Single Handedly Taking Care Of A Baby, Or: How To Take Care Of A Kid After You Stupidly Cut Your Thumb

You get the joke in the title right? I added the secondary title to make sure people understand that I’m not the only person taking care of my daughter, but that I am quite literally doing it with one hand after injuring myself. Now that I’ve explained away every last drop of humor, I’ll explain myself a little better.

Last weekend I planned on making perogies (delicious Polish potato dumplings) but after making the dough on Saturday night I lost my steam. To make it up to my wife who was looking forward to the delish dish, I decided to get the filling together during the day and then serve them when she got home (you’ve got to basically make mashed potatoes then put that in little dough cutouts, boil them and then cook them in butter). It’s a long and labor-intensive process, but the results are usually pretty tasty.

So, the other day I was working on mashing the potatoes. I had already peeled them and they were boiling away in water pre-mashing. I was shredding cheese for the filling and wanted to see how much I had so I went to grab the tiny kitchen scale on the counter. Turns out, one of the legs was stuck under the knife block, so when I pulled on the scale the block tipped over. I’m not sure exactly what happened next, but I tried uprighting the block, my hand slipped and I felt my right thumb hit something. I looked down and blood was starting to come out of my newly sliced thumbnail.

I really don’t want to get too graphic because I myself  am quite squeamish. I actually used to pass out at the sight of my own blood, but haven’t had that problem lately, thank goodness. Oh, did I mention that Lucy was playing right outside the kitchen when this went down? I tried keeping my calm, but I had to quickly grab and wet some paper towels to stop the bleeding. She started crying pretty soon after I cut myself–or maybe even before, she tends to cry and want attention when I’m cooking–and wouldn’t stop. So, it would not be an understatement to say that this was a fairly intense situation.

Trying to keep myself calm (my head felt light and my stomach twisty, but I held on okay) while also trying to patch myself up and verbally soothe the baby was no small task. I called my mom because she’s a nurse and I wanted to make sure it was okay to put gauze on the wound and then wrap it up with medical tape. I have this gut-wrenching fear of the sticky parts of bandaids or tape actually getting stuck on cuts as well as further pain from absentmindedly bumping cuts. Mom suggested putting some Neosporin on there which I did.

At some point, I grabbed Lu and put her on the bad while I wrapped the finger and talked to my mom on speaker. I wound up being okay, though I did smash the thumb into a table that night trying to cut a piece of salami for a snack, not a good feeling. I even went on to finish a batch of perogies for that night’s dinner. I’ve been airing it out occasionally, but mostly keep the cut wrapped up in a simple bandaid. I bump it every now and then which smarts (the nail is cut, but still all attached), but I get really nervous every time I got to pick Lu up. I know she wouldn’t do it on purpose, but she kicks her legs like crazy and I’d rather not have that sting of pain surge up my arm into my brain if I can avoid it.

It’s been a bit of a challenge and I’ve had to get out of that paranoid-about-pain part of my brain to take care of her day, but I think I’m doing pretty good. If ever there was an obvious, slap-me-in-the-face example of how being a dad can change you and how you think about yourself, I guess this is it. So worried about getting hurt am I that I was literally shaking when my wife wanted to look at the cut the other night. It’s a deep, possibly inborn part of myself that I’m doing my best to ignore/evolve while taking care of Lucy. At the end of the day I will try to avoid my injury getting hurt, but I won’t let that worry get in the way of feeding, dressing or taking care of my baby. I guess that’s a sign of maturity, though I’d rather have learned this one without bloodshed, I think.


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