Once a few years are under your parenting belt you take silence as a gift. Usually it means your kids are peacefully occupied, and as long as you don’t see billowing smoke or hear explosives, you reach a point of Zen and dismiss any suspicions that they are actually tie-dying the dog or cutting their own bangs with hedge trimmers.
Sometimes that silence is cut short by a blood-curdling scream, though, and you earn a parenting gray hair…or fifty. Fifty shades of grey takes on new meaning.
The girls had a friend over last week and headed outside to play so I sat down to do some writing. Alone at last! It was the first time all day I’d had a few minutes to myself. No sooner had I sat down, though, when I heard a scream. Girls are adept at joyful sorority girl shrieking, but this was a bad scream, not a I just shared a moment with my BFF scream. I bolted up and ran toward the back door as it flung open. Miss A, my 7-year-old, came running in, bawling and holding out a trembling hand. My initial thoughts were she’d gotten burned on something outside since it was 100-plus degrees out or that she’d been stung by a wasp but then I saw blood on the tip of her finger and we all know that blood sends you into parent freakout mode, or at least it does me. Hubby is the calm, cool, and collected parent. I needed my bloody emergency wing man! I willed myself to not panic.
“Calm down, calm down!” I said, as much to myself as to her. “What happened?”
“I shut the door on MY FINGER,” she wailed hysterically. Somehow in the excitement of running in and out the back door, Miss A slammed the back door on her middle finger. The tip of her finger was bleeding, a tiny chunk of skin just holding on by a flap.
I applied pressure to it and rocked her while Miss C and her friend ran around the house for ice and gauze and Band Aids. The bleeding stopped quickly and we cuddled and watched some old school Looney Tunes until Miss A calmed down.
The next day Miss A had a birthday party to attend at a gymnastics center and I was skeptical about letting her go. She’s right-handed and the cut was on her middle finger on her right hand. And then I remembered one of her buddies had come to Miss A’s gymnastics party with a broken arm IN A CAST. Nothing would stop our party goer! Hubby bandaged her finger and by the time he’d finished with it it was bandaged so well she probably could have done a handstand on it.
Now Miss A is a great direction follower and a cautious girl so hubby and I just had a good talk with her (and I told the gymnastics center staff what had happened) about her being extra careful with her hand and to not do the rings or anything that involved putting pressure on that finger during the party.
After the gymnastics floor activities were over, the kids spilled into the party room for cake and ice cream and I asked a beaming and sweaty pony-tailed Miss A if she’d had fun and if she’d managed OK with her bandaged hand.
“Yes! Mom, I DOMINATED!”
My kiddo had her spunk back.
Life is good. Kids are resilient. Gray hair happens.