Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Boo Hoo, Boo Boo
Children, with their bouncy gaits and inattention to safety concerns are just accidents waiting to happen, and they happen frequently. Every mother will apply numerous kisses to heal the inevitable boo-boos during their children's younger years. Well, every mother but me.
The Girl was my first baby. Having read that coffee tables are a top source of injuries to babies learning to walk, I removed the coffee table from the livingroom as soon as she started to crawl. When she was two years old, I put the coffee table back, assuming she had gained some balance and coordination. Within a few days she had managed to topple off the sofa onto the table where she received her first bump on the head. I tossed the coffee table into the trash the very next day. This was her only major accident in her toddlerhood. The Girl was naturally careful and concerned for her own safety and rarely suffered any serious boo-boos needing attention. I am not sure that to this day she has ever truly experienced pain. She has made it her life's ambition to avoid pain at all costs.
The Boy, on the other hand, was born already programmed to self-destruct. He found new and interesting ways to hurt himself, or at least to try to hurt himself - a good portion of the time I was able to thwart his plans. So this should have afforded me ample opportunities to try out my boo-boo kissing and other make-it-all-better techniques. But it was not to be.
The Boy had a different approach to getting hurt. Getting his finger caught in the door jamb didn't make him cry, it made him hide his finger from me so I wouldn't see that he was hurt. He would react angrily to my solicitous questions about his general well-being. I quickly learned that the question "are you alright?" and outstretched arms never resulted in his running to me for comfort. Instead,he would pace about and mutter; returning to me only after the pain had ceased at which time he would relate the somewhat horrifying details of the incident.
In some ways The Girl's caution and The Boy's stoicism saved me from a lot of unnecessary panic over minor cuts and scrapes. But you have to admit, I have missed out on practicing the healing arts of motherhood. Therefore, I am unskilled in this particular area of nurturing. It's one reason I can't risk having any more children, the next one might be normal.