Tom burnt his hand on Saturday. Thankfully not badly but enough to raise some nasty blisters on his fingertips.
I suppose like a lot of toddlers he has an innate fascination with the kitchen – that strange, mostly adult place where food magically appears and noisy white machines go about their daily business.
We’ve tried to instill some safety awareness in him by showing him things and telling him “Ow! Hot!” and by and large this has worked a treat. He gives cups of tea wide berths and no longer attempts to conceal toys in the washing machine.
The oven however has long been a sticking point and Tom is now at that age (18 months) when being steered / chased away from certain objects seems a fun game of defiance. So it was only a matter of time before, adult eyes turned away literally for a split second, he’d sneak up on the damned thing and press his palms to the hot grill door.
The poor thing didn’t half cry and I had to remove his hand from the oven for him. Not because it was stuck – thankfully the oven wasn’t that hot – but because I don’t think he’d quite connected the pain with where he’d placed his hand. It didn’t occur to him to pull it away.
Of course Karen and I feel awful. Me especially as he’d snuck under my radar while my attention was elsewhere. But as parents you feel worst most of all because all the hugs and kisses in the world can’t make that kind of pain go away.
He howled for a good hour. He was obviously deeply shocked. Certainly by the degree of pain but also, I suspect, by the realization that the world can hurt him. Something that I don’t think had occurred to him before. It’s like a loss of innocence I suppose. The world isn’t just full of fun and wonder. It also harbours bad things.
Within a short space of time the blisters came up. A large one on his thumb and a couple of his fingertips. He doesn’t seem to be too bothered by them. I guess they’re doing their job and helping to protect / heal his skin. There won’t be any permanent scarring.
But Sunday, rather than try and play a game of tig with the oven he went of his own volition and sat in his chair in the living room and waited for his dinner to be served well out of harm’s way...
Another one of life’s lessons, I guess: all injuries come with steep learning curves.