home life

What’s more dangerous for a six-year-old to handle: a toy truck, or a steak knife? 

Yesterday morning, Labor Day, the kids awoke early. As they do. Then they started fighting. As they do. 
So what to do? Distract. I was about to make a fruit salad from the assortment of odd produce in the fridge: kiwi, pineapple, strawberries. 

Babyboy loves to cook. If he’s not helping me, he’s inventing some disgusting concoction or another. Like, Orange juice and tomato soup. Which he wants us to taste. Does he taste? No way!

So I asked him if he wanted to help me chop fruit. He wavered. I needed to separate these two. So I made it more appealing to him: 

“Want to use a real, big person knife?”

Usually, they get plastic knives for chopping. Usually, Babyboy begs for a knife like I use. “I’m old enough now, mom, really!”

Today, I offered, not only because I thought he could handle it, but because I knew the kiwis were kind of hard and the pineapple kind of fibrous. I didn’t want him to get frustrated. 

Oh, he was so excited! He jumped up and ran into the kitchen. And check out the photos, he was a champion chopper! (He’s using a Henckels serrated steak knife, a good knife, but much smaller and safer than a sharp chef’s knife. With this one, he’d have to apply the force necessary to cause damage, whereas  a smooth chef’s knife can slice skin very easily.)

But on Sunday, we almost had to take him to the local ER for a fingers mishap involving a toy truck. 

He had somehow pried a plastic wheel off, and pushed it down onto his finger, hard. He must have been trying to pry it off for awhile before he started calling for help. 

When I got to him, his left second finger was swollen and blanched. The tire was a harder plastic, not rubber, with no give, and it was just jammed tight on there. 

I grabbed his arm and pulled him to the sink, poured dish soap over and tried to wiggle the thing off. It didn’t move at all, and it seemed like his finger was getting more swollen every second. 

“Ow ow OW! Mommy it hurts, it hurts, get it off, get it off!” He screamed. 

Oh my God. We need a ring cutter. We’re going to have to go to the ER, I thought. 

Luckily, our next door neighbor was visiting, and even better, remaining calm. “Try cutting it off with kitchen scissors maybe?” She suggested. 

Geez, I didn’t think of that. I plucked the scissors from the knife rack and grabbed Babyboy’s hand. 

“Aaaah no mommy no cutting!!” Babyboy recoiled in horror, probably thinking I was aiming to cut off his finger. Poor kid. 

I got his arm in a lock and started snipping away at the hard plastic tourniquet. It took multiple clips, while Babyboy howled, but it popped off just as Hubby burst into the house. 

We stuck Babyboy’s hand in a bowl of ice and let him watch cartoons. 

The very next day: my six-year-old sous chef. 

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