On the tail end of a three-way after-school light saber duel, Nicholas runs up to me. “Mommy, will you play a game with me?”
Stifle a groan. “What kind of game?”
“I’ll be the nurse, and you come tell me what’s wrong and I’ll fix it.”
“My office is up here.”
He climbs into place. “Okay, I’m ready. What’s wrong with you?”
“I can’t sleep at night.”
Nurse Nicholas looks blank. The idea of not being able to sleep is utterly foreign to him. “Okay. Well I’ll give you a sleep medicine. Let me go downstairs and get it.” He goes down the slide and ducks under the playhouse, coming up with a pretend bottle. Climbs back up to his “office” and hands it to me. “There. Drink that every night. And bring it back to me tomorrow.”
“MOMMMMMMMM!!!!! MICHAEL BROKE THE LIGHT SABER!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“Just calm down, Alex, we’ll tape it back together. All right, Nicholas, are we switching now?”
“No, you do it again. Are you bringing back your bottle?”
“Sure, here you go.”
“So what’s your problem?”
“Um.” I only had one illness up my pretend sleeve. “I have a cold?”
“When did you get it?”
“Where’d you get it from?”
“I don’t know. If I knew that I wouldn’t have gotten it, would I?”
Frown. “Well, you…I’m going to have to use my needles to fix this.”
“Give me your arm. My needles and my tweezers really hurt. Just so you know.”
“Is that so?”
“I’ve got to go downstairs and get my needles. Don’t move your hand. At all.” Once more, he goes down the slide and fiddles around in the playhouse beneath. Climbs back up. “You haven’t moved your hand, have you?”
“Nope, it’s still here.” And getting friggin’ cold, I do not add.
“You have a bruise,” Nicholas says, pointing at the heel of my hand. “I’m gonna have to dig it out. I’m gonna pour really hot water on it, so it’s gonna hurt. Now. Let me sharpen my needles. Shkt. Shkt. Shkt. There. Now they’re really sharp.”
“Mommmeeeeeeee, I, want SWING!”
“Michael, get out of the swing, it’s time to go inside.”
“Mommy!” Nicholas glares at me. “Doesn’t that hurt?”
“What? Oh. OWWWWWW!”
“Just a minute more. Shkt. There! I got it! See?” He holds up my bruise (I think he means “splinter,” but what the hey).
I refrain from asking if I need stitches.
And that, my friends, is why you should never play “nurse” with a child who wields a light saber.
PSA for the day.