There is blood on my skirt. And figuratively it feels as though there is blood on my hands. This afternoon, Daughter Two and I were doing an experiment with a torch, a glass of water, and a piece of paper – trying to create a rainbow (it sort of worked, we needed a bigger torch). Daughter Three came to look, and if I can recall correctly, she sat on the edge of the table, the table fell over, the glass of water smashed and she fell onto a large chunk of broken glass.
Incredibly luckily no glass was embedded in her leg and in the end, she didn’t need to go to the doctors; the pharmacist had some plasters which held the cut together. But there was concern she might need stitches.
Even though there was absolutely nothing I could do to prevent it from happening, short of never doing anything with the children ever, I felt immensely guilty and I know that at the time, the Mother also blamed me. Not with the rational part of her mind, but the bit of it which reacts instinctively. The mothering part, which I could almost see thinking “that wouldn’t have happened if I had been there”.
As a result the plans had to be shifted round a little so while the Mother took Daughter Three to get her leg fixed up, I took Daughter Two to pick up Daughter One from school and the three of us went on to the orthodontist.
There’s something I find rather odd about Paris – everything seems to take place in an apartment. Piano lessons, dentists, doctors, all kinds of things all lurk behind doors that are usually not even marked and invariably also lead to residential flats. I can’t imagine what visitors to the city would do if they needed to see a doctor or dentist urgently, because there’s just no way to know they’re there.
The schools are like that too, they’re normally in the middle of shops and look like big houses. Very odd!