If the poem says “They f*ck you up, your Mum and Dad”…well I don’t reckon kids just sit around polishing their halos, either. This gig aint for the faint hearted, nor the weak of stomach. Even if you’re not good at finding your intestinal fortitude under pressure, they’ll put you through boot camp, alright.
Like the time my high-speed son broke his leg at his third birthday…directing the festivities on over to hospital. Not my idea of a progressive party at all.
Cradling my boy (by then completely slumped with exhaustion), I gasped as the doctor flicked on the lightbox. Without a word I saw the dark, narrow ribbon wrapped around a white sapling. I cried. The x-ray confirmed a spiral fracture running from below the knee, to above the ankle. My poor baby. He was placed in a cast from hip to heel, which made toilet training and washing a mighty treat, I can tell you. But they bounce back quickly, they do.
To cheer him up we decorated his cast with a mountain scene. I drew him a proper scale, winding train track along it so he could run his beloved wooden toy trains up and down his leg all day. Within days he’d worked out how to zoom around backward on his derriere, leaving a chalky trail on the floorboards. So much for slowing down, huh? He’s forgotten it all, but I never will. ( I caught him trying to jump onto the trampoline from the garage roof the other day, so not much has changed.)
Anzac Day was another such delight. This time the girl’s turn. After patriotically marking the occasion by trying to kill each other all morning, I’d had it and sent my two to opposite ends of the house. There was blessed peace for all of five minutes before yet further screaming rang out from the backyard.
“What now?!?” I looked at my husband. We’d not had 15 minutes of peace yet.
I followed the sound of screams to find my daughter on her back on the grass, clutching her head. Then I saw the blood: through her hair and on her hands, trickles and drops running onto her clothes. Luckily, most of it was unseen by her as it came from the top of her head and splotched down her back. I quickly scooped her up, thankful for the screaming and ran to the bathroom, sagely uttering FUCK FUCK FUCK while holding my crying, bleeding six year old.
She’d illegally swung on her dad’s punching bag, her dismount a disaster. Fearing cranial trauma from her impact, I told my husband to call an ambulance but I’m glad he hesitated; blood from the head travels fast. We cleaned her up, found a six centimetre straight cut in her scalp, iced her and raced to Emergency.
Mercifully, concerns of skull damage were soon ruled out. Ultimately she only required a cleaning up and skin glue. (And a tray of sandwiches, jelly and icecream. And a wheelchair ride. And a handsome Paediatric doctor. And a listen to her own heart with his stethoscope. And the next day off school just in case.)
We were so lucky. Nevertheless my strict detox went out the window that night, as a vodka was once again my friend in post traumatic stress.
Child rearing earns you your stripes it does. This week I earned my badge in Blood, and when I’ve fully recovered, I’ll put it in the family album for posterity.
Feel free to share your stories too, but please be gentle?
Linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT