My son just climbed out of his car seat and was playing outside. I was picking up old french fries or something from the car floor around his seat. I straighted up and started to close the car door when I felt a slight resistant; that’s when he yelled: my son’s fingers were caught in the door.
Fortunately, I didn’t slam the door shut (Christ, I shudder now thinking about it); I let go of the door and pulled his tiny fingers (he’s three years old) from the crack between the car’s body and door’s edge. He was wailing.
I’m a pretty calm guy; I don’t panic in dire situations and tend to keep a level head when an emergency arises. I point that out because that demeanor helps a LOT around upset children; you not panicking helps calm others down, eventually.
I looked at my son’s finger and saw a slight indentation where the door bent into them. Fuck.
I asked him to wiggle his fingers, which he did while streams of tears dripped on my shoulder.
I told him we’ll get a cold cloth to wrap around his fingers, which would help the pain. He nodded as we calmly walked into the house and methodically did the following, which I gave him a running commentary about as I was doing it:
- Got a face cloth (“Now where are the face cloths?” I ask. “There, Daddy”)
- Ran the water until it was ice cold (“Is that cold enough” as I have him touch the water)
- Soaked the cloth
- Squeezed the excessive water out (“That good enough?”)
- Folded the cloth neatly, wrapped it around his fingers showing him how to hold it in place with his thumb.
“How’s it feel now?” I asked him.
“Better, Daddy. Thank you, Daddy.”
Now, I try to not to think about what could’ve happened as I lay in bed trying to get to sleep.
This parent stuff is gonna be the death of me.