Well, it wouldn’t be the holidays without a trip to the emergency room! On Sunday night, Frank said he was making a clay mold of his ear when some of it got stuck inside. Not wanting to risk detection by Mom and Dad (and a certain trip to the always-boring emergency room), he attempted to dislodge the green wad of goo by himself with a pile of cotton swabs. However, he only succeeded in ramming the substance against his eardrum. He wasn’t in any pain, but he was deaf in that ear and finally had to admit his quandary to Mom and Dad.

It was my turn to do the ER thing (yeah, with four kids, we take turns!), so Richard stayed home with the other children and Grandma while Frank and I donned our coats, gloves and boots and headed out for the 90-second trip to the hospital (it’s a stone’s throw from our house). For the first time ever, the ER was completely empty. I told the receptionist we had a clay-in-the-ear dilemma and, as soon as she stopped laughing and wiping her eyes, she was able to get Frank’s paperwork processed. Don’t worry. Frank’s a great sport and he was laughing about it, too.

They took him right to a room and the nurse that came in said, “I’m here for the Play-Doh-ectomy.” Frank was cracking up and actually appeared quite proud of himself for livening up what was obviously a very quiet evening at Eastern Maine Medical Center. The doctor arrived shortly thereafter and a few more nurses came in to give Frank a ribbing. One said, “You’ll never live this one down, Frank.” (She’s right!)

It was around that time that Frank told us it was Silly Putty(R), not Play-Doh(R) that was stuck in there. They’d had Play-Doh(R) incidents before but had to come up with a different game plan for Silly Putty(R) because it’s rubbery…not doughie.

The “alligator” didn’t work (that’s a long, scissor-type instrument they can grab stuff with). So, they had Frank lay on his side and poured a pink liquid into his ear. You should have seen the look on his face when they told him it was stool softener!!

After a few minutes, they started flushing his ear with warm water and the putty started coming out, one wee chunk at a time. It’s the kind that changes color when it gets warm or cold, so the putty turned from green to blue each time they dropped a chunk into the little pan of cold water. Everybody thought that was pretty cool. About an hour later, it was all out and Frank was discharged, but only after a humorous yet firm lecture from the nurse on how you should always ask for help when you get something stuck somewhere rather than trying to get it our yourself. I guess that’s a lesson we can all learn from.

We’ll be closed this weekend for the holiday. I’d like to wish all our readers a wonderful, warm, loving and SAFE holiday!

Hugs to all!

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