We Can Just Cut It Off

Whenever I post stories of what I think are normal childhood things, there’s always some person who comments about how horrible it is, or how children shouldn’t be exposed to such things, so let me preface this by saying that if you’re one of those people who thinks playing the “got your nose” game is traumatic for small children, you don’t want to read on.

There’s this thing that parents say, “Let’s just cut it off!” We start this around the age of talking, when children begin to obsess over broken things, or misplaced things, or things that just aren’t fair.

A kid falls down, skins his knee. The parent cleans it, puts some antibacterial gunk on it, applies a bandage and a kiss, le voila!
But it still hurts, so obviously the parent will never hear the end of it, and parents really don’t like whining kids, because life is fulla pain, and skinned knees are really the least of their worries, not that they know that, precious, innocent souls that they are.

“Daddy, my leg still hurts.”
“Want Daddy to cut it off? I’ll get my saw.”
“No. I’m okay.”

“Mama, my knee still hurts.”
“I can cut it off.”
“No. I’m okay.”

I dunno where you’re from, but where I’m from, this is common parental defense.

When Moo was three, she put some hairbands on her ankles.

Moo is always doing things like that. Moo is mayhem. Gets her head stuck in the chair. Climbs to the top of the tree and gets her shoulder stuck. Gets her foot stuck in a sinkhole. Last year, she put my mother’s ring on the wrong finger and it took four broken tools before a doctor pulled out a Dremel and sawed it off.
Really, this hairband incident was one of the earlier Moo moments, when we knew she was more trouble than the others, but we didn’t know it would always be this way.
Unfortunately, Moo was wearing a long nightgown, so until she snuggled up with me, none of us saw the hairbands.
Once I did see them, I helped her pull them off and then I told her not to do that, because hairbands are specifically for hair.

Except, I am a big liar, because as she pointed out, Sissy had hairbands on her wrist.


Yeah. Okay.

Hours later, a gown-removed, panty-clad Moo came to me in tears, with a hairband over her knee, and a substantially blue leg buckling under her. Her leg had swollen and the hairband wouldn’t move, but every time I tried, Moo cried out in pain. She was hysterical. Obviously, I had to cut the hairband off Moo’s leg.
I called for Bubba, who came to hold the baby down, so I could cut it off.

Sassy didn’t handle this so well.

I mean, there I was, one of many adults who’d offered to cut off an ailing limb, and I had scissors in hand. Sissy was holding Moo’s hand, trying to calm her, Bubba was holding her down, and we were talking about how best to “cut it off.”

Sassy began running in circles, screaming in horror, mostly with her eyes shut.



Once it was over, I stood Moo up on the kitchen counter, held up the string that was once a hairband, and much to her relief, Sassy saw that her baby sister, her beloved Moomy, still had both of her legs.

So we don’t joke about cutting off limbs anymore.
But then, the grandbaby doesn’t talk yet, either.


About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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24 Responses to We Can Just Cut It Off

  1. Luanne says:

    Hah, this is hysterical. Yes, I come from the people who say they will cut it off, who took off my nose and showed it to me, who said I had something spilled on my front and when I looked they tried to snap off my nose with the side of their hand, etc. So funny that it wasn’t Moo screaming about her leg.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mummyluvs says:

    I stopped saying “I’ll cut it off” when the youngest was three. She said “Mommy I can’t go to bed, my elbow hurts” I wasn’t thinking just rattled off “bring me a knife I’ll chop it off”. She waddled off-not to bed-but to the kitchen where she grabbed the 10″ chef’s knife and said “Will this knife work? The turkey knife is dirty”. My dad and I were speechless. So yeah-no more “cut it off”. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sammy D. says:

    LOL i’m from the ‘suck it up, cupcake; that didn’t hurt’ school myself, altho these days that doesn’t go over so well as you pointed out for readers who think we’ll permanently scar our delicate babes.

    My daughter-in-law has an ingenious fix for the drama – once the boo boo and wailing commence, she gives elaborate, detailed instructions “get the green towel – be sure it’s the green one, not blue – and the medium-size plastic bag and exactly 3 ice cubes – not 4, that won’t work – then CAREFULLY put the ice cubes – one at a time – in the bag and fold the towel 4 times – not 3 – ”

    Well, you get the idea. Distraction Disguised as Doctoring.

    I love the way you tell your Moo tales 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. jetgirlcos says:

    Hahaha. Funny story! I’m glad she still has both of her legs 🙂 My mom said the same thing, although since she always had an interest in improving my vocabulary, she said ” Shall we amputate?” rather than ” Should we cut it off?” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good golly, that must have set your heart a-flutter when you saw the blue leg. Kudos to you for calm, cool, and collected.

    I grew up with the nose trick. Don’t think my parents applied the “we can cut it off” strategy, but I might be hazy on that. I do remember a trick dad used to do with his hands that made it look like he was pulling the top off one of his thumbs. That and wiggling his ears. Yeah, like that happened. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  6. words4jp says:

    In my house greying up it was – “I am selling you to the gypsies.” Seriously – this was it. The sad thing is I believed my dad;)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dan Antion says:

    This is a hoot. Parents seriously need to lighten up. Some of the stuff my father said to us would get all kinds of looks today but I wouldn’t trade him for one of today’s helicopter parents who seem to want the world to be perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. hollie says:

    We were always being threatened with limb amputation. My dad was a carpenter so he had no shortage of tools with which to cut off something that hurt. He’d also offer to cut things off that did not hurt, so that we would stop thinking about whatever did hurt. It was pretty effective, I’d say! I do it, too. Poor Moo, this story makes me feel for her! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jewels says:

    Hahaha hilarious! Poor Moo…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sherry says:

    great story and one more reason that literalism gets one in trouble…lol..

    Liked by 1 person

  11. meg68 says:

    Love this Joey! Great story, makes me feel less sinister over here lol…

    Liked by 1 person

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