Ye Ole Noggin

Today I’ve been thinking about my kid’s head.   It’s a nice head – full of unmanageable blonde hair and a little big compared to the rest of his body, but overall it’s a keeper.  It also takes a beating.  I don’t know if it’s a boy thing or if all kids bang up their heads on a regular basis, but Junior’s a pro.

I remember his very first substantial knot; he was maybe a year and a half old.  I was helping him step out of his pants and into his jammies when he got tripped up and smacked the back of his sweet head on the knob of his dresser drawer.  A walnut sized lump popped out immediately; he wailed and I was traumatized.  I was right there but somehow I couldn’t grab him before he hit the deck.  I rushed downstairs looking for frozen peas, crying because I was such an awful, irresponsible mother.  He recovered quickly and I beat myself up for hours.

And they kept coming.  There’s that time we were heading out to catch a ride on the Christmas trolley…  He was walking along when he hit an uneven section of sidewalk; since his hands were in his pockets the only way he could break his fall was with his face, right into a brick wall.  Oh.  My.  God.  The howling, the purple goose egg on his forehead, the bloodied lip, the trolley passengers staring…  Fortunately a Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer sighting was a well-timed distraction.  What a weekend.  Needless to say our Christmas pictures were not as attractive that year.

Whether it’s a forehead to the wall, a tumble off his bike, or most recently a golf club to the face, it’s clear that young kids’ heads are made of concrete.  Somehow his mishaps have only result in bumps and bruises, no open wounds or stitches (how’s that for jinxing myself?).  And even though I’ve become somewhat immune to it now, there’s always that initial “oh shit” gasp before I slow down and gain my composure.  You know the feeling — the internal struggle of “do I apply frozen vegetables or take him to urgent care?”

Peas, cuddles, and a juice box usually do the trick for him, but I always spend a few minutes berating myself for being a sucky parent.  Why can’t I protect my sweet boy from walls and sidewalks and sports equipment?  What’s wrong with me?  Fortunately it’s not too long before I see a post on Facebook about another kid’s stitches or a busted tooth or a broken arm and I realize that we’re all experiencing the same adventures.  I guess a hard-headed kid isn’t such a bad thing after all…

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