Chris Currie: Playing Dr. Mom

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Katie came running to me with tears in her eyes, crying, "Daddy hurt me!"

They had been wrestling around in the recliner, playing airplane and the tickle game, so I wasn't surprised.

What was surprising is that she came running to me. She's been quite a daddy's girl lately and he was directly involved in the alleged incident (though I didn't doubt Katie's claim), so why wasn't he making it better?

I was happy to stand in. It's hard on a mom when her babies are daddy's girls.

I cuddled and hugged and took Katie to find out -- in adult terms, which are a little more intelligible than 3-year-old terms -- what exactly happened. It turned out that Katie had hit her father in the stomach and hurt her hand so much that she ran to me. He, evidently, wasn't very sympathetic to her pain. Besides, Katie is a little bit, let's say, overdramatic at times.

She tends to blow things a little bit out of proportion.

We kind of figure that the harder she's crying, the more she's mad instead of hurt.

There are exceptions and anytime she can produce blood, she automatically gets the benefit of the doubt.

Katie tackles life head on. She doesn't look both directions, she doesn't check the weather report, and she doesn't look for advice.

She just does it -- most times wearing just her underwear. Katie's not a big fan of shoes. That's where the problem started.

She's not real fond of clothes either, but that didn't really have much impact in this specific situation.

Anyway, she wasn't wearing shoes and stumbled over the sidewalk and stubbed her toe.

Maybe that's understating it.

She shaved several layers of skin off her big toe and left a trail of blood from the point of incident to my arms. Now here's the real root of the problem:

"Fix it, mom," she cries with one breath, takes another and then yells, "don't touch it!"

Bit of a quandary for me.

And massive trauma for the drama queen.

She calmed down enough to accept crackers and juice, but if you even said so much as "toe," she was in hysterics again.

Difficult position for someone who would like to investigate the loss of skin, the loss of blood and determine the need for stitches.

So, we fell back on the technique we adopted when Katie was even younger and needed her face washed or her nails clipped: We pinned her down. Actually, we let her sit in the chair while I held her leg and daddy applied a medicine-treated Scooby-Doo Band-aid and then taped it to her toe. I had the choice of checking the mail or holding her down. I chose to be an active participant. You can't just listen to your child scream and not be there.

A few days have passed. She's soaked her foot in the bathtub and had her Band-aid changed several times without hysterics.

She's kind of proud of it now.

She's actually done a 180-degree turn. The hysterics she did have at the thought of getting a Band-aid are now saved for crucial moments, like when the Band-aid falls off and she needs another.

STAT.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, Ext. 210 or e-mail ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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