I was okay with Seth wanting to buy a whittling knife for his birthday. I have supervised him using Nicolas' on a couple occasions and he does very well. Since Nicolas received whittling gloves for Christmas a couple years ago, we haven't had any serious cuts or ER visits. I might have changed my mind, however...
A few nights ago Russ, Seth, and I took a quick trip to Walmart after supper leaving Caleb in charge of the other three. When we arrived home Caleb told us that Lydia had cut her leg while whittling with Nicolas' knife. He assured us that it wasn't too deep, that he bandaged it up for her, and she just went happily upstairs to play with Anna afterwards (where she was when we arrived home). I did express some annoyance at her choice of activities while we were away, especially since I have never known her to whittle.
Anyway, as I am putting groceries away and cleaning up the kitchen, Caleb sits down on the bar stool and begins to give a few more details on the injury.
"I don't think it needed stitches. I mean, it was kind of wide, but not deep."
I am doing the distracted listening thing that mom's do so well, but must have shown some kind of confusion on my face at his description. I know that as I was listening I was trying to figure out what he meant by "wide". Maybe...the cut went to the side like a slice--wide, but not deep? Or she whittled a slice of top skin off?
Seeing the confusion Caleb went on, "Well, it is like a line, but wide. It didn't look deep though."
Now he had my undivided attention. I stopped putting groceries away and turned to face him. "Uh, Caleb, usually if the cut is wide, it is because it is deep and gapping open."
"Oh, yeah, that makes sense. I feel really stupid."
Lydia was called downstairs so I could take off the very nice bandage that Caleb fixed her up with and take a look at the injury. My first words: "This definitely needs stitches."
Immediate wailing from the injured girl. She had a very clean thin line cut that went fairly deep so it gapped open nicely. After a quick physiology lesson on the nice scar she would have if we let the cut heal without stitches, I found I was able to approximate the edges of the cut very nicely with my fingers. So, instead of an ER visit we were able to close it up beautifully with three butterfly band-aids and instructions not to bend her knee too far during the night.
Caleb apologized profusely and said he felt so dumb about not recognizing the seriousness of the cut. We have been teasing him about the "wide, but not deep" comment until he reminded us that because he didn't think it was too bad, Lydia didn't cry at all after it happened. So true! If Caleb had realized how deep it was right after it happened and had gone on "stitches" panic mode, Lydia would have been an absolute basket case by the time we got home. So, in the end, Caleb is still the hero of this story.
And I'm still not sure about the whittling knife for Seth.