Somewhere on the internet may be this post/tweet -
"overheard: I shut Studley's fingers in the door today, but got the wrong hand."
I was on my way to a meeting (a meeting with a childcare room, yay!) and I noticed the gigantic, metal entry door was closing behind me with some resistance. Ahem. Before I had a chance to give it a good tug, I heard the whimper.
Studley may be many things (streaker, cross-dresser, conspirator), but he is not a sissy. The kid will fall, say "um, ow?" and then the next day have a bruise the size of Tibet. So he is fine. More fine than me, in fact. I couldn't stop thinking about it, couldn't stop shaking. And then I realized I may have actually asked for this.
Many, many moons ago, when Sugarplum was a baby, she sucked her toe. Not her thumb. Not the ear of a stuffed bunny rabbit. Her toe. It was a traffic-stopper, let me tell you. It went on for a couple years and then we asked her to please just suck her toe when she was going to sleep and not, you know, in church or at school or on a date. Which was fine except we didn't know how to get her through that last phase of the habit, since she'd suck her toe in her sleep.
And then one day, Chris smashed her foot in the door at the music store. I wasn't there, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't on purpose since he's even worse around blood than me. I came home from work and he stopped me in the driveway and told me all about it, so I'd be prepared. In the evening, we gave her toe a good cleaning in the tub and wrapped it up nicely in Barbie band-aids. That's when I realized it was The Toe. I don't remember now if it was right or left, but she had a preference and this was It.
She freaked out a bit when she climbed in bed and realized what was happening. We reminded her that she had just started school and the Barbie band-aid was a reminder of what a big girl she was. Although the toe healed very quickly, we kept the bandaids on for a week or two. And it worked.
I love saying things to Chris like "well the next time you feel like smashing one of the kids with a door..." because he is the pacifist of the family and it makes him run sobbing from the room. He is a sweet man and he deserves better, it's true. I also may have possibly said, "when it's time for Studley to stop sucking his fingers, can you take him on some errands with you? Maybe to the music store?" And he runs sobbing from the room again.
So today I'm sitting in my meeting and it occurs to me that I just pulled a door shut on Studley's fingers and I quietly say "excuse me, I need to check on my son."
"Studley," I say, "which hand did mommy smash to smithereens?"
"This one," he says, raising his hand without looking up from his puzzle.