Biscuits and Boo-boos

on 26 September 2011

So I'm rereading my favorite biography of Elizabeth Gaskell (my favorite British female writer), and I came across this little anecdote that I thought I'd share here, if only because it made me smile.

Gaskell was a relatively new mother and like most Victorians was neurotic about her child's health.  "She went to Warrington and after that, for Marianne's (her daughter) health to Grange-over-Sands on Morecambe Bay.  Rather to her alarm (her doctor) had prescribed sea-bathing for Marianne, but luckily, "Aunt Anne, a capital bather, was with us, and undertook the charge of her (Marianne), which was so much better than being frightened by being given over to a strange woman in an uncouth dress...I stood on the rocks with a shawl ready to receive her and gave her a biscuit." (The diary is endearingly punctuated by biscuits, ready for every emergency.)"

I love that.  I love the simple things in mothering that make everything better, like biscuits (or cookies, as we Americans would say).


The Boy fell yesterday.  And by "fell" I mean he catapulted himself, headfirst, into the wooden frame of the futon.  His skull collided at full force and he was left with an enormous blueish goose-egg on his forehead that lasted through the day.  (The bruise is destined to linger, I should try to get a picture of it, it really is spectacular.)

I was in the kitchen taking my vitamins and summoning the energy for the day when I heard this ghastly scream and, naturally, went running.  Chris was there insisting that he was fine (he's such a MAN sometimes), but the Boy, awash with tears, was inconsolable.  So I sat in the floor and held him in my arms while he cried and cried.  After a few minutes I quietly asked him, "Would a piece of chocolate help your head feel better?"

He tearfully said, "Yeeeeeeeeees."  And so we went to fetch a piece of chocolate and administer relief in any available form.

As I wiped up his chocolatey fingers and face I couldn't help thinking about Elizabeth Gaskell and her endearing biscuits, ready for every emergency.

I love that some things never change.  Sweets will always sooth away bitter hurts, physical or otherwise.


Rae said...

there was a study done recently that concluded that sugar water can be as effective as pain killers for minor pains.

like we needed a study.

Brett said...

Jack was recently sick for a while and I would give him things "to make you feel better." Now he frequently says things like, "I will p'ay wif dis twain so I feel better." Love it.