Thursday, July 8, 2010

My daughter's weird, macabre obsession

My daughter used to be obsessed with Alice in Wonderland but now she’s obsessed with booboos, including but not limited to burns, scrapes, splinters, cuts, broken bones, blisters, bruises and burns. Oh, and animal bites. It is so macabre.

“Do you have any booboos?” she will ask upon greeting someone.

If the person does happen to have a booboo, she will ask to see it, and persist in asking until the person shows it to her, even if the booboo is located in an intimate location, like the upper abdomen or underarm area. She just won’t take no for an answer.

“Tell me the story of the booboo,” she will go on. And “I fell off m bike” will not cut it.

She will fire off a barrage of follow up questions, more thorough than a medical examiner.

“Did you BLEED?”

“Did your skin come off?”

“Did it hurt you so much?”

“Did you cry?”

And her weirdest, most pressing question, “Was there a hole?”

I think she’s referring to the epidermis but honestly, I’m not fully sure what she is talking about.

If you don’t happen to have a booboo, she will seem so disappointed that you will end up apologizing to her. At least my aunt did last week, when she couldn’t come up with anything gory enough for Seconda.

“I’m sorry Sec,” she said, “I don’t have any booboos. I can’t try to get some for you next time.”

At her parent teacher conference a month or two ago, her teachers mentioned that she was very fascinated by what they called “body integrity.”

“You mean, she’s obsessed with blood?”

“Yes, she always wants to hear the stories of everyone’s booboos.” Her teacher explained, “And it’s totally normal and in fact a very common thing we see in this age group. Kids who are 2 and 3 start really thinking about body integrity and are interested in hearing about how our bodies have the ability to heal.”

“Really?” I asked, “Because it seems so macabre.”

What really makes her booboo obsession seem cuckoo is that when someone does happen to have a whopper of an injury she is DELIGHTED. It’s like she’s hit the jackpot. A friend of her friend broke both her wrists, so both forearms were covered in casts, and Seconda was positively smitten. And recently my sister who’s in California, had a plate glass shower door fall and shatter on her. She called and said, “Put Seconda on the phone! She is going to LOVE this!”

“Hold on -- are you OK?” I asked.

“I have a whole bunch of cuts all over my hands and there was glass sticking out of m foot,” she said, “Let’s video chat! Seconda will be thrilled!”

“I’m not sure we should encourage her to revel over the fact that you’re a nutface and somehow managed to break s shower door all over you.”

But I allowed the video chat, and Seconda was, indeed, enthralled.

“Was there BLOOD?” she asked, breathless.

“Yes,” said my sister, “LOTS of blood!”

“Oh my GOD!” shrieked Sec.

I just hope that the kid will turn out to be a surgeon. Otherwise this fascination could lead me to worry.