Sunday, 24 April 2011

The First Cut Is The Scariest

Ah, the exotic places you get to see when you have a child…

Before the arrival of TWMBO, indeed back when Wife-features and I were merely living in sin, we trotted the globe - eating bagels with blueberry cream cheese a foot thick in New York, sipping late night outdoor coffee in Paris and standing in the drizzle on the Kilchoan-Tobermory Calmac ferry.

The latest pin we can stick in our map of places we’ve been is (cue fanfare…) the minor injuries unit of Leanchoil Hospital in Forres.

Toddler Who Must Be Obeyed had been buzzing around an indoor play centre and amid the frenzy lost her concentration and slipped onto her side while sliding down one of the fastest slides known to humanity.
The crying was bad enough but after a couple of minutes blood started to appear in the corner of one of her eyes. Wife-features says she’s never seen me go so pale.

The gore manifested itself at exactly the same time as our pre-ordered lunch arrived. TWMBO bravely forced down some cheesy crisps while the play centre staff fretted about, wrapping up our hot filled rolls for us to take with us to the nearest A&E.

I couldn’t care less about missing out on my Malteser Slice - I wanted someone in a uniform and wearing latex gloves to give an immediate appraisal of the blood-in-the-eye situation. Upon inspection it turned out to be a wee cut and it’s quickly healed, not leaving a scar as far as I can tell.

I still have a scar under my chin from infant school. It was the result of an icy playground and a failure to communicate with the boy who was pulling me around like a sledge. He went left when I was expecting him to go right. I can still taste the blood.

Oh, and then there was the time I broke my right wrist break dancing to Herbie Hancock‘s “Rockit“. But I digress…

Toddlers do what they say on the tin: toddle. The dictionary definition talks of ‘short, unsteady steps’. So a few bumps are to be expected.

Our Toddler is getting very good at stringing lots of unsteady steps together. In fact, her appetite for walking has grown hugely just in the last few weeks. Holding a hand, asking her to stop at the kerb and to look for cars and asking her to resist running on hard surfaces - these things are at the same time wonderful and terrifying.

Today’s toddles included a trip to the baker for some rolls, a wander across the beach and back up the river to the park, but the high point was without doubt the trip to the shop for chocolate spread. (The spread in question is technically hazelnut - cocoa only makes up a tiny proportion - but it’s too late to reposition a leading brand.)

The jar of sweet goodness was pushed onto the counter by TWMBO. The assistant was still scanning and bagging shopping for the customer in front and after about twenty seconds the lack of attention towards our chocolatey purchase was highlighted.

A small hand reached out and pushed the jar of spread closer to the till. Another twenty seconds passed. The jar was pushed closer still. I half expected her to turn round to the queue behind us, roll her little eyes and ask what it takes to get a bit of service around here.

I was ready to apologise to the assistant, explaining how much TWMBO likes chocolate spread in a sandwich as a treat. But before I could the assistant shook her head and said: “Urgh. This stuff’s a nightmare in our house. My husband eats it straight from the jar with a big spoon.”

I can’t be sure but I think a certain pair of little ears heard that. Uh-oh. I can see the next bruise or cut happening as the big spoons are reached for.

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