Saturday, November 15, 2008


Simon has a second degree burn along the half-inch length of the back of his right thumb's proximal phalanx. I normally do not let Simon in the kitchen because he is stubbornly resolved to tear it apart or in some way injure himself. Today, when I excused the boys after breakfast and began cleaning, Simon wanted to stay in his seat. He does this sometimes--usually before meals--sits in his chair and watches me prepare or clean up. I was doing the dishes and didn't notice that his slipped off his chair, walked across the kitchen to the stove behind me, reached up and touched the skillet just as I turned around.

The skillet was cold. He didn't burn himself today. He did that Thursday morning at mom's. Before she could react he darted into the kitchen, up to the stove, and reached for the skillet in which she was cooking. The burn was pretty bad and made him miserable. Today is the first day that he didn't complain about it hurting and didn't put up a fuss when I changed the bandage. He does avoid using that hand as much as possible, which is a pain since it is his dominant hand. But in spite of the misery of that experience he still walked up to another skillet today and touched it. I shouted in alarm, picked him up and set him down outside the gate that normally prevents him from entering the kitchen. His eyes welled up with big, wet, offended tears.

Consummate scientist: That skillet burned me, but that mean this one would too?

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