So where would be the best place to hide a (stolen) treasure from a brother… Well, if you are a boy, naturally you would hide it in your mouth! And to make sure that your rival (and original owner of the treasure) will never ever again lay hands on the item in question, you would swallow it (accidentally of course) and store it in your tummy!
But since I am not a boy, such actions are far from my imagination and comprehension. So when my most reliable tattler panted into the living room reporting that Neelsie swallowed his fishing “bait” I barely blinked an eye. “Fishing bait” sounded like a worm to me and (not because it is rational but because I have learned that it is completely possible) I assumed that Neelsie had ingested an earth worm or caterpillar. Well, frankly, that was his (gross) problem. Little did I realize that it would soon become my (gross) problem.
A few hours after receiving the initial report, Neels mentioned with pride and laughter in his voice that he swallowed his brother’s “fishing bait.” “Tell me about this bait, Neelsie…” He barely got started when older brother interrupted with his superior knowledge: “It was mine! I picked it up in Jefferey’s Creek. It was really dirty and was this big and very heavy. He just put it in his mouth and went ‘gulp’”!
Oh-oh… the fishing bait appears to have been a fishing weight…a lead fishing weight.
Two of our most trusted Physician friends offered their professional advice: Lead…needs to come out…probably will pass… if not out soon, he’ll need an x-ray. And of course, only one way to know whether he has passed it…have to examine his bowel movements. Thoroughly.
So our parental love was launched into a deeper level of sacrificial love. Overnight we have turned into Professional Poop Inspectors. Sure we have been changing diapers 6-12 times daily for the past 6 years, so facing little boy waste is no newby to our repertoire of parental undertakings. But let me tell you: this falls into a whole different category.
After a few days of unsuccessful digging for the treasure (and 2 unfortunate missed opportunities to score) it was X-ray time. You have to know that our dear Neels has been blessed with hypersensitive senses: textures, smells and noises that are barely detectable to most of us, cause great distress in his body and mind. (Now if this sensitivity could just be coupled with sensibility, we’ll be in great shape! But alas... not yet.) We dreaded his response to the unfamiliar environment and (barely notable) sounds of an X-ray room. But thank heaven for daddies. Neels secured Scott’s hands firmly over his sensitive ears and could thus marvel in protected silence over the “big camera” with it's multitude of pipes and hoses. (It qualifies as a tool. Tools are good and comforting.)
With phase 1 of the drama completed, we entered phase 2: the X-ray results. Our greatest concern was that they would see a solid white spot – evidence of a lead-leaking mass trapped in the offender’s body. But grace upon grace: no foreign object detected. It must have passed during one of those missed opportunities mentioned.
Oh Boy Brain (x4), I will never understand you. Your treasures are such a very important part of boyhood… and protecting and/or playfully pilfering them takes precedence over rationality. But I am coming to expect the improbable and impossible. (No, I am not yet OK with it, I am just expecting it.) It seems that you are likely to live through most of it… it is questionable, however, whether Mamma will.