Sunday, December 10, 2006

Stunt-Man Toddlers Who Look Like They’ve Battled Jackie Chan And Chuck Norris At Gymboree


This weekend, I was feeling like a pretty bad parent. A few days ago my daughter was jumping up and down, laughing and yelling in some weird language, in her crib and in the process hit her bottom lip.
It’s a little weird walking in a store, just me and the kid, and then some strange old middle-aged woman gives you a comment like “Oh my God! What happened to her!” and then looks at you -the Dad, of course, with those ‘suspicious’ eyes (you know the ones that say “I Know What YOU Did Last Summer”). Well, to tell you the truth, I felt as if my shirt transformed into a pork-grind stained wife-beater, a beer can AND a 3-day beard magically appeared on my face (like in those old Bug Bunny cartoons) that instant.
I’m not one to make excuses, normally I would have cracked something amusing like “Aliens”, “Fight with Webster”, or whatever, but in this case I told the truth hoping she would go away (the little dog in her cart wearing underwear told me that she was a serious woman.) Even though, she still gave me weird looks as she walked away behind some aisle.

Things only got worse when yesterday she started running in the garage and tripped on a doormat. When we picked her up, there was blood. Man, there’s seriously nothing worse in the world than to see your own kids’ blood (heck, I don’t even like to see my own blood!) She was fine after a few minutes, but the lip grew like a mo-fo.

Now she looks like Angelina Jolie with her two big lips. Maybe she can start a modeling career (or maybe not, she might weight too much at 23 pounds.)

I know that at 17-months (as of today!) kids are prone to all kinds of falls, slips, tumbles, etc. but in today’s world where parents get locked up for anything that resembles anything 'suspicious' - I don’t know, that’s the part that freaks me out the most.

So as of today, I’m wrapping my daughter in bubble wrap (the kind that I like to pop out of boredom to annoy the wife) until her coordination gets a little better- I don’t know maybe by kindergarten. The nice thing about this solution is not only the ultra-safety factor (people ship Picasso’s in bubble-wrap) but if she were to fall – the sounds of “pops” will warn the wife and I of any impeding danger.

O.K. so am I being paranoid here, or should I start making getaway plans to Mexico? I can’t be the first parent ever to go through this…

22 comments:

dennis said...

Man, don't sweat the public image. Just carry one of the Col's buckets and tell everbody that the little on got the lip in a tussle for 'This! The last bucket at the restaurant!'

Then she gains both sympathy and street cred!

While you are despised, not as a child-beater but one of those parents that are tooo involved in their kids sporting activities!

see? Plus Plus!

Darren a/k/a Clare's Dad said...

I can understand the artistic appeal of wrapping her in plastic like a Christo exhibit. But hasn't anyone told you that wrapping a child in plastic (unless the child is John Travolta) can cause suffocation! What kind of father are you?! Bad! Bad!

But, no, the danger doesn't end around kindgergarten age. It gets worse. Maybe with a few air holes the bubble wrap isn't such a bad idea.

Stomper Girl said...

Your poor little girl with her fat lips! Still, that's got to be a cheaper way of emulating Angelina than collagen injections.

MamaLee said...

The poor thing. (yes, you.) LOL

I remember right after Sweetpea was born, (let's see, Pumpkin was almost 3) I was carrying her up the stairs, climbing up behind Pumpkin, when he did a backwards tumble down maybe 5 stairs and I caught him/stopped him with my body. He hit his face on the way down, and he ended up having a REAL good black eye. (Poor guy was screaming bloody murder, too) I got looks for a good week.

Things like this are going to happen, "they" say. I just hope they make enough alcohol (or chocolate) for us parents to get through all of that worry!

Hope your daughter feels better soon. xoxo

metroDad said...

I like to refer to them as battle scars. My kid is covered in them. On the other hand, show me a kid who never gets banged up...and I'll show you a kid whose parents are too overprotective. Part of youth, my friend. Don't sweat it.

Lisa said...

I remember when my son was that age. We went to the doctor (military hospital) about a skin rash. Damn intern says she's going to go look something up and walks in with the head of Pediatrics. He looks at the rash, diagnoses and prescribes, then looks at my son's legs (covered in bruises). He turns to intern and say, "See these! These are NORMAL bruises on a 2 year old." I almost yelled "Well WTH do you think they are?" but thought better of it considering where we were.

So, no, you're not the only parent having to go through this. Not by a long shot.

T. said...

Nope, you're not the first, nor the last! When my son was a year old he had the first of many feet operations. He sported these giant casts on both legs, right up to his bum. (Made diapers and poo a freaking nightmare!)

I got so many stares and freaky looks that I was only left with one option. I embraced them.

I started telling people that in my liquor induced daze, I tripped and stepped on the kid's legs on my way to the medicine cabinet to get my oxycontin, subsequently snapping his small bones like twigs. But the welfare people thought I cleaned up good and gave him back to me.

And then I'd smile sweetly and walk away.

Try it. It's lots of fun.

Waya said...

Mouth guard, helmet and a body suit! We've all been there and it won't be the last my friend.

Rob Barron said...

At 27mos (that's 2 years and 3 months to you and me!) my nephew, Gunslinger, is a walking bruise, scrape, and cut.

Saturday, he got up from his nap, walked out of his bedroom, tripped directly in from of the stairs and slid down them on his chest/stomach. He was okay, but has a huge raspberry on his chest.

Mother Bumper said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if I could wrap Bumper in bubble wrap and put her in a habitrail, I'd be a better parent. The first time I took Bumper to meet my coworkers she took a spill five minutes before we left home, by the time we got to the get-together she had a full on cartoon bump and bruise on her forehead - GAH!

InterstellarLass said...

I would have replied 'Eh, she was lippin' off again. Gotta train 'em up young.' Like it's any of her business. Nosy yippy-panty-wearing-dog-lover-lady.

Zed never was too bad. Elle is a walking boo-boo. Has been since she was born, and she's 8 now. My favorite time was when she had the busted lip, two black eyes, and a bruised, swollen cheek. No, she wasn't a stand-in for Rocky.

Bubble wrap won't work...my best advice is keep a good supply of antiseptic, band-aids, antibiotic cream, and invest in a re-usable ice pack.

radioactive girl said...

My kid's pediatrician said that when he sees kids that are all bruised up (my kids) he knows that they are healthy active normal kids. That is good to know because it seems like my kids are still always all bruised and my oldest is almost 9!

Mrs. Chicky said...

My sister in law is a doctor and gets to see all sorts of bumps, bruises and broken limbs. She said (after our then infant daughter fell off our very high bed) that the true self-inflicted injuries, like the fat lips and eggs on the head, are easy to spot as what they are. Which is to say injuries that result in kids being kids. So when a parent comes into the emergency room with a toddler in a coma and they say "He just fell off the bed" they know what's really up.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Our daughter has gotten a bloody nose (just walking at 13 months), hurled herself from her crib (19 months), and hit her face on her electronic birdbath (12 months). Those are just the ones I remember.

She was with her father, alone, at the time of each of these incidents! :)

Em said...

Been there! One of our kids hit his mouth on the edge of the kitchen counter and broke a tooth. And my daughter fell and had to get stitches on her face. Both times I just knew some social worker would show up soon to determine my suitability as a parent.

h&b said...

Mmm - Angelina lips .. she'll be the most admired kid at Playgroup.. by the mothers ..

Anyway.

My son opened a glass window with his head ( nice Frankenscar there, kid ), but it was the 2 black eyes at this age that made me feel like moving into the trailer park with Britney, sans seatbelts, and throwing KFC wrappers out the open windows.

All things must pass
( although the popping of bubblewrap as a warning is a gooooood idea. Nice one !)

junebee said...

I'm just about afraid to walk out of the house when those suspicious-looking injuries occur. Here in FL anyone, yea, anyone can call the child abuse hotline anonymously and it will be investigated. And if the charge is unfounded, oh, there's no ramifications whatsoever for the caller.

J in Ric said...

man... when our son was five months old, he took a tumble in his stroller down three steps onto a concrete sidewalk. walking into the hospital looking like we had just beat the crap outta him was not a fun experience. thank god for some understanding nurses..

creative-type dad said...

junebee - yeah, that's a pretty frightening scenario.

h&b - you say "kfc" like it's a bad thing...?

Mrs. Chicken - he's probably training her to be a wrestler.

T. - that was my first approach. I'm sticking to it. I'll let you know how prison is, O.K.

ShellyD said...

Love the photo here and the retro title logo. My sister's a stay-at-home mom and she's had the same problem. She was afraid to let her daughter go to gymnastics, after the girl broke out in weird spots/bruises.

It was actually a rare virus, but that's probably what they all say...

Jenifer said...

As you can see you are definitely not alone....

My most traumatic incident? When my daughter stepped on my Mom's dog when she was 16 months old and he turned around and gave a "you're hurting me" nip to her ear. Well, the ear being as little and delicate as it was didn't fare so well. 23 stitches later..... you should have seen the looks I got in the ED...I felt like "Bad Mom of the Year" and I was at work when it happened!

Needless to say the dog is crated when she's around now!

And it doesn't get any better...just the other day she was playing in the living room and I heard "bump......WAAAHHHHHH!!!!" and yup when I picked her up......bloody teeth. 10 minutes later, gigantic puffy upper lip. It wasn't the first time it happened and I'm sure it won't be the last either!

Octopus Grigori said...

I'm going to keep my kids in stasis, growing quietly and silently while listening to books on tape until they're 21, when I'll dethaw them and let them get a job.