This is a picture of three children enjoying Richard Scarry’s Busytown Eye-Found-It! Game instead of watching TV. The game includes ten miniature fake magnifying glasses, nothing more than a hoop on a 3/4″ handle, that toddlers love to hold up to their eyes and squint through. It makes them laugh and laugh. This picture does not show anyone sticking the little magnifying glass in their ear to see how far it goes.

We have played this game several times (“played” used in the loosest of terms) instead of watching TV. Now, I realize the instructions specify the game is for ages three and up. But I have been fortunate that up until several hours ago, my children have shown no interest in discovering how far they can shove objects of any size into any of their orifices. Several hours ago, Gbot discovered how far he could put a miniature fake magnifying glass into his ear, and the answer was: far enough to draw blood (a little) and cause howling (a lot).

I dialed our trusty pediatrician and listened to calming words about eardrops and scratches that heal quickly and with no consequences. The howling had been replaced by periodic sniffling. I bundled the Midgets into the car for a drive to the pharmacy window. By this time, Gbot was giggling about the impromptu evening spin and playing footsie with Mbot across the gap in the back seat. An hour later he would be sleeping peacefully.

I was not smiling. I was thinking about how fragile we all are, how time can break underfoot like ice on a pond.

Tomorrow night we will watch TV.

What’s the last thing you discovered the hard way?

* picture of children playing Eye-Found-It instead of watching TV from http://www.examiner.com

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