A Snapshot of Life

Posted on August 1, 2011

Snapshot of life
My 3-year-old daughter and her 62-dollar-cry

I carried her to her doctor
Because she refused to walk
While waiting
She wailed and cried
So loudly
The nurses kept asking me why
I said she might have a splinter in her right foot

The nurses came
One by one
And saw only a red dot
They gave her sweets
Oh believe me
She got more sweets than she bargained for

She wanted me to hold her right foot
While she cried some more
I kept saying,’Hush, hush’
‘The doctor will see you soon’
So I held her tiny foot in my palm
Until her name was called

The doctor examined her foot
And said, ‘No splinter, just a superficial laceration’
I asked, ‘No foreign body?’
He said, ‘No, just a small dot of blood’

I carried her home
And laid her down on the sofa
I told her to rest
And I went into the kitchen
I turned around a few minutes later
Only to find her happily playing
Walking and jumping
She said, ‘Look Mommy, no more pain’

I thought to myself
I spent 50 dollars on a doctor’s consult
And 12 dollars on an antibiotic cream
All because she wailed and cried
But wouldn’t 62 dollars be all worth it
If it allayed a mother’s anxious heart
When her child is sick or in pain
Especially so
If the child had wailed and cried

Last edited by Adelene Tan on November 18, 2011, 6:38 pm

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7 responses to “A Snapshot of Life”

  1. I fell off a hay stack when I was six? Seven?  I was on holiday at a farm in Drogheda, near Dundalk in Southern Ireland.
    I landed on some corrugated iron, and split my knee wide open. There seemed to my memory to be plenty of blood and drama. There was a quite a to-do about it, with my Irish (highly protective) mother sent for, and arriving at the gallop.
    The upshot was that I got bandaged up, and laid out on a wooden bench in the downstairs room. Made comfortable with a pillow. I remember being given a whole bag of sweets, in a brown paper bag, as a comfort for my distress.
    All the kids from the neighborhood, alerted by the jungle drums, came to see me in my sublime invalid pose.

    To my knowledge, I never shared anything of my unexpected bounty!

    (Dammit, I was the one who had to bleed for it, eh?)

  2. Hi Francis,

    It’s universal it seems–sweets and a child’s cry–they often go hand in hand, like the sunshine and the flowers.  That’s what makes their world go round and round.  Yes, got to bleed for it first!!  Poor children

  3. Hi there
    I enjoyed your poem and wanted to say that I can relate.  There is nothing worse than seeing your child in pain.  I too have spent money on a doctor bill when it wasn’t really needed –many strep throat tests that turned out to be a minor virus — I quickly learned to ask my son to rate his pain from 1 to 10 and only go to the doctor if it was above a 5! But still it is worth it if only to know that they are OK and to see them playing happily again.   

  4. Hi Jennifer, I’m glad you liked the poem.  It’s true what you said…there’s nothing worse than seeing your child in pain.  And as mothers, we’ll do anything to see them happy and well again.

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