The best bonding moments are the ones you don’t want to have

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.

this bitch.

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.

Posted on November 2, 2012 by Holdin' Holden 8 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • I know those moments. My daughter seems to enjoy being a klutz. I’m okay with it, I’m one too. But when she was 5 she had a 15.2hh Appaloosa. The horse was very careful of her, she was a good rider, but accidents happen. She turned him into a tree branch and fell off. I HEARD the bone break. She barely missed requiring surgery. It took us five hours to catch that horse and calm him enough to stall him. I held her for hours on end, as she whimpered and cried.

    What does she remember? Going back to the corrals and reassuring her horse. I’m okay with that.

  • Oh my goodness. This made me cry. Why?! Because I know exactly what you mean. I have had those moments with all of my kids. They do get farther and fewer between so cherish them when you get them…even if they are caused by evil dump trucks. My thirteen year old would look at me crazy if I wanted to snuggle. Luckily the two year old doesn’t mind…yet.

    Love your blog, asked for your book for Christmas, and just and FYI…You have a beautiful family!

  • I miss those times with my children – and my grandson REFUSES to be coddled or to snuggle when he gets hurt. He wants to be left ALONE – ever since about 1.5 years old.
    My son is 15, & has not yet become accustomed to his recent growth spurt (to 5′ 11″), so he has his “klutzy moments”. We still curl up on the sofa together & read books to one another. When he reads to me, I am usually so comforted just by being WITH him, I can’t help but drift off into dreamland! <3

  • That’s so true Jenny. Love the story, I have the same crap happen. That other bonding moment in my house is snuggling a kid after they’ve had a bad dream, and when they finally fall asleep again I feel like thank God about time.

  • I have spawned satan’s son BUT the other night he climbed in my bed and he fell asleep holding my hand and I layed here needing to pee for an hour before letting his hand go. It’s definitely the little things.
    Thanks for posting your story

  • Aww…poor Lil Guy! I can relate, my eight year old used to be incredibly dangerous and had no fear if anything. Now my three year old is the same way and the only time I can have”lovey dovey time” with him is when he is hurting. It sucks he is in pain but I treasure the moments he gives me lovin’. like you said, it sounds bad but makes perfect sense. At least to me it does 🙂

  • Eh, he won’t remember the specific incident, but he will remember that the safest, most comforting place in the whole world is wherever mom is…that will never leave him.

  • On my son’s second birthday, about 15 minutes before family friends showed at the door, he was jumping on the sofa backwards. Something he’d been told multiple times not to do. Including about 5 minutes before the accident. He dropped to his butt, rolled back and smashed the back of his head on the coffee table. He’s screaming, bleeding and the husband starts yelling “i told you so!” At him. Thankfully no ER trip, but I spent the rest of the night watching for concussion. I agree though, not that we want anything bad to happen to our kids, the resulting cuddles aren’t bad.