and traffic and came barreling into the house and found me with my finger jammed into the kid's mouth so she would stop chewing or swallowing (fully expecting to pull it back out covered in blood). (It didn't.) John listened to what I was telling him, took a look at the light and ran for her toothbrush to see if we could get any of her impromptu holiday treat back out of her mouth rather than have her actually ingest the broken bits of glass.

Let me tell you, you don't know fun until you've driven on snowy, icy roads lugging two kids, one of which is in a car seat, speeding to your local emergency room. In terms of sheer enjoyment, it's right up there with poking a freshly sharpened pencil up your nose. (Note to Samantha: This is NOT a playtime suggestion.) When we got to the hospital, Samantha was minimally examined and we were told there's really no way to tell if a kid has eaten glass, (Thank you modern medicine!) and to take her home and "pack her full of food" and watch her carefully. Lucky for her my post-holiday apathy had kicked in early that year and the lights weren't turned on at the time she decided to eat them, since electrical burns on your lips are never fun. At least I assume they aren't, having no personal experience.

When we got home from the hospital, Sam got a really big helping of mac & cheese, and I carefully wrapped the remains of the bulb in tissue paper and packed it away with our decorations. Every Christmas I revel in the moment when I wave it under her nose and remind her, and someday...when she has kids of her own...Grandma's gonna have something to show them. Hopefully, Samantha has learned two things from this incident. The first, of course, is that twinkle lights do not a good hors d'oeuvre make, and two...and maybe more importantly....never, EVER tell me to "take a picture and put it on your website".



Copyright 2002 Adjustable Wench AKA Lisa Salim

This is mine. It belongs to me.
Steal my ideas, thoughts or images and I shall unleash a plague upon your house. I know people ya know.
Really mean people.
With guns.