I walked into the bathroom and saw the Q-tip sitting on the counter.
One tip was red. My first thought was that my daughter had been in my lipstick and used the Q-tip to put some on. But a second glance as I entered the room showed me that it was a dark brick red, and I don’t have that color.
Before I could ask, she said, “It’s blood.” Then she pointed to her lips.
I could see the red droplets forming.
“Were you picking your lip?” I asked.
Silently she pointed to her daddy’s shaver.
And my blood ran cold.
I wanted to scream, “What were you thinking!?” especially since this was not the first time she had taken a razor to her lips. (The first time it had been mine, which I try to keep out of sight now.)
I grabbed some toilet paper, pressing it to her lips, repeating over and over that, “we do NOT use razors on our lips.”
I wanted her to hear me. To pay attention. To understand just how serious this was, how hurt she could have made herself.
Getting out the hydrogen peroxide, I dabbed some on a tissue and pressed it to her lips. The liquid bubbled on the wounds immediately. That’s when she started crying, tears rolling down her cheeks.
My imagination got the better of me for a moment and I pictured a scene with us at the hospital, her lips torn to shreds as the doctors and nurses tried to take care of her. I wanted to hold her and to cry.
I shook the picture from my head and put myself back in the bathroom with her. I carefully put some antibiotic ointment on the tip of a clean Q-tip and applied it to her lips, telling her once again that she was NEVER to touch Daddy’s or Mommy’s razor again.
And I said a silent prayer of thanks. Because it could have turned out so much worse.