All parents think their children are the smartest, cutest, most clever kids that ever were and ever will be, and we are no exception. Eli is a paragon of toddlerhood. Of course, being a paragon is hard work, and on occasion Eli has to take a break from awesomeness.
Take last week, for instance. Eli climbed up on a short stool at Misty’s dad’s house, then proceeded to tip it over. The stool had four legs, with green iron leaves and vines curling among them. Eli cut one hand open on a leaf. The cut was right at the V between thumb and forefinger, and was wide but shallow. The bleeding stopped soon.
The whining went on for a bit, though. We slapped a band-aid on the wound. “Look, Eli! It’s Nemo! Nemo is helping you feel better!” Eli would stop crying for a minute or so. Then he would look at the band-aid on his left hand, a thoughtful look spreading across his face, and poke the band-aid hard with his right forefinger. “Owwwww!” he would cry, tears rolling down his face. “My hand hurts!”
Then the band-aid was bothering him. “Take it off,” he told us, still crying, pulling ineffectually at the band-aid. When we took it off he went back to poking a fingernail in the wound every few minutes, and oh! the wailing! The gnashing of teeth! Why wouldn’t the cruel world stop forcing him to jab his scratch with a dirty fingernail?
We went through several rounds of bandaging the wound and then removing the band-aid. At one point Eli was riding in the car, his thumb stuck straight up like he was trying to hitch-hike from his car seat. He would forget about the wound, stop crying, pick something up, and shriek like we had taken a blowtorch to Elmo.
It took two days before he stopped sniffling every time his wounded hand touched anything, including the air. He still pokes at the healed hand even now and frowns. “Ow, my hand hurts!” He has become the boy who cried Ow.