Today at lunchtime I placed Simon's plate on his tray and then turned around to finish fixing myself a salad. Suddenly he was screaming, a panicked, horrified and horrifying scream. I turned around, imagining everything that could've happened to him during the 15 seconds my back had been turned. He somehow cut off his pinky with his plastic fork. He managed to stick his toe in the outlet behind his high chair and received a near-deadly shock. While I can normally come up with endless scenarios of impossible ways my son could be hurt, these two were really all I could think of... I mean, he's in his highchair at lunch time, the same as every single day. How dangerous can it be?
At that instant I saw a fat fly leaving the area of my son's plate, perhaps discouraged from his conquest by the bone-chilling scream. Simon calmed down pretty quickly, telling me he saw a fly and then mustering a brave, "Go away, fly." Oh, that fly will go away, I thought. I reassured my kid, hugging, cooing, and then encouraging him to go on eating as if nothing had happened. I casually moved to the closet where we keep the flyswatter, then, for the next 3 minutes, I devoted my undivided attention to stalking that fly. I watched him, utterly focused on my task, until he landed. Then with two quick flicks of my wrist he truly had gone away, as per the boy's request.
That fly died. Because you can't make my baby cry like that and expect to live.