Reini’s evening started something like this:
His one and only son called him at work and announced, “There’s been an accident… In the kitchen… With the mixing machine… And Mum…”
I should probably admit to you, at this point, that we have recently been playing rather a lot of Cluedo.
I’ve just risen out of a calming bath (despite at least two children being in the room at any one time, babbling) and looking down at my naked body I can see a few tell-tale signs of the week gone by.
For instance, my lower right leg champions five, yes five, bruises. All attained crawling through tunnels and up and down ladders at Sensapolis (I am still completing my challenges ) on Sunday. There are probably a fair few lumps and bumps on my head too because if I wasn’t bashing my right leg then I was beating my skull against something.
My left knee has a long, bloody looking scratch above it, but I can’t remember for the life of me what exactly I scraped it on.
The melted skin on my right palm, from Wednesday’s omelette pan, can barely be seen. And no longer hurts. Thank goodness. I guess it fades into insignificance across from the centimetre long blister, that rose up today, on my left wrist.
But the ordeal my right nipple went through this evening is completely invisible.
It’s the last day of the mid-term holidays and I was determined to fulfil dreams.
Some wanted to feed the ducks, so we did that.
Others wanted to cook and to bake. So we poured through recipe books and opted for home-made Minestrone Soup with Pesto, and Banana and Walnut Loaf along with Blueberry Muffins. We shoved a shopping trolley around the supermarket and jammed it with ingredients.
Some wanted to play Cluedo. Again.
Some wanted to relax with a foot spa and a massage.
And one person wanted to be read to.
The latter dreams were abandoned. Their mother was too busy drinking vodka after the terrible shock.
I’m not sure when the fluster started.
I think it was definitely after Aden pricked Akasha with a knife when they were simultaneously chopping mangetout, for lunch.
Yes. I remember still being quite rational in the afternoon. Despite shopping with two bouncy, blabbering children.
I recall though, being somewhat distressed when I opened a cupboard and a spiderman cup threw itself at me. Although what I was actually looking for was a bowl. And I had not been the one to stack him up on top of a much smaller mug. He still attacked me, then fell sharply to the floor, smashing himself to smithereens. I did shout a little when I couldn’t find the dustpan and brush until I’d rooted around in the paper bin. I quietened down once I switched the vacuum on for the second time in a couple of hours. There’s not much point in trying to be heard by those who try not to listen over that noise.
Oh. I know when it was. It was the moment I looked at the time remaining on the timer and realised we had to move up a gear if we wanted to get the soup on and the next cake ready for the oven before the ‘ready’ beep would sound. Too much time had been wasted clearing up broken crockery and searching for tools.
That was the precise instant that my feathers ruffled.
I raised my game. I had one mashing bananas and one washing leeks and one peeling carrots and another weighing out sugar. I raced between them, firing out both instruction and praise in my effort to motivate and march on. I flicked through recipe books. Provided chopping boards and compost bags.
The muffins screeched out about their baked-ness but we were not done. Not by a long shot.
I ran to the oven, purple gloves covering my hands recalling my blunder from earlier in the week *do not pick up hot pan with bare hands, silly*.
I removed the buns from the top shelf and decided, in a split second, to leave the second tray in, for a couple more minutes but only after placing them on the top shelf for good measure.
As I moved in for the manoeuvre I clipped my left wrist on the side of the shelf. Ouch!
I’m an impatient burnt person. I don’t do well with holding my hand/finger/wrist under a cold tap for any period of time. I normally burn myself while cooking and that generally means that I’m still in the midst of it or it’s ready to eat and so my instinct is to get on with it.
So, I have, in my many burned experiences, developed a technique. I shove the blistering skin under the cold tap for a minute or so, then I pop a tea towel into the cold running water, let it soak up the coldness for a few seconds, wring it out a bit and wrap it around the affected area. Ta-dah! I can work on and cool my injury at the same time.
I wrapped my wrist and ran across the kitchen to a bowl of sugar and marg. and a whisk and started beating them together.
That’s, I guess, when my multi-tasking got too much for me.
I was standing there quite the thing. Cooling and mixing and glancing at the recipe book and
ordering around talking to children. Admiring carefully chopped walnuts and apologising again for pricking Akasha with the knife while chopping up the courgettes ten minutes before.
The margarine and sugar were almost creamed and I slowed the electric whisk down and pondered over my mixture.
Just a few seconds more. And this stage would be complete.
I glanced away. What’s next?
I called out to the kid with the other recipe book.
I hit the switch to turn the power off, but not quite enough, so instead of switching off, it just carried on whirling at the lowest setting. But I hadn’t noticed, distracted, I tried to set it down. On the table top. It tipped to the side and rolled out of the bowl.
I still had the handle loosely in my hand so I tightened it and tried to take control.
I outstretched my fingers and flicked at the power switch again.
But in the wrong direction.
The beaters whirled and whizzed and the machine turned itself around to face me.
The rest is a bit of a blur. Thank God. I remember the beaters, somehow, catching a hold of the bottom of my top.
And my top twirling around and around in her spokes.
It was like she climbed up me.
Wrapped herself in my clothes.
And then she went for it.
My right nipple.
I don’t know what to say.
How to describe it.
There was pain.
A lot of screaming.
Mostly from me.
But also from four children.
There was also some giggling.
There was fear.
Of losing a nipple.
To an electric whisk.
To an electric whisk.
How the fuck could I explain that to the ambulance men?
I whisked my nipple?
There was turning. And Whirling.
And I kept trying to hit the switch in the wrong bloody direction.
There was no blood. No blood at all.
My son My hero pulled the plug from the socket and it all stopped.
There was no more turning and whirling.
The pain left.
Shock I supposed.
Hands helped. Unravelled. My top. And my nipple.
I yelled around for people to check if my nipple was still intact.
And it was.
And I cried.
I cupped my precious nipple and they poured vodka down my throat and in the background I heard a boys voice saying, “There’s been an accident… In the kitchen… With the mixing machine… And Mum…”