Friday, September 25, 2015

Kiss It Better

It was a typical day. The Boy, The Baby and I were sitting down to have lunch. The Boy had just returned home from kindergarten, and I made him his favorite: macaroni and cheese. The Baby was sitting in her high chair having some chopped peaches and some chopped avocado. (I chopped the peaches, but The Wife chopped the avocados because she knows I wouldn't touch those yucky green things if they weren't pre-chopped and ready for The Baby.)

The Boy was sitting at the counter eating his lunch, and I was sitting in the living room in the big chair eating mine. Then, suddenly, the boy started to cry. As a parent, it is my duty to be concerned. And I was concerned.

My first step when The Boy is crying is to assess the damage. Is anything broken? Is he bleeding?

Nothing broken. No blood.

The next step is to figure out what happened. My first guess was that he smashed his finger with his chair. The chairs at the counter have a wonderful swivel feature, enabling the kids to twirl back and forth while eating, and, on occasion, smash their finger or thumb between the chair and the counter, something that had happened a time or two before. (Or seven.) (Or twelve.)

Me: "What happened? Did you pinch your finger between the chair and the counter?"
The Boy: "No!" (Continues to cry.)
Me: "So, what happened? I can't help you feel better unless I know what happened."
The Boy: "I bit my finger!" (Continues to cry.)

Yes, that's right, he bit his finger while eating macaroni and cheese.

Me (dripping with sarcasm): "You know, you probably wouldn't have bitten your finger if you would actually use your fork!" (Then realizing sarcasm might not be the best approach with a five year-old): "Come here, buddy, and show me which finger it is and where it hurts."

He walked over to me and showed me his hands, which were both covered in a layer of cheese sauce from his macaroni and cheese. He showed me the bitten finger; I couldn't see any bite marks on it, although it was difficult to make out the finger through all of the orange goop stuck to it.

Me: "Would you like me to kiss it better?"
The Boy: "Yes." He held up his hand. I kissed the finger in question, then pretended to lick the cheese sauce off of a couple more of his fingers.

Me: "Yum! You should bite your fingers more often so I can kiss all of this tasty macaroni and cheese off of them!" His crying immediately turned to giggles, and he forgot about the pain of biting his finger.

He went back to the counter and ate the rest of his macaroni and cheese, occasionally even using his fork. When he finished I had to remind him three times to not touch anything until he washed his hands. (And then I had to follow behind him and wipe down all the things that he did touch.)

I realize now that going back after the fact and staging a picture with The Boy with me kissing his finger better is a bit awkward. (Plus, his hands were no longer covered with macaroni and cheese.)

The whole incident got me thinking about the idea of "kissing it better."

It's magic, isn't it? The simple act of a parent "kissing it better" can make all kinds of injury, pain and other maladies just disappear.

I'm wondering how long I'll have this magical parental power? My two oldest are ages 7 and 5, and it still works on them. Will I still be able to fix all of their problems with a simple kiss of the finger when they are teenagers? Does this magical parental power extend throughout their entire lives?

It would be great if it would be that easy to fix their pain so easily forever.

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