11 May 2008

Boo Boos: A Cultural Experience

This evening we had guests for dinner. An Incident occurred.

Let me set the scene...

KR, German woman who lives a few blocks away
and her 1 year old son, F

KH, our English upstairs neighbor and her 4 year old daughter, R, and her nearly 1 year old son, D

We are sitting around the living room after dinner enjoying Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble with ice cream. The little ones are getting tired, a bit cranky and slightly clumsy. In one move, D throws his hands out and tumbles forward off of his mother's lap, hitting his forehead hard on the coffee table. He immediately starts to scream and a large bump begins to form on his forehead.

KR (running for the kitchen): Quick, I need a knife!

GL (running after her): A butter knife?

KR: Yes, where is one?!!

GL (handing her the knife): I also have a package of frozen vegetables!

KR, looking at GL as if she is insane, lays the flat of the knife against the growing bump.

KH runs back into the room, having just returned from upstairs: Here, I have a Mr. Bump!

KR and GL both turn to stare at her in puzzlement.

End Scene

Later, after the screaming has stopped, we each had to explain our choices to each other. KR had never heard of using a package of frozen vegetables to ease the pain and swelling of a bad bump. GL had never heard of laying the flat of a butter knife against a bump to do the same. Neither of us had ever heard of a Mr. Bump. KH had never heard of the Knife Method, but had heard of the frozen peas. However, the English Method of choice is a small, fish-shaped frozen gel thingy called a Mr. Bump.

All of our cultures end with a "Kiss to Make It All Better."

What is your culture's form of Boo Boo Treatment?

PS: R, the 4 year old, and GLH calmly continued to eat their desserts and wisely stayed out of the way of the frantic women.


Susan May said...

I have no treatments to add for boo-boo's - although we usually called them "owie's" at our house. But I AM hungry, now, for Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble! Yum!

Global Librarian said...

We have leftovers. Go catch the bus and come on over!

Anonymous said...

Gotta love the 4 year old and the husband - one of which I have yet to meet - how did that happen with me there for 2 weeks??

Kirk said...

That's a classic cross-cultural story (a knife?!?). I had never heard of Mr. Bump until we had Mädchen; now it's often the first thing we reach for when she falls (ours is a literal Mr. Bump, named for and modeled after the Roger Hargreaves character (who I also had never heard of until having a child).

Anonymous said...

My German confirms the kissing and doesn't know a thing about the knives (perhaps the application of pressure?).

I am sticking with the American version here. At least it has some basis in physiology.