My two-year old has discovered Band-Aids. It was a crisis involving the reckless driving one of t
Flintstones cars that toddlers cruise around in, and resulted in a scraped up
The baby is kind of a drama queen anyway, but the whole scene was quite a production. She was balanced in my left arm, clinging to me like a little monkey and wailing at 27 decibels while I’m flinging through the medicine shelf looking for something to put her out of my misery. Under an ace bandage that would have worked on an elephant and a prescription for something called Trimox dated May 2001, I managed to find some antiseptic goop and several hundred left-over generic brand “coverlets” that the hospital sent home in bulk after ex-husband number two and three tried to cut off his thumb with a meat slicer. (But that’s a story for a different day).
After some soothing words and a little application of mommy lovin’ along with the rudimentary practice of my limited first aid that wouldn't have passed me out of first year girls camp, the hiccups came on as crocodile tears subsided and everything was as good as new.
Soon every traumatic situation required a trip to the medicine cupboard with a request for “a bannaid mommy.” Of course there were the regular skinned knees but honestly how often does a two-year old really ever get hurt badly enough to legitimately require taping her up? Over the next few days, however, I noticed a marked run on the Band-Aid supply. Come to find out, Sara and Trev (sister and brother, 13 and 10, respectively) had discovered a handy and quick way to shut the kid up. She was beginning to look like a blind knife juggler judging from the number of “coverlets” covering her tiny person.
Lest you pass us off as child abusers, rest assured there wasn't anything wrong with the little missy that really required a Band-Aid, but sometimes it’s easier to play along. It actually got so bad, that one day when I asked her to stop dragging the dog around by its ear, her feelings were apparently wounded to such a degree that she came sobbing to me…you guessed it, asking for a Band-Aid.
That’s when it dawned on me…wouldn't it be great if it was that easy to fix our real-life owies? Pass me over that giant-sized Band-Aid would you, I just lost the election. (By four stinking votes). Or how about an ace-bandage-for-the-heart when we've lost our one true love? How many times would I have had a use for a mean-ol’-sister fix-it kit when one of my four female siblings was feeling particularly prickly? Or maybe they needed one because of me.
Sometimes as adults we tend to make our own Band-Aids and self-medicate with whatever substance happens to be lying around closest to the pain. We all know someone who has applied therapy through the use of alcohol or drugs, food or shopping, fast cars or faster women. Wouldn't a strip of adhesive lined plastic with a soft cotton middle stuck to where it hurts work so much better? Imagine the decrease in instances of liver disease, time spent in rehab, bad poetry and even worse country/western songs if only we could patch things up with the help of a Sponge Bob Square pants Band-Aid and a kiss from mommy.
As they say, perception is everything and as big people we tend to get lost in the drama ourselves. When little Sloanie gets a boo-boo, she gets it fixed and is on to the next sand pile. There are dragons to slay and dollies to drag around; you’re holding me up, mom. As a child, who really has time to bleed all over the carpet when the next adventure is waiting? Alas, being a grown up is slightly more difficult. Often we indulge ourselves and just wallow in the pain, making it bigger than it is, letting it take over the field of vision. Then we drag our friends into it for validation and they get to roll around in it. Suddenly our boo-boo has taken on a life of its own and we become a slave to keeping it alive.
When Trev was little and he would wreck his bike, or hit his head, or peal four layers of skin off a knee, he would take a look at whatever wound had been inflicted and without fail say in a curious sort of way, “that was fun,” and take off on the next project. Sara always looked at me for direction when she hurt herself. If I panicked and got hysterical she would do the same, but a well timed “you’re o.k., honey, what a tough little girl” seemed to fix most disasters.
I say we take a lesson from our own little people and patch things up and get on with it. There are dragons to slay, bills to pay, people to love. You’ll be just fine honey, you’re a tough kid, now go play.