On Monday night, we fired up the grill for some burgers, corn on the cob, and an outdoor dinner in celebration of the beautiful weather. Though the presence of the hot grill made me nervous, I allowed the kids to run free in the yard for a while, because it seemed criminal to not allow them as much enjoyment of the evening as possible.
Though I vowed to a nervous Tom to keep a close eye on all of them, especially Michael, I predictably got distracted enough at one point not to see just how close my little guy had come to it on his way over to see me. What I did see, however, was his little eyes grow wet and wide, and his mouth turn down as he approached. Noting his proximity to the grill, it occurred to me that he had perhaps burned himself a moment ago and was only just realizing it.
Taking him into my lap, I examined his hand, which seemed fine, and began questioning him. "Did you hurt your hand? Does it burn?", as he quietly, but tearfully, nodded his assent. Mima rushed upstairs to grab an aloe stalk, but by the time she returned he was quite calm, and I saw no redness in his skin, so we both began to doubt he'd actually been hurt at all. Maybe we had overreacted to a moment of confusion, and scared him.
Just to be safe, however, Mima rubbed that aloe all over his hand anyway despite his initial attempts to eat it.
The incident was long forgotten when we neared the end of our bedtime routine last night. But that's when Tom saw it- the blister on his hand.
I was shocked. Not only had Michael clearly been burned, he'd gotten a second-degree burn on his pinky and a first-degree burn on his ring finger. Yet, he'd had an incredibly mild reaction to the injury, and had made no more mention of his "boo-boo" since we first acknowledged the possibility that he'd acquired it.
Even once we pointed it out, he made no fuss; he simply acknowledge that, yes, he'd gotten hurt there, and gave us a look as if to say, "What of it?"
I, however, felt simply awful all over again. Even more so when he did what I feared he would and broke open the blister during a tantrum this morning. He stopped mid-whine and clamored up to me, tiny pinky leading the way. I gathered him up, large eyes, pouting mouth, and all, and brought him to Tom for some Neosporin and a band-aid.
Though it pleased him at first, the band-aid only served to annoy him by the afternoon, and three fresh band-aids into the day we gave up on trying to reapply one. After all, at some point we'd just have to let the wound dry to a scab, and Michael was making no further complaint.
Every time I see that poor finger come into view, it breaks my heart a little bit. But as for my little tough guy? I imagine that if he could do so, he'd proclaim, "'Tis but a scratch."