minor interruptions

12 Feb

On any given day, you can pretty much guess the first question from any of my children’s mouth upon arriving home from school: “what’s for supper?”  and usually the next question is, “anyone coming?”. Somehow they have learned along the way: food is important, friends are important.

I don’t think it’s just eating but the whole experience:  cooking together, and having someone to enjoy it with.

As a mom, I like to have my day “finished” by the time my kids get home from school. I try (may times with fail) to reserve this time just for them. I try not to take calls or work on my computer; I just want to be with the kids: homework, talking, being together

Cooking however, gets in the way with this “plan” since it takes me about 1 ½ hours each day to prepare a meal.

So I came up with this great idea to have a bit of a schedule in the kitchen: assigning each child a certain day to help  with meal prep. It gives me one on one time with them, teaches them some cooking skills and  just helps to get it done quicker.

I love the experience and good for me,  so do my kids. They love being in the kitchen and especially doing daring acts with hazardous tools.  I try to hold a balance in this area between “live and learn” and “preventative parenting.”  Most of the time it works out.

And then there was Monday night. Taco night. Emili’s night in the kitchen.  We were a bit behind that evening so I was working faster than usual to get dinner on the table. It always makes me nervous when kids start coming into the kitchen asking how much longer until we eat, especially when I’m not even close!  Deep breaths. Kind responses.

Now Emili, being the oldest and most experienced in the kitchen, does not require my close eye. She is capable and confident in the kitchen. She is also an absolute authority on guacamole and has it down to an art (even without a recipe). Which is important for taco night.

I was multi-tasking on the refried beans, condiments and meat, while Emili was preparing the guacamole.  Out of the corner of my eye I see her walking behind me cutting the avocado in her hands. Now just look at that sentence I just wrote: “I see her walking behind me cutting the avocado.” Didn’t I just say that she doesn’t require my watchful eye?

So I wasn’t surprised when her knife hit the seed abruptly,  popping it out onto the floor and the knife coming down into her hand.

Now a bit about my kitchen knives. One of the best gifts a friend ever gave me is a little kitchen knife sharpener.  In a few seconds you can have a razor sharp knife, which I believe is essential to any half- serious cook.  It is wonderful. My knives are seldom dull.

You know when you cut yourself and there is that delay of blood-flow? and although your pretty certain you cut yourself, for a split second you think that maybe you didn’t really do it?  I’m sure that is what Emili was thinking.  She stood there (a little proud) that she had escaped an injury. Then the blood flows.

Another note. We don’t go to the hospital very often. For lots of reasons:

1. we don’t have Slovak insurance (it’s socialized medicine here). So it’s always a hassle when we do go.  They don’t know what to do with us, literally, so it takes an extra long time for us.

2. I don’t know where to go exactly. It’s different according to your injury. There is not a universal “emergency room.”

3.  If I can treat it just as well at home, why go to all the trouble?

Please don’t misunderstand, I will go to the hospital (and have been many times) but first I try to weigh out the possibilities: what can they do that I can’t? In this case, they can stitch it up. I don’t have the necessary tools for this (or else I would do it!). Does it really need stitches?  I try to discern.  I look at the clock, 6,30 pm.

So I did what any somewhat medically educated mom would do. I ask Zac if we have any super-glue!  Yep, that’s right, Super Glue. Before you think I’m a total idiot, or feel the need to report me to social services, I do have a little experience with skin glue .  A doctor friend from the states gave me a few applications a while back.  It’s just that right now,  I don’t have any “skin glue” and I do have super glue.  I am familiar with that application, and by experience, I believe that it could be an appropriate substitution.


I took her to the bathroom, clean it well,  first with soap and water, followed by a betadine swab.  Three applications later, it’s done. It didn’t dry near as fast as the skin glue, but it definitely served the purpose. Her hand was “repaired” in less than: 30 minutes, AND we got us to the supper table by 7:15!


Zac did have to finish the guacamole for Emili and I assure you it wasn’t as good as hers.


Almost a week later, her wound is healing nicely, no infection, no problems and I feel a little more confident (maybe not enough to push the publish button)! She learned a valuable lesson in the kitchen (and it doesn’t have anything to do with super glue). I feel a little bit like this whole experience could be an episode from duck dynasty: “red-neck stitches”! I think Phil would be proud!


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