Next up on the Amazon wishlist: fake blood and dummy razor blades
Our house is a RoSPA case study of hazards. Flashing red arrows should hang in the air above the open stair gate, the stool next to the cooker, the missing door handle with the spindle sticking out..even thinking about these things makes me feel a bit odd. Although a trip to B&Q might be more responsible.
But when it comes to door hinges, I’m the man with a clipboard and hi-vis jacket, ensuring that all pass safely. I can still hear the screams of my sister after my mum shut her finger in the car door, flattening the tip completely. And then mum walked away, wondering why her child was making such a fuss. (Actually, I don’t think I was there or even alive at the time, which shows the power of a graphically retold story.) Still, I developed an overblown risk aversion as a result, and my sister can open letters really easily.
And so it was that I spotted our 2-year-old pushing her fingers into the gap between the living room door and its hinge, with big sister leaning across to push the door shut… “Stop!” I cried, before rushing across to intervene as nobody took a blind bit of notice.
As I blathered on about how dangerous it was, I saw their eyes wander back towards Mike the Knight on the telly. Frankly, the only person rapt was the 2-year-old, who could tell that something interesting was afoot. This place to shove my fingers looks interesting, she thought.
Now I’m assuming you’ve seen ‘Dumb Ways to Die’, below. (If you haven’t you deserve some kind of award, since it’s racked up 82m views. Albeit 500 of those were us.)
Its popularity must surely be down to the fact that it seems spectacularly inappropriate for children. And that’s why I love it. A brainwave struck. I took a breadstick from the kitchen and slipped it inside one of the kids’ gloves, and shoved it between the door and the frame.
“Now close the door,” I said to the elder. And she did…slowly. She enjoyed the crunch of wood on bone – I mean breadstick – with a relish that would make Javier Bardem blush.
The sad, floppy glove finger that resulted was designed to be a salutary warning. In reality, it may well be imprinted on her mind as a blueprint for a good game, stored away for a moment when Daddy is out of the way. But for now, digits in our house are still in multiples of 10.
Meantime I shoved a teatowel on top of the door to stop it closing fully, and left them to it.
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