“I’ve lost my earring!” squealed Miss10, dripping wet, her eyes darting at the floor around her feet while one of her hands continued to tug at a lobe. “Dad, can you help me find it?”
“Way ahead of you,” I told her, sounding less happy than you’d expect of a Dad who apparently just side stepped six hours of thumping around on his hands and knees.
Not that we’d have found it on the ground anywhere.
Our five kids had been swimming in a friend’s pool with their nine children, which was a bit of a treat for all of us. For the kids, it was the fact they have nine kids so there was a lot of fun to be had. For Tracey and I, it was being able to count this as a bath and not have to worry about showers.
Even I jumped in and splashed around for a bit.
Which was when it happened. The sort of pain you experience if you step on a bindi or piece of Lego, only a few degrees worse, shot up from my heel.
I reached down and, sure enough, something was there.
I tried to brush it off.
But also, effing bloody ouch!
Hopping on the other foot to keep my head above water as balls zoomed ‘playfully’ about my head and Master12 attempted to dak me, I carefully got a hold of the offending bit of thorn-like something between two fingers and gently pulled.
Removing it seemed to take forever but, oh so slowly, it slid out of my heal.
You know how as a kid you’d use your tongue to fiddle with a loose tooth which you’d swear feels the size of a marble and then it comes out and it’s tiny and you’re like ‘where’s the rest of it’? This was like that.
As I brought my hand up out of the water I had visions of a nine inch nail.
It was, obviously, my daughter’s earring.
“I just pulled this out of my foot,” I said with no small amount of showmanship, handing over the misleadingly tiny bit of metal shrapnel.
“No!” Miss10 exclaimed loudly and, I thought, with just the correct hint of indignation. Although to be fair I thought she was indignant at the offending bit of jewellery, whereas… “Dad, don’t you know I put that in my ear?”
“I didn’t do it on purpose,” I assured her, immediately mimicking her indignant tone and wondering how I lost control of this conversation so entirely.
“Ahh, well,” she sighed, putting her hand out under my chin. “Did you at least find the back of it?”
When my mouth opened but no words came out she eventually wandered off.
I’d have done that myself but my bloody foot still hurt.