Wednesday, 20 January 2016

The ghost of fingers past

It's been an interesting week. While at his childminder's, Duckling managed to sustain his first serious injury - in this case the loss of the end of a finger. As injuries go, it could have been worse. It could also have been better though, let's be honest.

He was doing what I'd seen him do a few times before while leaving her house - hanging onto the hinge side of the doorframe as he stepped down off the front step. I'd warned him not to, twice in fact, but clearly the message hadn't sunk in (believe me, it has now). She didn't notice his hand as she slammed the door, then took a good 10 seconds to find the keys to open it again once his screaming alerted her to his plight, by which time his middle and ring fingers of his right hand were in a bit of a state. Thankfully the middle finger will be fine, although the nail may be a bit deformed. The end of the ring finger is however lost forever - we're not entirely sure where.

Were this the plot of Holby City (I properly hate that programme) I would have started hurling abuse at my childminder as soon as I arrived at A&E and saw the extent of the damage. However, real life emotions are more complex than that. Plus I was too busy passing out like a massive wuss.

On the one hand, I am a bit peeved, obviously, that someone has caused my child permanent damage. On the other, I like and trust my childminder and know it was a total accident that could have occurred at home just as easily. I am also, secretly, a little relieved it didn't happen on my watch. I don't have to look at his hand and know I did that to him. My poor childminder does of course, so it's going to be hard on her once he goes back, but she's a pragmatic lady and I'm sure will cope.

What I am stressed about is seeing him in pain - although he's been very brave and since the op to sew the finger up he's been largely unbothered by it. I'm also not a fan of all the hospital visits (it was horrible leaving him in the operating room while they put him under) and the inconvenience of forcing down antibiotics and having to miss yet more work ("Dear boss, you're not going to believe this but..."). Most of all though, I am sad that my little boy is now missing a tiny little bit of his once perfectly whole body. It shouldn't matter - we all place far too much emphasis on 'perfection' anyway, it's not a disabling or particularly obvious injury, and I suspect it will make an awesome conversational piece in later years. He's so young, he really won't be able to remember life before 9 3/4 fingers either. I'll remember though, because I worked for nine months to make that little digit. Every time I look at his 1st birthday plaster of paris handprints, I'll see the ghost of a finger tip and feel just a little sad.

Such a lot of mixed up feelings over such a tiny piece of flesh... Though as my sister said, "On the bright side, one less nail to trim eh?"

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