Why You Need a Turkey Baster in Your First Aid Kit

I dedicate this post to two awesome mommas I met via Twitter – Dianna and Lisa, this one’s for you.

Several years ago, I had major back surgery.  As in, two rods and 24 titanium screws in my back.  Yes, I truly am a woman of steel.  Just don’t tell my kids.  I was recovering and about three weeks out from surgery.  To say I wasn’t 100% is an understatement.  This was still the point in my recovery when it hurt to bring a fork to my mouth to eat.  Fun times.  What does that have to do with a turkey baster?  Hang with me.

I was on the back porch, sitting gingerly in one of our patio chairs when I hear a blood curdling scream.  I’m talking the kind that sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard.  Aren’t you glad I gave you that audio memory?  Will comes running over with his hand over his eye.  I prepare myself for major blood and a trip to the ER.  Instead, after prying off his vice grip, I see a lump of sand the size of his pinky lodged in his eye.  Yikes.  I knew John Paul was to blame, because he’d hidden around the corner; Anna-Laura still wasn’t walking.  My aunt, who was helping me with the kids, was at a loss.  She taught high school economics for years, but while she could break up a gang fight, she was helpless against sand in the eye.

Think, Kathryn, think.

I either had taken a boatload of hydrocodone and muscle relaxers or I went into Mom mode, but I bolted out of the chair and scrambled for the utensil drawer.  Don’t ask me why, but the baster had just been cleaned (it was seven months past Thanksgiving!), but there it was, sterile and shining.  Well, maybe not sterile, but definitely clean.  I filled it up with water and hobbled back outside.  While my aunt held Will’s head still, I pumped that water in his eye and…


Sand gone in two pumps.

Boom, “Mom of the Year.”  Right there.  Of course, that was 2006.  I haven’t been nominated since.

Now I’m sure basters will be flying off the shelves in April, just in time for summer.


  1. Dianna Kennedy on April 14, 2012 at 10:52 am

    I think this makes you an honorary (and not ornery, like me) ER nurse! I don’t even own a turkey baster!

    • Lisa Schmidt on April 15, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      Just checked – I don’t own one either. It’s on the grocery list now! 🙂

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