A Case of the Cold Pricklies

The prickle instigator. I've said it before: thank goodness he's so cute.
Distracted by the conversation and a table-full of friends who had gathered for the First Annual Neighborhood Dessert Buffet, I didn’t pay much attention to the ruckus emanating from upstairs. “Oh, just ignore that,” I actually said to the neighbor who had raised an eyebrow in concern. “This is just the way it is with boys.”
Famous last words.
Apparently, while I’d been enjoying my second slice of peach pie, The Great Cactus Chase was unfolding upstairs, a game which to the best of my knowledge involved much dashing, as well as a fair number of succulents, in particular the beavertail cactus.
Suffice to say, Rowan ended up with two palms full of prickles. And not just any old prickles, mind you, but microscopic prickles undiscernable to the naked eye.
Hundreds of them.
In each hand.
Let me save you some trouble, should for some reason a Great Cactus Chase ever take place in your home. Don’t bother trying to remove the prickles with tweezers. Or soap and water. Or packing tape.
Glue, it turns out, is the most viable prickle-removal solution.
As I reclined blissfully ignorant and sugar-stupefied at the table, Brad was at the computer Googling “cactus prickle removal.” This is how he learned about the glue method, which works as such:
  1. Placate sniffling, prickle-infested boy with lollypop.
  2. Pour Elmer’s Glue over prickle-infested zone.
  3. Encourage sniffling, lollypopped boy to hold hands steadily out in front of him and away from all fabric furniture and clothing for 15 minutes.
  4. Remind boy once every 6.3 seconds that his hands are in fact covered in a layer of glue and therefore he should not touch fabric furniture or clothing. 
  5.  Remind boy once every 9.5 seconds that his hands are in fact covered in a layer of glue and that he should also refrain from touching hair, mouth, nose, ears and nether regions.
  6. When glue has properly dried, gently peel thin layers from palms and deposit into trash can.
  7. Repeat.
For the record, embedded microscopic beaver tail cactus prickles hurt like heck. I know this because while the second glue treatment was drying on Rowan’s hands, I tidied up the boys’ rooms  … which, turns out, were infested with cactus prickles.
[Insert cursing here]
I refused the glue treatment {do I really have the time to sit around with gluey hands all night?}, but I shouldn’t have. Because let me tell you this: once beavertail cactus prickles get attached, they’re going nowhere fast. A week later, we’re still pulling prickles out of our skin.
[And while this post has nothing to do with faith except perhaps to note that God did very well indeed when he created prickles as the defense mechanism for cactus, there is a moral to this story: Parents, do not let your children play with cactus].
Have you ever had a run-in with a cactus or another similarly weird situation?
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kendal  – (January 20, 2012 at 4:49 AM)  

chuckling here. just chuckling.

SouthernGalThoughts –   – (January 20, 2012 at 5:41 AM)  

Oh.my.goodness.  
No.  Never in the house.  My kids were too petrified of getting stuck with prickles to ever touch the things.  Outdoors?  A few times.  There is a weed called stinging nettle that gets someone between the toes every summer.

Kim –   – (January 20, 2012 at 6:02 AM)  

You're right. He is adorable. Those poor, defenseless cacti :-)   I hope everyone's skin and the house return to normal soon.

Lismore Mama –   – (January 20, 2012 at 6:21 AM)  

God is glorified when his creations do what they were designed to do. Commiserations though that you found yourself in the middle of it when the cactus was just being a cactus. Thanks for putting a smile on my face. I can go to bed now and start over again at being a mummy to my two blessings. I just hope that like you, God gives me the wisdom to see the blessings and the funny side at times to ever prickly situation I find myself in.
Blessings!

kd sullivan  – (January 20, 2012 at 6:25 AM)  

You are beyond graceful in every situation!

Harriett –   – (January 20, 2012 at 6:53 AM)  

sugar stupefied? LOL -- I love that, but darn it! sometimes you just wanna be an adult and not mommy, the referee.

I haven't encountered those pricklies, but Lewis and Clark did (:)) -- yikes, ow, ow, ow, ow.... Undaunted Courage [1997].

BTW: God created them for predators -- which little boys can be.

Harriett –   – (January 20, 2012 at 6:56 AM)  

OT: adding image --I'm tired of that ghostly silhouette at the left ... it's all Dick Tracy.

Harriett –   – (January 20, 2012 at 6:58 AM)  

Gosh, I am so technologically challenged.
Please forgive me for messing with your comment section.
I sincerely apologize.

David Rupert –   – (January 20, 2012 at 7:22 AM)  

You make me laugh and I just love the freckles and the preckles...

Gaby  – (January 20, 2012 at 8:08 AM)  

Bahahaha! Hmm...I mean, poor Rowan. I have one that I often tell the Lord for making him so cute or he would not survive some of his escapades. No cacti in SC.

Nancy Franson  – (January 20, 2012 at 8:43 AM)  

"Oh. Just ignore that." I knew I was going to love this post as soon as I read those words. We have several cacti in our house, and I'm going to remember this post! You've performed a great public service by writing this piece. :)

Lori  – (January 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM)  

Wow, Michelle, this could really come in handy living in cactus land as I do. I have never had a run in with any cactus, expect an ankle graze from the barrel cactus in the corner of my yard. I am not nearly so adventurous as Rowan though! Lori

Shelly Miller  – (January 20, 2012 at 10:25 AM)  

Well, I lived in Phoenix for eight years and can only imagine how painful that must have been. And glue, really? Of all things. Hilarious (to me) story that I am glad you took the time to share. They don't all have to be spiritual epiphanies!

JosephPote –   – (January 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM)  

Hilarious!

Thanks for the laugh!

Around our house, we have similar adventures with prickly pear, particularly in summer, when kids like to run around barefoot.

Have a great weekend, Michelle!

Jean Wise  – (January 20, 2012 at 11:45 AM)  

You make me smile though I feel guilty since pain on your and Rowan's part was involved.  But get this: I misread the title and thought your post was called A case of cold pickles.  Try taking those embedded babies out of your skin.  HA!

Betty Jo Martin  – (January 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM)  

Oh gosh that must have been painful! What an ingenious way to remove those prickles. We had a situation recently, not nearly as painful as yours, with fingernail polish glitter. Maybe I'll write about it!

Twiz Conway –   – (January 20, 2012 at 1:56 PM)  

wish I'd known about the glue solution when my youngest picked up a cactus. The several hours spent tweezng were not a blessing to either of us altho' it's a funny memory now. But your story made me laugh out loud. thank you

joan taylor –   – (January 20, 2012 at 2:15 PM)  

First, your son is absolutely gorgeous.  Love the freckles, I have them too.  Second, I needed a good laugh after the week I've had.  This is hilarious, although I am certain it wasn't quite as funny for you and your family.

AliciaLourens –   – (January 20, 2012 at 2:32 PM)  

Oh I am sorry, I just keep laughing when I know I shouldn't be! I have backed my own self into a prickly pear cactus a time or two and that is something you just don't forget! Nor will I forget the time in a desert wash that my son was nervously using that good ol' outdoor restroom (aka- bush) and he stood a bit too close the the jumping cholla...with an uncle and a handfull of stuff to throw at said jumper, those are things you just don't forget! :)

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 5:51 PM)  

If stinging nettler were a Nebraska native, Rowan would surely have discovered it by now (the same way he discovered fire ants when we were in Florida -- another debacle that I won't get into right now!).

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 5:52 PM)  

The incident took place a couple of weeks ago, so we are all recovered now. But you would be surprised how long those prickles stuck around (no pun intended!) our house!

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 5:53 PM)  

I admit, I don't always see the blessings, especially when it comes to all the mischief Rowan gets into ... but he does make us laugh and that is a wonderful gift!

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM)  

Ah yeah, no...I am so NOT graceful in every situation. My husband, yes, he's graceful. Me? My head usually tends to pop off!!

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 5:54 PM)  

Oh my gosh you are too cute! I don't even know HOW you got that picture to appear there like that!

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 5:55 PM)  

Now I'M laughing over the preckles comment...

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 5:56 PM)  

The story gets worse...later he admitted to throwing the cactus down the laundry chute!! Luckily we never use it...and I have to admit, the cactus is still in there!!!

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 5:57 PM)  

Oh my gosh, I love it: A case of cold pickles!! Totally cracking up, Jean...

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 5:57 PM)  

You never know what kind of crazy life experiences are going to provide good writing material!

Sheila Seiler Lagrand  – (January 20, 2012 at 6:15 PM)  

I've lived my whole life in the arid ranges of Southern California, and I will.never.understand. why people cultivate cactus.

Sigh.

Rowan is a beautiful, beautiful boy. I didn't learn about boys until I had grandboys, having raised one daughter....no ruckus goes ignored on Lala's watch.

If Papa Rich wasn't on hand like some native guide to point out to me certain normal aspects of little-boy behavior (like, say, passing gas in the bathtub and then laughing riotously about it), our poor grandsons would probably have no fun at all at our house.

SouthernGalThoughts –   – (January 20, 2012 at 6:19 PM)  

Ha!  Don't get me started on fire ants - Jacob hit an ant hill with a golf club and fire ants showered down all over him.  He was oblivious for a while.  He had no shirt on so it was quite a trick getting them all off of him.  Boys!

kelly  – (January 20, 2012 at 6:28 PM)  

Michelle!  I'm so happy that you stopped by my place today.  Your comment made my day.  Your son is adorable, and your blog is beautiful.  :)  (and your prickle story...hilarious)

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 9:28 PM)  

We did our share of tweezing, too - the glue didn't remove all the prickles. And I refused the glue treatment on my own hands, so I did the tweezer treatment. Not too much fun...but I did laugh a bit, even while it was all happening!

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 9:29 PM)  

Actually I did laugh a bit, even in the midst of all of it. I had to leave the room, though, because Rowan did not find it one bit funny at all. Especially when he was still getting prickles in his hands, and in his bed (for some reason) weeks later!

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 9:29 PM)  

I am going to have to google jumping cholla - never heard of that one!

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 9:31 PM)  

Oh my word, Sheila, your comment made me laugh out loud...and your observations about the bathtub antics is spot-on!

We actually have A LOT of cactus in our house, as Noah collects them. Don't ask me how he got interested in that -- I will never know!

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 20, 2012 at 9:32 PM)  

Thanks for coming by here, too, Kelly - it's so fun to meet you!

Sheila Seiler Lagrand  – (January 20, 2012 at 9:38 PM)  

Bring him to visit sometime. We'll show him plenty, in situ.


And if he's into farting in the tub (am I allowed to say that here?) we have a nice deep one. :)

Simone –   – (January 21, 2012 at 12:42 AM)  

I never heard of glue but I will store that in my memory bank for the future. I also enjoyed a great laugh at your descriptions of getting the pricklies gone. I'm sure that will be the last time they play a game with or near the cactus.

Mary Bonner  – (January 21, 2012 at 2:17 AM)  

Oh my this make me laugh!  'Nuff said.

leslie  – (January 21, 2012 at 8:21 AM)  

oh my goodness! (i'm sorry, but you made me laugh over your pain!)

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 21, 2012 at 4:58 PM)  

It's ok...it was kind of funny...even in the midst of all the drama.

Michelle DeRusha  – (January 21, 2012 at 4:59 PM)  

It's a good thing for google...that's how my  husband found the only solution that even sort of work to remove the prickles!

Connie@raise your eyes  – (January 22, 2012 at 10:01 PM)  

Ouch!! But only a great writer could turn this into humor :) And I utterly love your "new" profile pic!

Lori_MyEvidentFaith  – (January 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM)  

Hilarious! The stuff of life that you will laugh about when they are adults. Thanks for giving me a smile today!

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