I took infinite care with our Small, never allowing him to come into contact with sharp objects or hard surfaces. I was largely successful, until he started crawling. Even then, with due diligence, I managed to prevent all injuries. But, after all my care and attention, Small eventually made it onto his feet and the real trouble began. You see, despite all my diligence and love and attention, Small had no regard for his own safety whatsoever. In fact, the opposite seemed to be the case. Small appeared to come with a built in homing mechanism that sought out the most lethal things in his immediate environment. No matter how many ‘safe’ toys and distractions were placed about Small, he will unerringly headed towards the one thing that would do him harm.
Similarly, Small seemed to have something akin to a magnet in his head. This was a device with special properties that not only attracted metal but any hard surface, in particular patios and the corners of tables.
No matter how many times I had cut myself, my first sight of Small’s blood was quite devastating. it was only then that I came to the realisation that this red stuff should have been on the inside and didn’t have any place being outside. It was an abomination that it should be leaking out of my perfect child. I felt terrible that I hadn’t managed to keep Small fully intact and that his injury was all my fault.
From some way down the tracks I can now say that those feelings were somewhat akin to having a new pair of jeans. The first time they get a stain it is a disaster of biblical proportions but with each new stain and blemish the hurt becomes less and less until they are just an old pair of jeans. It is much the same with Smalls.
Small had received his first cut simply because he had reached that age, i.e. the actively mobile, independent stage. From there on, cuts and bumps became pretty frequent and there was little I could do to prevent them. The good news was that wounds healed amazingly quickly on Small. I soon moved from guilt over the blemishes to saying, “Well of course he has a bruise on his forehead – he is a child!”
Not so much a parenting guide full of advice, more the reality of parenting kids and being a house husband and father, written by a stay at home dad to three children.
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