Ten Seconds (or In Which The Ladies Of The House Takes One On The Chin)

Did I mention that Nino sleeps in a crib-like bed? Let’s go ahead and call it a crib. Don’t ask me why this is, as I can’t find the courage or appropriate reason to ask them myself. It’s no where near the ballpark of “Oh, you still breastfeed your five year old?”, but it still has a shadowy stigma. Maybe she’s prone to falling out of bed. Maybe she’s a sleepwalker. Maybe she’s a werewolf. I’m going to go with ‘prone to injury’.

There are all kinds of sharp and dangerous things laying around the house. The house’s  primary purpose is for survival; comfort is secondary. There is a steel wood burning stove in the middle of the dining room for goodness sakes. I preface this tale with that because it helps to explains the parents’ reaction At least in my mind.

Nino and I were playing a favorite game of ours, ‘pass the balloon’. It’s a way to get her to learn numbers. We alternate counting as we hit the balloon back and forth. Anyway, we are doing this as usual (now that I think about it… she’s a little bossy to me, too!) and somehow she missteps or falls or something. I hear (and see) her chin hit the edge of a banister- THUD!

I’ve been around kids all of my adult life, and therefore I’ve witnessed these occasions countless times. And I’m always amazed at the sequence of the immediate 10 seconds after. First is the point of impact to the body (nose, lip, eye, stomach, etc.) and the obvious sickening sound of said impact. Not only do you hear it, but the person experiencing it obviously hears it. But here comes the first odd thing. The injured person looks up and around with a look of, ‘Who just experienced that awful sounding injury?’ then ‘Oh, God… why are they looking at ME like that? Was that me?’  Followed by the slow realization that their (insert injured area) is starting to throb- a lot, then the cascading sharp, mind bending blasts of pain. End it all with the piercing, inconsolable scream. All in ten seconds.

No matter how many times I see it, it never gets easier. And tonight, it happened to Nino. In the aftermath, I saw a little blood, but she was immediately cocooned in the embrace and love of Bebia. I felt like it was my fault, but the family (after making sure her face wasn’t broken) returned to business as usual.

The host mom made pizza tonight. Correction- Georgian pizza. It was already out of the oven by the time I saw or else I would have made a plan to stop the mayonnaise blitz. Who in the world introduced this pretty much perfect food to Georgia only to have it mutilated by this abomination? Did someone play a horrible, horrible prank? Why have they not corrected the error? It does prove one fact; Georgians are traditionalist that view change skeptically. I think I’ll speak about the pizza more later on.

While sitting at the dinner table, trying to stomach my one consolation piece, the host mom was sitting near the dad and spoke pretty sternly to him; kind of with intonations of persuasion. He replies with a definitive “No, leave it be” attitude which sets her off.  Because Lado gets in on the conversation and because it gets pretty heated and loud really fast, I feared it was because she thought I injured her daughter and was asking that I be kicked out of the house.

But when the host mom left the kitchen in a fit of rage, the host dad tells me she had asked to get a job.

Ten Seconds.

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters, too

Daughters, John Mayer


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