I'm a worrier, more so now than ever since I have three kids. It doesn't help to consider that given the current bailout culture of our government, those three cutiepies of mine will be two steps from a new serfdom by the sheer tax burden they will bear as adults after Social Security implodes and the cows come home on this latest bailout/stimulus package.*

I do try hard to let go of worrying and focus on the moment. I wish I could tell you I succeed at this, that I've found some Zen-like plateau of prayer and faith where worries are no more than dandelion fluff on the breeze.

But that would be a big fat whopper of a lie.

Worrying is ingrained in my DNA.

So when something is wrong with one of my kids, it's near impossible for me to not do something to try to make it better.

Which is how I ended up spending an hour or so on Saturday night hanging out in the ER with little Tom.

The little man has a big wart on the sole of his foot. When I took him in for his three year old check up a week or so ago, his doc said the best course of action would be to pull the skin taut, file a bit with an emery board, then apply some wart remover cream to the surface.

Oh, and to do this daily.

It should be noted that little Tom, while capable of meltdowns that rival those of a slighted music industry diva, can be utterly charming when he starts chatting up a storm. The doc had no idea what he his suggestion sounded like to my behind-the-scenes Mommy ears.

It sounded like a recipe for weeks of nightly family misery.

Instead, I poked around my cabinets until I found one of those wart remover patch systems that I knew we had from when I had a wart on my foot. (I know; TMI, right?)

I stuck one on his foot, stuck a bandage on top, and slid his sock back on; he was surprisingly compliant.

That alone should have sent up a red flag.

No less than five minutes later, he walked back into the kitchen. Barefoot. And holding the bandage in his hand.

"It didn't work, Mommy."

I rolled my eyes, about to throw my hands up in surrender when he added:

"I ate the circle."

I looked at him; he was serious. I grabbed the bandage; no little circle of wart-blasting medicine. I ran into the office where he'd just been hanging out with Huck; sock, yes. Wart remover circle?


I should at this point mention that Knute, who was gone all last week on a business trip, wasn't home; he'd promised his brother Uncle Meatball that he'd go to a local basketball game up in Dayton. Oh, and just to up the ante a bit, Becky was laid out on the couch fighting a 102 fever.

I called poison control who, after contacting the toxicologist, advised me to take him to the ER. I scrambled all the kids into shoes and coats, threw insane canine #3 in his kennel, and called Knute.

Of course I got his voicemail. I mean, you knew that was coming, didn't you?

But he did get my message immediately; in fact, he made it to the local Cincy Children's ER in Liberty Township faster than I did; his tires were smokin' from the drive.

After an hour or so of the ER doc observing him and calling poison control for direction on how to proceed (which was to weigh another one of the little circles - I'd brought the box - to estimate dosage of salicylic acid - aspirin), Tom was released with orders for us to watch him carefully. If he'd swallowed three or four of them, he'd have gotten the Gold Treatment: stomach pumping + blood draws to check aspirin levels.

He's fine.

I'm fine.

And the wart?

It's still with us, as well as my worrying ways.

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*I laugh when I get those green and white "Your Future Benefits" pamphlets from Social Security. Please. Like I''ll ever see a nickel of that money.