Age 9 4th Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway

This is the 6th post in a 12 week series joining Mommy’s Piggy Tales to record my youth!

4th Grade

During my 4th Grade year we had a church fellowship dinner at the Chippewa Fire Hall. My grandparents must’ve been visiting from FL for some reason, because their van is a key part of this story. We were one of the last people to leave the fellowship which wasn’t unusual since we were usually the first ones to arrive and last ones to leave for most church functions.

My dad was sitting in the passenger’s side of my grandparents van with the door open. I was going to climb inside of the van, but being a little thing, I needed a boost. At the time vans didn’t have handles for you to pull yourself up with, so I decided to grab onto the door divider. You know, the part of the van between the passenger door and the sliding door.

1992 Trading in the old van

As I grabbed onto it and my fingers wrapped around the rubber on the inside of the passenger doorway, my dad not seeing me, decided to shut the door. He pulled the door closed on my fingers. Slammed it hard too (it’s kinda hard not to slam a van door hard because they’re so heavy). Needless to say I began screaming and screaming. If my memory serves me correctly it took a little while before my dad realized what happened and opened the door back up, at least it seemed that way to me. My mom came running and her and some other ladies from the church stood around me in the tiny bathroom running my fingers under cold water while I cried and cried. The picture of mine and my mom’s hands together under the cold water is so vivid in my mind. I don’t really recall there being any blood, which isn’t unusual because I don’t believe I broke any skin despite how hard the door was shut.

When we got home, my mom made me a splint for my fingers. The only two that were badly damaged were the pointer and middle finger on my right hand. She taped them together, made a splint, and wrapped them all up with gauze. I never went to the doctor or emergency room to have them checked out, but I’m certain my fingers were broken.

I don’t remember if I went back to school right away or not, but I know that it was difficult trying to do my homework because I couldn’t write very well with my broken fingers wrapped up in gauze. After some begging I finally convinced my mom to write out my work for me while I gave her the answers.
(I’m wondering if the 5 days I missed during the first six weeks of school was due to my smashed fingers.)

Eventually one day in the tub when I had the bandages off my fingernails floated off into the water. It didn’t hurt but it seriously grossed me out. I don’t remember how long it took me to grow my nails back, but I was so glad when I did. Having no finger nail or only having half of one felt too creepy.

I still have scars on those two fingers and they’re slightly crooked, although you’d never be able to tell if I didn’t point it out. I definitely never put my hands anywhere near the doorway of any vehicle door ever again!

(I tried to take pictures of my fingers to show you the scars, but they didn’t really show up on camera. Oh well.)

And now I leave you with a sample of my incredibly talented art work from 1989.
Good day to you.

You can read about my 9th birthday here:
Jenn’s 9th Birthday Party 1988 (You should stop by and read this for the hair alone, if for no other reason! You won’t be sorry.)

My Piggy Tales:
*My Birth Story: I’m always late!
*Ages 3-5: Dancing in a box
*Age 6 First Grade: There’s a bra in my lunchbox!
*Age 7 Second Grade: Bossy Wheels and Shady Deals
*Age 8 Third Grade: I will not talk in class
*Age 9 Fourth Grade: I didn’t really need those fingers anyway!
*Age 10 5th Grade: Nothing’s Scary in the Fifth Grade
*Age 11 6th Grade: Jenny Got Ran Over by her Grandma
*Age 12 7th Grade: Youth Camp Stinks
*Age 13 8th Grade: “Talent” Show
*Age 14 9th Grade: (N)O Christmas Tree
*Age 15 10th Grade: The Newsboys Wouldn’t Ditch Their Friends
*Age 16 11th Grade: Acrophobia Gets You the Good Seats
*Age 17 12th Grade: In School Suspension

My Young Adult Years
*Dreams and Aspirations: The Long Road There
*Friends and Fellowship: Friends Don’t Get Friends Grounded
*My First Job
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 1
*How I Met Cool Daddy Part 2
*Colonel Mustard on a Rollercoaster with a Plastic Fork

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Posted on November 11, 2010, in Flashbacks, Jenn, Mommy's Piggy Tales and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Yikes OUCH!!!!! That sounds terrible!!!

    I love that you have that photo marked with where your fingers were.. yowza!!


  2. I have slammed my fingers so many times…car doors, sliding doors…I know that had to hurt. Never lost any fingernails though. My son lost a toe-nail once after he dropped a can of baking powder on his foot. It was pretty gross. It was kinda dangling off of his toe for a couple days. More than you probably wanted to know! Sorry. Lol. 🙂


  3. Ouch! The same thing happened to me when I was about 10, but I forgot to remove my fingers before slamming the door on them myself. Duh! Gotta love the floating fingernails — yuck! I’m so squeamish! Love the artwork, as usual!



  4. At a picnic and had to go to the bathroom. Ran to the car to get something first, left hand on car door jamb as door was slammed by me and crunch! Wet my pants and killed my thumb nail which has grown in deformed ever since. When my nail fell off, I could feel everything that brushed against it..nerves! I grew up covering that thumb nail everywhere I went.

    I’ll bet we all had fingers crunched as babies and no one ever told us.


  5. Ohhhhhh that hurt! You didn’t need to explain to me how that happened or the way those vans were constructed…. we had one too!! Our son did the same thing to his future brother-in-law about two months before the wedding! However, he married into the family anyway. His injury hurt but I think yours was worse.

    Also loved your artwork!

    Karen (visiting from group 3)


  6. Oh yuck I can’t even imagine sitting in the bath and losing my nails like that, especially after such an already traumatic incident. It’s amazing how vivid certain memories can be. Glad you convinced your mom to write out your work for you!


  7. Oh, Jenn. I can’t even imagine how much that hurt! I get chills just thinking about it.
    I love your artwork! It is so nice you have those treasures.


  8. Oooww!! I was cringing for you the whole way through that story. I’ve had my fingers slammed in a van door and I know how much it hurts.

    I love how you include artwork from your different years. What a great thing to have to look back on!


  9. We had a 2 tone mini van just like that!!! Oh yes those doors were hard to close. I still forget in modern vans that the doors close automatically now.

    Ouch, ouch, ouch!


  10. That’s one of my worst fears with my kids. Slamming their fingers in any kind of a door. Just a few years ago, being sort of a grown up adult, I somehow managed to slam my own finger in my own car door and I lost half my nail from that fun experience. Guess we don’t always live and learn…


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