That’s me crying behind a locked bathroom door. It was the kids who had boo boos. But I was the one crying. How does that work?
Well, let me explain. First, my son fell down at daycare, scraped the H-E-double-hockey-sticks out of his knees, big toes and one elbow. Band-Aids were not happening according to him. He would have nothing to do with them. So, the boo boos were cleaned up by his babysitter and left to air dry (which worked quite well and now he’s over the whole thing. He wasn’t all that upset in the first place according to the babysitter).
Second, on the way home from school, my daughter brushed her knee against the hem of her skirt and a thread caught on an old (yet incredibly tiny) scab she had on her knee from about a week and a half ago. The slightest bit of blood oozed from the scab. She lost her mind with the “pain.” (Meltdown #1)
Please understand, I’m not trying to minimize how much that little scab tear hurt. But the next 35 minutes consisted of a drama that I have not witnessed since, well, since the last time my daughter melted down.
That was yesterday. And then there was this morning. One of my son’s toe injuries wouldn’t stop bleeding, so I convinced him that a Band-Aid was in order. (It was a Dora Band-Aid, which he thought was pretty cool, so it was OK that he had to wear it.)
But my daughter’s knee injury…another story all together. Getting her dressed was like subjecting her to some sort of medieval torture. The biggest part of that torture was the psychological aspect. She was convinced that her shorts were going to touch her knee, thus immobilizing her in utter fear and preventing me from helping her safely into her shorts.
Needless to say, due to the squirming and freaking out, I accidentally touched her knee on several occasions. This just added to her fear. (Why is it that our kids won’t just let us help them? The more they resist assistance, the more they risk the very thing that they fear.)
At the suggestion of a Band-Aid, I thought she would pass out. Apparently the pain of removing the Band-Aid later was more than she could bear.
After some cuddling and coddling, I convinced her that the Band-Aid would be the best route for her to take and it would protect her knee from other untold horrors throughout the day. As far as removing it went, we would cross that bridge another day. This seemed to calm her.
I retrieved the last remaining Band-Aid from the medicine cabinet and proceeded to apply it to her damaged knee.
Meltdown #2: No way was she going to let me or anyone else come within five feet of her knee. She insisted on doing it herself. I calmly explained to her that it was the last Band-Aid and if she didn’t get it on her knee properly, there were no other Band-Aids to replace it. She persisted. I left her alone.
Five minutes later, she came to me with a mangled Band-Aid and an uncovered knee. I calmly put the Band-Aid in the garbage and led her downstairs, crying all the while (her, not me).
We got our shoes on and headed out the door for daycare/school/work.
I forgot to check if I had turned off the stove, so I went back in for a quick look. Something inside me snapped.
I went to the bathroom, closed the door, and had a good cry. When that was done, I dried my eyes, went out to the car and carried on with our morning routine.
Why is it that things I expect to be hard are actually quite do-able? And the things that I expect to be relatively simple matters (like applying a cute Dora Band-Aid to my daughter’s knee) are infinitely hard?