Next Stop: Batty

Hangin' by a thread, here. I'm just sayin'.

Friday, February 03, 2006

We May Have to Amputate

Oh, my Baby! The blood! All the blood everywhere! (Not was just a scraped knee.)

Carly was wearing these shoes which she dug out of one of the sixty places where I stash hand-me-downs. (That kid digs stuff out of everywhere -- the fact that she still believes in Santa just astounds me.) When she put the shoes on and claimed they fit, I was too busy, like, picking my nose to check. Well, sportsfans, those shoes did NOT fit. No, no, oh no.

I wasn't there when it happened (nor was I there when the same child tried to "walk" our poor dog across the electric fence and ended up losing the battle -- badly). Child runs on the driveway with ill-fitting-mommy-didn't-check-because-she's-a-bad-mommy shoes. Child meets driveway with hands and knees.

She comes screaming for me. I try to channel my husband (mr. cool in the face of blood) and check for major gashes while trying to act like I haven't a care in the world.

No major gashes. One bumped knee. One scraped knee. Two red hands.

Okay, don't even TRY to tell this kid she's gonna be fine because she's not having it. Don't try the ol' "let's go pick a Band-Aid out" trick; she hates you and your Band-Aids because you failed to save her from the driveway. She's BLEEDING, you understand. BLEEDING. Oh, the HUMANITY!

I love that I remember what my mom did in such situations. She put me up on the countertop and gave me a cool, wet cloth to hold on the injury. It was just right -- always made me feel better. I have such clear memories of it.

So, I put her up on the countertop. I show her on the antiseptic bottle where it says, "hurt-free." (She doesn't read, so it could say "burns like hell and you'll wish you were dead," and she wouldn't know. But she believes me. She believes me, but can I believe the bottle? There's always that moment of truth, isn't there? God, please let it not hurt, please let it not hurt. Johnson and Johnson, I will find you myself and make you BOTH pay...)

It doesn't hurt, and we're both so relieved that we giggle. I wipe her tears and find a really BIG Band-Aid. She's good to go.

Fast forward two hours. Child is DYING. Child cannot go on. Needs to be carried. Is in PAIN. Needs a popsicle. Not a red one! Child with grave knee injury does not LIKE red ones! Oh, the PAIN. Cannot straighten leg. Cannot bend leg. Needs crutches. And new band-Aid. Old one is old. Needs popsicle of correct color! Ow! Owowowowowowowo!!

It is now that I go through the seven universally recognized stages of mother-of-a-minor-scraped-knee-hood:

1. Nurture: draw her to my bosom and hold her, rocking gently, and comforting her in her pain, no matter how minor, remembering how little she is.

2. Reasoning: tell her in soothing, loving voice that she's alright now, she can stop crying, she's okay. It'll be okay. She can stop crying.

3. Bargaining: "Honey, listen to Mommy. You're okay. If you can stop crying now and be a little bit more brave, we'll pick out a brand new box of Band Aids at the store tomorrow. Yes, even Barbie, but you have to stop crying."

4. Senseless Repeating: You have to stop crying. Honey, stop crying. Okay, stop crying now. Ready? 1-2-3 stop crying.

5. Going: That is enough now, Sugar.

6. Going: Okay. No new Band-Aids for you. You lost that priviledge. No, you needed to be brave and were you brave? No.

7. Gone: Oh, COME ON!!! IT DOES NOT HURT THAT MUCH!!! LOOK AT IT! IT IS A TEENSY WEENSY SCRAPED KNEE!! This is ridiculous! And I'll tell you something else: you're gonna have a whole lot MORE scraped knees in your life so you'd better get used to it. Mommy has had HUNDREDS of scraped knees, one back labor, and two c-sections. DON'T TELL ME ABOUT PAIN!! Now knock it off. I don't want to hear it anymore. I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT!!

7.a. Repentance: Oh, oh, oh... okay. I know it hurts. You're right. Mommy didn't mean it. Mommy will kiss it. Oh, bad boo-boo! Look! It's only 7:00! Mommy has time to carry my bwave wittle soldier upstairs to bed before sticking my head in the oven... Okay? Would that be nice?

7.b. Recognition: Gaze upon exhausted, sleeping child. Gigantic Band-Aid already flopping off tiny knee. Marvel at how little child is. Notice how baby face shows up when she sleeps. Remember perfect firstborn skin and thank God for healing. Think of inevitable boo-boos that cool cloths and Band-Aids can't fix. Thank God for watching over her. Ask God to keep doing that. Ask God to keep doing that. Ask God...


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