There’s a lot of jokes out there about getting bumped in the head, and I think they all must have been written by folks who really have had ‘their bell rung.’ Two days after I opened the car door into my head with enough force to warrant three stitches, I still feel a little like those cartoon characters that sit there with Tweety Birds flying in circles over their head after they’ve missed a doorway and smacked the wall again.
You that know me aren’t shocked at all. I’ve had run in’s with bikes, jog-strollers, Jeeps, cracks in the sidewalk, borrowed rugby cleats, even my own shoe laces… amazing, really, that I’ve made it this far into adult-hood without ever requiring stitches. Being a parent adds a whole new element to injury. There’s no loyal friend around to carry your tray for you at lunch and dinner every day (thank you, still, Renee…), and even if there was life’s way to complicated as a mother of two toddler girls for anyone to just swoop in and take over so that the injury can heal. Mom is Mom. That’s why women grow to respect their mothers so much when they have kids of their own. I call it the “OMG how did you do this?” awakening.
So, after I gashed my head so hard that it rattled my left front tooth, I headed in to grab the only thing I could think of to minimize the damage. I swiped a bad of frozen peas out of the freezer and slapped them onto my head. “Here’s your i pad, Grandma…I just hit my head really hard on the door of your new Cadillac,” I stated, to the family I so gratefully had over the house that afternoon. You know God’s got your back when you suffer the worst head injury of your life twenty minutes after your parents and Grandma arrive. Pretty much best case scenario, there.
One, because my two little girls had no knowledge of it happening. Two, because I didn’t have to access the damage myself. Needle-phobic to the max, I go into flip mode when I think their presence might be required. Pulling the peas away for my Dad to look, he told me to put them right back on and called my mom. Uh, oh. Starting to flip. Mom inspects the carnage…”oh, get a towel it’s bleeding…”
I was back with three stitches before my girls even knew I was hurt. Good thing, too. My oldest is all heart, and so sensitive to stuff like that. One look and her eyes welled up with tears. The little one, taking a minute to take in ‘side-show-mom,’ finally puts her hand on my arm and says,
“Ohhhhhhhhhhh, NOOoooooooooo….you need a band-aide, Mommy.”
“Now, Brianne, you have to be extra good while Mommy’s head get’s better. Help her out, ok?” Grandpa instructs. And she did, right? And pulled her younger sister into help-mommy-mode, too, right? Bah. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha-ha-ha.
That’s not how toddlers work. They don’t see past the band-aide. It fixes everything. Put a band-aide on it and get rolling, Mom. And that’s the reality of it. Parenthood isn’t for everyone. Some days, it’s not even for the ones who are whole-hardheartedly up to the challenge. It’s like the lesson of God’s love smacking me in the face. The times when I’m sick or hurt, and all I want is for my family to rally around me and cooperate for a few hours. Those are the times the house explodes in chaos.
Thankful to have my family there to handle dinner on this particular occasion, all I had to do was console my older daughter to sleep as she cried in worry of my hurt head, and walk my youngest back up to bed three separate times.
Drifting over into the next morning…as challenging days often turn into a challenging string of days…or a week…or a month…as all parents know. This particular morning was no different. Frustrated to point that I was 5 minutes late to every Monday morning commitment today. Bent over putting kids shoes on who have done the action themselves countless times, but pick the day when my head throbs every time I bend over to be stubborn about it.
Needless to say, my before 9am this morning, my four year old was grounded from TV for the week and went to school without socks on. My two year old ‘tee-tee’ed’ all over the bathroom floor right next to the toilet holding a clean diaper in her hand. And I left for the morning without my coffee. That NEVER happens. EVER.
Ah, bumps. I can’t expect to get through life without them. But, why is it, that no matter how much perspective I reason myself with, they still hurt. No matter how far into adult-hood I get, or how comfortable life that surrounds me becomes, they are still hard to recover from.
My silver lining from this nasty craziness on my head is that I’ll be able to relate to my kids if they need them some day. Know how they feel. And, most importantly, by pointing to my stitched up forehead, can give them a good visual on what is inevitably going to happen if they insist on running full speed on the unfinished concrete floor in the basement. Ha ha…looks of terror.