On our way to Nashville today, something in our conversation reminded me of one of the many times in Sweet Girl's life when I was definitely NOT Mother of the Year.
First of all, let me explain why I had my 3-year-old in a bar in the first place. We had only stopped there for a moment to pick up the ex. It's not like I was in there boozing it up and not paying attention as my child wandered unsupervised around this honky tonk. It was the middle of the afternoon, and there were very few customers. Everyone there knew her.... Okay, that doesn't sound good either.... Never mind.
I did have a short conversation with the ex and a couple of his cronies at the bar. While we were talking, we heard a blood-curdling scream come from the back of the bar where the pool table and pinball machines were.
Sweet Girl came running across the floor, her mouth wide open in that silent scream that I also referred to when I wrote about her nearly tearing her uvula off.
Hanging off the end of her index finger was a very small rodent.
Evidently the mouse had taken offense when Sweet Girl stuck her hand up in the ball return of the pool table.
She shook her hand, and the mouse fell off.
Everyone in that bar went silent, and I scooped her up and ran outside with her. Because I knew just as soon as she got her air back, the bar would no longer be silent. And it would be an ear-piercing, curl-your-toes kind of scream.
Oddly enough, when the bar owner (Robert) went to scoop the offending rodent up off the floor, IT WAS DEAD.
The skin was broken, but she wasn't bleeding, and at that point in my very early motherhood I would probably have taken her to the emergency room under normal circumstances.
These weren't normal circumstances.
I pictured myself explaining to the medical personnel just how a mouse happened to bite a little girl on the index finger. And where we were when it happened.
I decided just to treat it myself. I was paranoid (maybe justifably so) that some overzealous social worker might be on duty at the hospital that day and they would take my baby away from me.
It turned out all right, and there were no lasting effects.
As we started to leave, Robert said sardonically, "My lawyer will be in touch about your young'un killing my pet mouse."
I love the word "sardonically."