Mommying requires a strong stomach.

[This is where I should warn you that viewer discretion is advised. Because after 9 years of parenting my own kids, and countless years parenting, teaching, babysitting, and all around looking after other people’s, there is much that makes me queasy. Except these pictures did. You’ve been warned.]
We were having a good night. Everyone like their dinner (it’s a Thanksgiving miracle!), no one was whiney, we assembled the Christmas tree in anticipation of actual decorating on Wednesday, and then we watched some smashmouth Steelers-Ravens football until bedtime. No one even complained about bedtime…until Bee was putting on her behemoth iPod headphones and nearly screamed. “It HURTS!” she said, startled. “My ear REALLY hurts!” I took the headphones away and told her to wait for me in the kitchen. Sometimes the girls’ ears get a little infected, so I put on some Neosporin or Bacitracin and they’re good to go. So I wasn’t expecting any more than that.

Except it turns out that the back of Bee’s ear, neck, and part of her hair were matted with blood.

Yeah, good, okay, so it was going to be one of those things.

This is what she looked like after I got her mostly cleaned up. I warned her that the hydrogen peroxide (or whatever it was – it was the bottle marked for medical emergencies) might sting a little. Then, because I am smart, I asked Bee if she was brave. “Yes!” she warbled. Being brave is Bee’s key identifier, so I knew if I invoked The Brave, she would calmly bear it if I dropped rocks on her head. Which, um, I would never do. But I’m not sure I would have rocks dropped on my head after what I went through last night. Oof.

So Bee calmly lets me clean up her ear. Then, I looked at the back of the earring to see where I needed to grab it to pull it off. That’s when I realized the earring back was buried mostly inside of Bee’s ear. I am not kidding – I had to step back and take a few deep breaths while looking at other things. Then I secretly stole some of Bee’s courage when she wasn’t looking, and dug that nasty thing out of her ear and off of the earring. And then tried not to vomit. Because there’s no crying in baseball vomiting in mommyhood.

Once we got the nasty, blood-encrusted earring back off, I was faced with this:

In case you can’t see the details, that’s a giant hole spewing blood around the earring post. That I wasn’t sure was going to stop. But! Blood! I can do blood a lot better than I can play real life Operation (sans metal tweezers and light-up nose). I grabbed some tissues for Bee, who was suddenly crying, and some for her ear, and asked if she was crying because it hurt or because she was scared. Bee: “I’m scared!” Me: “Don’t be scared! The hole will close and you’ll be FINE! Want some chocolate?” And then all of a sudden, there was no more crying. See? I can totally handle medical situations that are easily fixed with bribery.

While Bee was busy with her chocolate, I carefully slid out the front of the earring. I was afraid that was going to pull out more ear bits, but it turned out to be the easy part. Except then I realized the back Bee’s ear wasn’t just bloody – it was missing a good-sized chunk.

Oh, I’m getting queasy again… Of course, you know who thought it was cool? Gracie. She got out of bed three times to “see if [I] needed any help.” I finally asked her if she wanted to see the hole in Bee’s ear – because, really, how many times do you get to see inside your sister’s body? Not many. After that, Gracie was sufficiently pleased that she was included in all of the action and she stayed in bed. Meanwhile, I slathered on the antibiotic and somehow, summoning all of my mad mama skillz, got a bad aid to stay on Bee’s ear. She might look like she’s hiding a big-ass illicit earring at daycare today, but she’s covered.

And there you have it. Neither the Ex nor I have any idea what happened. Bee didn’t complain at all to either of us, Gracie had no idea what happened, and Bee said she had no idea. She said it hurt this weekend at her dad’s house, but then she said she hadn’t said anything, so who knows. She’s six. And sometimes very good at it! I think the last time a kid at daycare tore it out (that would be the third time that happened at daycare, 4th overall), the back of her ear was torn a little. And then the earring back worked its way in? Who knows. I just hope I never, ever, ever have to investigate any further.

Even veteran mamas have their limits.

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6 Responses to “Mommying requires a strong stomach.”

  1. Leandra Says:

    That happened to somebody else’s kid, too. Burghbaby? Can’t remember for sure. This is where I thank my lucky stars that Punkin is too scared to get her ears pierced. Not much makes me queasy anymore either, but that just about did the trick.

  2. Mary Says:

    Ewww. That made my stomach turn. I’m in awe of your momminess!

  3. Kathy Says:

    Why to power through the crisis. That happened to Emma too. To this day we don’t know what happened. She doesn’t remember getting hit in the ear or the earring getting pulled it just happened. She healed just fine.

  4. Sherry Says:

    This just happened to my 6 yr old daughter’s ear too. She got her ears pieced 6 months ago, and no problems until today. Her ear looked just like this.
    I took her earring out, her ear lobe is very swollen and bleeding. Did you put the post back in right away, or did you wait a few days? How long did it take to heal?

    Thanks.

  5. Gloria Says:

    This seriously happened to my 3 yr old yesterday! I almost had a panic attack 😱😥 my poor baby did not say a word that it bothered her , I saw her earing and I saw something that looked like chocolate and when I brushed it off it was dried up blood😟 I took off the earring and I nearly passed out a small chuck of her ear gone! I sprayed her with hydrogen peroxide and went to the pharmacy and bought the children’s nesoporin and chidrens antibiotics & triple antibiotic (which is supposed to be the best) and I placed it on her while she was asleep bc she freaks out. Anyway I woke up today to check while she was still in bed and it looks like it’s in the healing process , I feel so terrible. Did your daughters ear lobe heal fine? I’m still kinda shocked .

  6. Re-Re-Pierced! | Can't Get There From Here Says:

    […] had to bring Bee to get her ears re-pierced, it was because the earring had sunken into her ear, we had to perform minor surgery at home to get it out, and then we had to let her ear close because of a giant hole. That takes a […]

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