Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Pitfalls of language acquisition
One day Toddler Flails-a-lot and I decided to have some cafe time. We sat, we watched people going by, drank coffee (me) and ate a muffin (her) and talked about cars, mostly their color. It was shaping up to be a wonderful mother-daughter outing and then I shut her finger in the door. Not the padded part of the door. But the hinge all-metal-all-death side.
She started screaming and I did the parent thing of completely freaking out and falling apart on the inside while leaping into fucking action on the outside. That's an important part of being a parent, is knowing your panicked emotions are utterly irrelevant to doing what needs to be done. I soothe her, check her finger -- it's not bent at any crazy angle but the color ain't pretty. I strap her in and drive home frantically calling Husband-cat to look up "signs you broke your kid's finger" on the internet so I know what I need to watch for. As images of yet another hospital visit flash in front of my eyes, I hear from the backseat, "Ow, mommy. It's brok-ken. It's brok-ken. It's brok-ken. Waaaaaah!"
She has no idea what she saying, she just heard me say it and decided to integrate it into her crying because she likes words. Trying to salvage myself while having her cry-singing from the back sucked. I've been completley calm and reassuring to her but inside there's nothing but you-broke-your-kid's-finger-it-will-never-heal-right-you're-terrible. Yes, I know it was an accident but since she's a helpless kid I get to be responsible, no matter what and sometimes that results in a little self-hate.
I very calmly tell her we're going to go home and read books and put ice on her finger. At which point she perks up and yells, "Ice cream! I'm going to have ice cream! I want ice cream." She does this right up until I apply the ice pack to her hand. A discussion about semantic verbal differences was beyond me. I gave her the damn ice cream. Sometimes they just outflank you with their selective word choices and incessant singing.
After liberal application of ice packs and ibuprofen, her finger was just fine and some new words were added to her vocabularly. No doubt they will be trotted out for use at an opportune time. Hopefully it will be the Hub's fault next time...
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