Disclaimer: No blood was shed for the purposes of this blog post.
After dinner, Andrew showed a "magic trick" to Rachel where he "bit" off his fingers one by one until they were all gone. Then he coughed them "back" up again, making his hand whole. Rachel thought it was hilarious and was laughing up a storm...
...Until she attempted the trick herself by opening wide her little mouth, sticking her index finger inside, and clamping down as hard as she could.
We thought that after the initial impact she'd stop trying to bite her finger off. But she didn't. Instead she started grinding her teeth back and forth, with her finger still wedged between them. She was grunting with effort when we decided we should intervene.
"Rachel, no, stop! Daddy was only pretending!"
She looked at me, took her finger out of her mouth, and started howling. Blubbering about her vexation she pantomimed that all she wanted to do was bite her finger off. I told her again that Daddy had only pretended to bite his finger off, but she wasn't so sure so Andrew showed her the magic behind the magic.
"Look, Rachel, when it looks to you like Daddy is biting his finger off, he's really just folding it down so you can't see it."
Andrew has amazingly double-jointed hands and can do virtually anything with them. I can't do the magic trick because my fingers aren't that flexible. Andrew showed her the magic trick again, only this time made sure that she knew where the fingers were the whole time.
"And that's how Daddy does it," he said, "Can you do that?"
Again Rachel opened her mouth as wide as it would go and stuck her finger inside. This time we managed to shock her into stopping before she'd even bit down.
"No! Rachel, no!"
Tears started welling up in her eyes and her bottom lip started quivering. She said a few nonsensical things and then burst into tears once more.
"You break it, you fix it," I declared, and left Andrew to tend to our screaming child who was, fittingly, covered in tomato sauce.
I wonder if Andrew's finger-biting-off trick would have been more realistic if he also had tomato sauce covering his hands. We'll have to try that next time.