on Kettles, Bandages and Lions

Yesterday Eldest scalded her thumb with boiling water from a kettle at school. What was an eight year old doing with a kettle at school? Long story for another blog post, but let’s concentrate on the consequences and not the means for the time being.

So I arrive home from work and the thumb in question is immediately presented for my “expert” diagnoses. I see a red thumb. No blisters. No crying. Child seems happy enough. So Dad gives her a hug with an “aw I’m sorry you burned your thumb my angel,” and a kiss on the forehead. Nothing more required.

I move past her to place my bag and jacket on their respective pegs. This is where I’m met with THE STARE from the Wife.

All men know THE STARE. An eyeful of mingled disappointment, frustration and ire all teetering on the precipice of wrath.

So without stopping to consider this formidable countenance, coupled with the Folded Arms of Doom and the Tapping Finger of Regret-to-Come, I lay down my effects, turn back to my seemingly healthy eldest and say, “Okay, now let’s take a closer look at that finger.”

On closer inspection it seems, well, as it first did. A minor burn that will heal with some time. Nonetheless I ask, “Did it hurt a lot honey?”

“Yes.”

“Have you run it under the cold water tap?”

“Yes the teachers made me.”

“Is it sore now? Can you use it?” I’m starting to fish here. I’m not sure what exactly Wifey wants right now. Maybe it’s just to make a bit of a fuss about it.

“It’s fine just tingly.”

“Ok love. Let me talk to Mommy quick,” and off she bounds seemingly fine.

“I don’t like it, that burn.”

Ah. Motherly concern. “Babe it’s a small burn. It should be fine.”

“You can’t be too careful about burns. I think she’s hiding how much it hurts and we should see a doctor.”

I attempt to allay her fears. They’re not totally unfounded. Eldest hates doctors and will do anything to prevent a visit. So out comes the phone and Google is engaged to ascertain the degree of burn. Not the best way to deal with it, but it lent weight to my opinion. Everything checked out and Wifey seemed to accept what I’d been saying.

It took me a short while to realise that something was amiss with my SO. You know when they’re a little quieter than usual, as if gnawing at a thought? Yes, that. So it wasn’t long before she stopped what she was doing in the kitchen and looking at Eldest, said, “I can see something’s wrong with her. We’re going to the pharmacy.”

Sigh. She’s not going to let this one go. Rather acquiesce to her misgivings than get between a lioness and her cub. Everyone was warmly clad in a relatively short period of time (for my family) and we were at our local pharmacy within minutes.

Gauze. Bandage. Special burn plaster.

Back home Mommy settled down and dressed Eldest’s wound. I must say that my little girl quite liked her bandaged hand, and proudly showed it off to her sister and even posed for a selfie for the grandparents to see. The hand immediately became a useless appendage and she required help with everything from pouring a glass of water to dressing in her pajamas. I drew the line though when she asked for an arm sling. By then it was evident that we’d created a monster.

Why am I going on and on about my wife’s seemingly over-the-top concern? Simply because that’s exactly the way it should be.

Now I’m not saying that all men are negligent in the upbringing of their children, but in general parents of the female persuasion are better at making the calls when health is the matter at hand. I might’ve been a bit too liberal when deciding what is appropriate, what is safe and what is bordeline, well, murderous. Apparently tying a string to your toddler’s pants for the cats’ amusement is a No-No. I’ve already mentioned the food experiment I conducted with Youngest in a previous post. Maybe I shouldn’t have shown off how an infant can sit comfortably in the palm of my hand . . . with my arm outstretched . . . while standing . . . next to the TV (Please don’t judge. I cringe as I write this).

Don’t think me a reckless father. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do to safeguard my children and the thought of them being harmed is enough to make me see red.

In short, do I think that the Wife makes a mountain out of a molehill at times? Yes.
Would I have it any other way? No. She’s a mommy, and she’s excellent at being just that, which is a reason to love her.

Besides, maybe I’m the reason behind her slightly bent psyche.