Purple Moose mentioned a finger-cutting incident that reminded me of a story I haven’t told here before.
The summer that Natasha was 2, I was shaving the fat off some cuts of meat (toward my hand. Duh. Everyone knows you don’t do that, but everybody also knows you’ve got better control that way) when the blade slipped and sliced my index finger across the first knuckle and into the cuticle.
My knives tend to very sharp, so it wasn’t painful, per se; a very clean cut. But I was angry. I stomped the floor *hard* (this is my “emotional” response to pain or frustration. I don’t really scream or swear– in the traditional sense).
On some level I was concerned for my girl– vaguely aware that this could be one of those really formative moments in her young life– and I was determined *not* to have a little girl that was afraid of blood (no offense). I rinsed my cut finger under the faucet while I ripped off a paper towel to wrap it in.
Now, before all this began I’d been explaining safe food-handing practices to my 2-year-old.
(Yes, it’s okay to laugh. I thought it was funny. Especially the quiet, serious look she maintained while I talked about washing and germs and not cross-contaminating used surfaces).
When I cut myself, precipitating the rapid string of actions that followed, Natasha kept piping, (younger than Elisha is now, though I can still hear it in his voice), “Sick? Sick?”
Still I stomped, wondering the best response to her concerned inquiry. To myself, head spinning just slightly, I was hissing, “I never cut myself by accident. I never cut myself by accident.”
Which is true. I knew better than to cut toward my own hand, so this wasn’t a true accident.
And all of a sudden the image of an oblivious adolescent was in my mind’s eye, and she was saying, “I don’t know *how* I got pregnant!”
I laughed, and my head cleared.
Turning to Natasha I showed her my clean and blotted finger. Bending the knuckle caused the cut to begin leaking again and she studied the color.
“This is blood,” I said in the same voice I’d used to talk about why we cut off fat, and why we wash our hands. “If you ever see this you’re allowed to scream, and you get a band-aid.”
Can’t be all bad, right?
Ohhhhh man that hurts thinking about it! Wish I’d had the presence of mind to turn it into a lesson. Tonight, though, when I showed my 4 year old my stitches I think I traumatized him. He was really concerned about “did it hurt when the doctor did the stitches?” Whoops! “Be careful with sharp objects kids!”
Ouch. Nice on the lesson though.
And I laughed my head off at the oblivious teenager comment!