Friday, June 4, 2010

Blood Spilled

My mothering skills would be wasted on little girls.  Little girls don't attempt near enough death defying stunts to showcase my talent of remaining calm in a crisis.  Boys provide far more opportunity for me to display the steel nerves of a triage nurse when blood starts gushing.

I remember walking home from the park one afternoon, chatting with a mom as her daughter and the boys rode ahead of us on their bikes.  One of the boys took a turn too fast and skidded out in a horizontal wash of gravel and dirt.  My mom friend shrieked and started to bolt toward the accident, stopping short when she realized I hadn't quickened my pace.

Her: Oh my GOSH!  Aren't you worried?!  He could be hurt!
Me: Nah.  Wait a sec.  See if he gets up.

Sure enough, he was up and gone in less than 60 seconds.  She looked back and forth between him and me incredulously.  "Boys," I shrugged.  "You get used to it."

Today Thing 2 brought home an Estonian flag for International Day at school.  Five minutes later it was a plain spear.  sorry Estonia.  Could he throw the spear hard enough to sink it into a tree?  Not quite.  He threw it hard enough to bounce back and fly straight in his nose.  There was blood everywhere.  I probably shouldn't have laughed.  Kleenex, soap, water.  "Have we learned a lesson here?  This is why you can't have a bow and arrow until you're at least 10.  Now get back outside and play.  No throwing sticks."

One hour later.

I heard the "I'm hurt" sob as Thing 2 opened the front door.  "Babe?  You okay?"  But before I could round the corner I heard a panicked teenage voice, "I don't know what happened.  They were playing downstairs.  I heard screaming.  I don't know what to do.  I'm sorry."  It was Nick, the 19 year old cousin of Thing 2's best friend Tyler.  He looked like a scared horse.

"No problem.  Let's see the damage."  More blood.  Lots of blood all over Thing 2's mouth and chin.  His upper lip had already started to swell.  "Rinse your mouth out so I can see what's going on in there.  Here, let me wipe the blood.  Okay, fine, you do it then."  There was probably wailing but I put him on mute in my head.  "Yeah, I'm pretty sure that tooth was somewhere else in your mouth when you left the house.  Hey, Tyler, he'll be fine.  Don't cry.  Nick?  It's not your fault.  And guys?  Remember the rule about gymnastics in the house?   That's right.  No more, 'kay?  Alright, we'll see you later."

Ice chips, ice pack, Tylenol, snuggling and a nap.  Two hours later, we rode bikes to the school's International Day Carnival.  He probably could have used stitches actually, but I had Thing 1 arriving from an all day field trip any second and X's newest minion, a gentleman known as "Gutshot George" for predictably drawing to every inside straight to cross his path at a poker table, coming over for a shed foundation assessment at the same time.  Calgon moment?  Nah.  Just another day that ends in "y" around here.

You can't stop your kids from falling, and you shouldn't.  And don't panic when they do.  You can't learn if you don't fall.  Blood spilled is a lesson learned.  And scars are for remembering.

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