Sunday, November 6, 2011

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I hadn't been home most of the afternoon, and when I curled up on the couch, L climbed up between me and the cushions. I asked her if I could eat her nose, because she and I have an ongoing game wherein I assign different flavors to her body parts and ask for nibbles. She pulled back every time I almost kissed her, and shot forward to encourage my next attempt. On the fourth volley her timing was off, or mine, just as she accelerated her thrust. I thought she broke my nose.

I called out in pain and she squirmed uncomfortably. As the lovely husband handed me an ice pack and tears streamed out of my eyes, she climbed down and left the room.

And through my pain, I worried about her feelings.

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Bedtime endured far too long for kids whose bodies thought the hour was one later than the message on the clocks. Poor sweet L dissolved into an epic tantrum, the kind that had us stepping over her in the hallway as we carried on with diapers and vitamins and tomorrow's outfits. And then suddenly in her writhing she cut her thumb, rather badly. Her screams stopped suddenly and she went silent, which is how I knew to worry. She screamed when I held it under water and whimpered when I wrapped a cloth tight around it. "I need to hold your hand over your head for a minute," I told her. "You can lean on me if you want." She went limp against me and I held her hand up for her. She hiccuped into my neck and let me hold her whole weight. I held her. I held her tight. I kneeled down to her heigh and clutched her elbow, raising her washcloth-turbaned thumb, throbbing like a Statue of Liberty beacon, above us.

We will both feel our injuries tomorrow.
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