The title of this blog seems weird, I know. It also seems like, from afar, that it might not be true. Why wouldn’t you want to have bonding moments (and of course I was referring to kids)? Why would the best ones be the ones you want to avoid? Allow me to explain what in the holy hell I’m talking about.
We moved into this house a little over a year ago. It was incredibly bittersweet- losing a long battle to keep the house we had intended to buy, but turned out to be a gigantic scam (you may remember the story of moving into that house from my book). It was hard to really see the positive in the situation- but the new house had its perks. It was right next to the elementary school, and unlike the cursed house- had a large fenced in back yard.
Cursed house had a fenced in back yard, but it was literally about 5 feet wide. Try letting kids play in that. Our front yard, however, was gigantic. Obnoxiously gigantic- so we always ended up playing out front… on a relatively busy road. What did this mean for me? It meant that I had to hover constantly, and forever be clenching my buttcheeks and screaming to stay the hell away from the road. It was not fun for anyone.
With a good sized back yard being fenced and away from the road- the kids could play as they pleased (within reason, of course). They could go nuts and not have to worry as much about me screaming at them- and go nuts they did.
There is this large sized yellow metal dump truck that was given to us by a former coworker of Thomas’ a few years back. It seems like it cost a hell of a lot of money, so when it was pulled from Thomas’ trunk, I was shocked it had just been given to us (as well as a BUTTLOAD of horrid Little People crap). Apparently I wasn’t the only one who saw the value in this, because from that moment on it became a toy that the kids fought tooth and nail over every single time we went outside. I can’t count the number of times I’ve taken that thing and tossed it in the garage just because I couldn’t stand the bickering over it anymore. Alas, it would always come back outside- and they would always end up screaming and fighting over it, which would sometimes lead to one chasing the other who was pushing it through the yard at lightning speed- and sometimes THAT would end with someone falling and getting hurt.
I am not the “over-coddling” kind of Mom. It’s not that I believe in tough love in all cases, but if you fall and boop your butt in a patch of grass while doing something I specifically told you NOT to do (five thousand times over)- I am not going to feel bad for you. That is what this stupid yellow dump truck usually caused… but every now and then, the chasing and screaming would end with Parker tripping on the patio and slamming his face into the concrete.
By sometimes, I mean a LOT of times. After the third time in a month I started to honestly believe that Parker’s face was magnetically attracted to concrete. One would think after time he would learn to brace himself with his hands… for some reason that instinct does not come naturally to him.
In my life there are not many sounds that I have heard that are worse than the sound of a child smacking their face on pavement. It’s horrible, it’s awful, it turns your insides.
As much as I HATE it when things like this happen- when one of my kids gets hurt to the point where even I want to cry- I noticed that afterward, once the mess was cleaned up and the tears kissed away- It was the moment following that was the defining one and not the impact or the pain.
This was the case, yet again a few days ago. Yet again we were outside. Yet again Parker was pushing that stupid yellow dump truck (that had made a rare prison break from the garage where I’d stashed it) and yet again it got away from him and he went down face first right into the pavement. Yet again making that horrible smacking sound.
To say that it was nasty would be an understatement. I ran him to the bathroom as he screamed and spent the next 30 minutes trying to soothe him and stop the bleeding. He was more shaken by this fall than any of the previous falls.
I calmed him down by telling him we could just relax and sit on the couch and watch a movie of his choice (after changing ALL of his clothes, mind you). From his spot on the couch I could hear him randomly whimpering about the pain, which is odd for him. usually he smacks that face and after he’s cleaned up goes right back to normal- so I decided to sit by him to reassure him that he would be fine each time he whimpered.
He put his hand in mine, laid his head on my shoulder- and we stayed like that for an hour as I rubbed his hand.
It isn’t that he isn’t usually a cuddly snuggly kid- but there’s just something different about comforting someone when they’re hurting, especially a child. These moments are ones of pure love, appreciation, and sweetness, that we Moms and Dads don’t come by nearly often enough. Our days get so hectic and stressful and whine-filled and it’s so easy to get caught up in all of that- that sometimes it takes something SO terrible to sit us down and have us appreciate each other.
It isn’t that I EVER want these things to happen. Ever. They are horrible and awful and frightening- but sometimes, like in this case, wonderful.
I’m sure that Parker will never remember the days when he was 3 and younger and he smacked his face into the pavement and his Mommy sat by his side for an hour rubbing his hand to make him feel better- but I will. Not because he was hurt and I want to remember that- but because I know as he grows the chances for us to just sit and snuggle will become fewer and farther between.
Like I said- the best bonding moments? Yeah I’d rather avoid having my kid’s face magnetized to concrete… but if it’s going to happen I’m going to make the best of it.
And also- that mother badword yellow metal dump truck is getting burned at the stake.
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