Every once in a while life throws you one of those crazy little “could have been a lot worse” curve-balls that make you feel shamefully careless and incredibly stupid.
A few Sundays ago, I had just returned home from driving my wife in to work and I was trying to quickly prepare lunch for the three of us before heading back out for the day’s errands. I couldn’t get the food together quick enough for the boys. They were starving and tired of me kicking them out of the kitchen. I asked them to go play with their LEGOS or something so I could actually finished the meal. Alas they are boys so, instead of playing quietly they decided to do laps around the inside of our house. We have one of those houses where you can do a full loop around our main level from the kitchen, to the dining room, to the living room, through the hallway and back into the kitchen again. And the boys were running circuits.
I had our wooden ½” cutting board out on the end of our counter right next to where a short hallways leads from the kitchen back into the boys’ playroom — we usually leave out on the counter because we use it for almost every meal. I also had out a couple of sharp knives on it that I was using to chop some vegetables, working away as quickly as I could.
The boys got bored of just plain-ol’ running around so they started to do this interesting looking chariot racing, er… thing. My 6-year-old, “L”, was still running around the loop only now, he was leaning forward with his arms back pulling his younger brother, “X”, by the hands so that he slid along behind. It was pretty cool to watch, actually.
I kept chopping and prepping and repeatedly asking the boys to not run through the kitchen while I made their lunch.
Finally, they stopped running. Not because they were bored charioteering around the house nor because I had finished their lunches. It was because that frightening “could have been a lot worse” thing happened. One of those things that you see play out in slow motion but happens far too fast to be able to do anything about it.
“L” was trying to get “X” to go faster and faster, and for that he had lean further and further forward. Well, the faster forward he ran the furtherback “X” had to lean as not to be puller over. Unfortunately, as the two of them ran/slid through the kitchen for the billionth time, “L” was leaning too far forward which prompted “X” to lean back even further, right as they were passing by the end of our counter… right next to where a short hallways leads from the kitchen back into the boys’ playroom… right where we always keep the cutting board… right where I just finished chopping some vegetables.
“X” leaned back far enough that he stalled his older brother’s running and they both fell over backwards. “L” instinctively let go of “X” hands in the hopes of breaking his own fall, unfortunately, this left “X” to fall back onto the kitchen tiles and crack his head, with his older brother still falling back on top of him. “L” reached out his left hand to grab hold of the edge of the counter but instead grabbed onto the cutting board pulling it off. He then buckled back and landed on “X’s” right arm and leg with the wooden ½” cutting board hitting “X” edge-first, square in the centre of his chest.
“X’s” wail was instantaneous. I (lovingly) hauled “L” off his little brother and scooped him up. It took me a long time to calm him down but once I finally did he let me check him over thoroughly and, unbelievably, there wasn’t a single bump or mark on him.
Of course now, we don’t leave the cutting board out anymore but when we do use it, we do so in the middle of the main counter, away from of the traffic lane.
What freaked me out the most (and still does to a degree) is that I don’t remember removing the knives from the board before it happened. I left them there the entire time I was cutting the veggies and must have subconsciously moved them a few seconds before the crash.
*Eesh* I just shivered writing that.
I can’t imagine…