My kid’s school had an end-of-year picnic at a local park. Seemed like a good idea. I had actually forgotten about it, but my daughter reminded me when she informed my chiropractor about it yesterday.
This morning we got all packed up, even took the newly nearly mastered 2 wheel bike. There’s a great track around the playground to practice on.
We made our way down and found the parking lot PACKED. 100% full. So much so that these honest toddler/soccer/quilting bee/marathon moms were considering parking in the handicapped spots. I saw it in their eyes. I just so happened to find a young couple fleeing (no doubt in the wake of what was obviously a convention of all the local preschools) and stalked them to their parking spot.
I hauled her bike down to the path and she rode a bit before getting down to the play ground. It was a little sketchy, but she managed well. We find some of our group, and off she went. She was so proud, telling everyone “I’m only 4!!” and then cackling with sheer superiority. She began following a girl a little older, and much more in control on her own 2 wheeler. They made a few laps around and then it happens. I look over and see my kid wobbling on the asphalt part of the path. She loses control, and instead of putting on the brakes, she whips her handle bars from one side to the other, tricking herself into thinking it’s under control. After about three zig zags, she crashes to the ground. I head over anticipating a small scene. She stands up and reveals a quarter sized scrape on her knee.
She screams bloody murder
I washed it off with my cold water bottle, resulting in the blood trickling down her leg and onto her fluorescent pink socks. I’m convinced she’s crying because it hurts….. nope. She’s crying because her knee is bleeding. While i’m sure it hurt, the mere fact her leg had the audacity to BLEED was the cause of the shrieking.
How do you manage four year old logic?! In public … with a park FULL of preschool parents and teachers on high alert.
I could feel the park go quiet as my daughter is screaming nothing intelligible while this giant mammoth woman who is managing to stay calm on the outside is trying awkwardly to comfort this child. After a minute, and i regain my hearing, I finally manage to take her to the bathroom to wash it off and dry it so we could get rid of the excess offensive blood.
Only it’s a public bathroom, so guess what? No paper towels. Just deafening hand dryers.
I doused it one more time with the cold water, and blotted it gently with a wad of toilet paper. What I can only hope was clean, ungermy TP.
“Wipe it all off! Get it all off!”
I blotted it to the max before any TP could stick into the very shallow and small scrapes. She left the bathroom holding up her shorts … you know, so they wouldn’t spontaneously drop to her knee and hurt it…shrieking “Ow owowowowowow”
Ok.. let’s just get your bike and go – “NOOOOOOOOO!”
So we can’t leave, and staying is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for everyone. I see people looking at me out of the corner of their eye and one brave soul finally sidled up to us, looking at my daughter the whole time intensely, willing her to make eye contact, and asking, “Everything ok over heeeeeerrre?????”
“Yes, she just fell off her bike. She’ll be ok.”
She continues to stand there. .. staring…
Listen, lady, i’m not abducting the loudest kid in the park. I promise. I’m thinking heavily about swapping her for a calmer kid, but unfortunately the bloody wounded one is in fact mine, and I have to figure out how to get her out of here without causing further damage. Bugger off. I will point out that zero people from our school came to check on her or see if she was ok. That is slightly frustrating.
We go sit out of ear shot on a bench as I try to calm the beast. The knee is still, of course, red and angry, so she refuses to calm down. The mere sight of it is pissing her off and freaking her out, but logically, she keeps looking at it. As if at any moment the wound will just vanish.
I finally convince her to go with the promise of medicine at home…. this kid has an alarming affection for medicine. We made about 5% of the drive with only whimpers, and by the time she had to get out of the van, she was at full blown hysteria again. I think she just likes to make an entrance.
My mom, surely, thought I was bringing her home with a broken arm, but no. Just a small scrape. With BLOOOOOD
Sometimes I wonder if i’m cut out for this Mom stuff. Not because loving them is hard, or cleaning up after them is impossible, or managing their ever-changing moods is inconceivable. Mostly because when one of my kids get hurt, they do not allow for soothing. They leave zero room for comforting, and I in turn overcompensate and try so hard to stay calm for them, I flop sweat and can’t see the immediate remedy.
These are the hard moments for me. Not yelling, “It’s just a scrape!! Suck. It. UP!”
Perhaps next time i’ll try my dad’s go-to; “Shut up or i’ll give you something to cry about.”
Ahhhh the good old days.