So my poor cheesedoodle is at that awkward toddler boy stage: he believes that because he can do something, he should do something, but his size and his ever developing motor skills mean he can’t do what he thinks he can do. This, combined with his slightly volatile personality made for a difficult day on Tuesday, poor kid.
It all began in the late afternoon. Both doodles were playing happily together. The mackerdoodle was tearing some junk mail I had given her into pieces, and the cheesedoodle was stuffing the confetti into three different containers: a wooden box, a purse from the dress-up box and a small, but heavy, pottery jar. Soon stuffing litter with his little fingers seemed ineffective, so he grabbed one of Jonathan’s paint brushes and began to push the paper down into the pottery jar. This was great fun, and also made a neat sound as the jar jiggled against the table. It was all fun and games until the jar jiggled its way off the table and onto the cheesedoodle’s toe.
He cried. He brought his toe over to mama to be kissed. He snuggled and milked the sympathy and then, suddenly, he was so over it and on to the next thing. He scampered off to the play room with his sister and hadn’t been gone from my sight more than 20 seconds before I heard a scream. This was not an “I want that that toy” scream, or even a “I bumped my head” scream. I leaped up and got into the play room to see what was the matter.
Do you remember the chifferobe that my mother-in-law painstakingly restored for the mackerdoodle before she was born? (If not, click that sentence) It’s still one of my favorite pieces of furniture and it is in the play room right now. The cheesedoodle has a passion for closing doors, and he had walked into the toy room, directly over to the chifferobe and closed the door – with his left pinky finger wrapped around the hinge side of the door. He had closed it with force, because he never does anything in halves, and was holding the door closed with his right hand, while trying to extract his compressed pinky from the closed door.
His tiny finger tip (which will seem huge when the snickerdoodle arrives) looked like an acme cement truck had run over it in a cartoon. It was completely flat. As I carried him to the kitchen to get ice for it, I watched it slowly pop back out to its normal shape. There were angry gashes on the front and back of the finger, and I was expecting a flood of blood as soon as the compression had eased.
Have you ever tried applying ice to a 19 month old pinky finger? Not so easy. I ended up filling a cup with ice water and sticking his entire hand in, but even that only lasted seconds. He was still crying in pain and would periodically press the offending digit to my mouth, hoping for a magic kiss. The action of offering it for kiss, however, was exceedingly painful, and would send him into new waves of painful screams. I fear it was the first disillusionment in his short life – sometimes mama’s kisses don’t make the pain go away.
Finally, I was able to numb the pain enough to get him settled down with a binky and I turned on the TV to let him recover. Remarkably, the finger never did bleed, and didn’t swell. The next morning it was a little red, but not bruised, and the gashes were pale white lines.
We ate supper and went through our bedtime routine (no bath for the cheesedoodle, because I was still watching that finger) and by normal bedtime, what with his eventful afternoon, the cheesedoodle was tired. All through bedtime stories he was rolling around on my bed, trying to snuggle up to me, only succeeding in headbutting varying parts of my anatomy. The headbutt is the cheesedoodle’s expression of exhaustion, and after he made contact with my nose, I cut story time short and declared night-night time. The mackerdoodle was tucked safe in her bed but the cheesedoodle was still restless with adrenaline and discomfort and general exhaustion. I went into his room to tell him to lie down on his pillow and go to sleep. He reared back in full headbutt move, and flung himself toward his pillow – as full a force as his 21 pounds will allow – head first. He missed his pillow and drove himself full on into the metal frame of his bed.
It was just a bad day. I suspect it won’t be his last.