It hurts to be a parent (and no one cares)

Regular readers of this blog will recall that last week I wrote about Mrs L. and I’s new scooters. Unfortunately, the predictable has happened and I came a bit of a cropper.  If you’ll indulge me just for a few moments, let me set the scene.

Last weekend, the Scootin’ Tootin’ and Galavalutin’ scooter club, was having its first meeting at a local school playground (smooth flat surfaces are all that we need). At this early stage of our club’s formation we weren’t in any hurry to alienate other local groups, and when we saw that there was a group of young lads having a game of basket ball where we were intending to scoot, we kept a respectful distance.

As chairman of the new club, I decided that I would show some of the newer members some of the tricks it is possible to learn, after a month of intensive scooting. Sadly, in my eagerness to impress the new recruits, I failed to consider, that the only stunts I had so far learnt, ended with me lying in a very untidy pile on the floor. In fairness though, I must be commended for putting on a gymnastic performance seldom seen outside of the Olympics, definitely not on concrete and especially not by a portly middle aged man. The boys who were playing nearby, had seen the whole thing and their jaws dropped open in wonder, which quickly became excited giggling. Fraboo, who was out with us, rode up to me and said something to the effect of: “Stand up now Dad! Have you any idea how embarrassing this is for me?”

                When I was a young whippersnapper, I would have immediately jumped up, full of bravado, and eager to prove that I wasn’t to be defeated by gravity. On this occasion however, I lay on my back slowly making sure that all of my limbs were where they were supposed to be, and was somewhat disappointed that my lower leg was lying at an interesting, and previously unseen angle to my thigh. As I sat up, with a quiet pop, it seemed to sort itself out, but I realised, that for that day at least, I would be scooting no more.

                As I drove home, I reflected on how, in my house at least, we regularly put our bodies on the line, and receive very little in the way of sympathy, certainly from our children, and usually from our spouses (thanks Mrs L.). I’ll be the first to admit that I am naturally accident prone, that it is probably why I avoid climbing frames, anything with more than one sharp surfaces, and balancing on anything more than three inches off of the ground. Almost without exception, my maladies are self inflicted so it should come as no surprise that I have had more than a few trips to the hospital, when I’ve broken bones, or chopped parts of myself off. What is simply astonishing though is that the oh-so-cautious Mrs L. has suffered several serious injuries, at the hands of her own children.

                Here is a brief list of some of her most serious injuries.

  • Grit thrown into her eye by an over excited toddler.
  • A broken little toe after one of the kids practiced a pirouette on it.
  • A grazed eyeball after a felt tip pen was thrust directly into it. This did result in a very humorous eye patch, and about a week of pirate jokes directed toward her.

 

You will of course, have noted that I have steered well clear such mundane injuries as paper cuts, or kneeling directly onto a piece of Lego (which could easily be adopted as a means of torture by unusually sadistic dictators) let alone raised blood pressure gained from worrying about the little ones. And do we as parents get any sympathy from our kids? No certainly not. The very best we can hope for is the sort of bizarre celebrity you get when your child introduces you as their exhibit at show and tell! Suddenly every other kid in the school wishes you were their parent as theirs now seems boring without their arm in a sling, or their leg in a cast.

Whilst this can be quite flattering, it doesn’t take you long to realise, that your new fan club still expect you to play and to run after them, a proposition which is particularly tricky when are just getting to grips with a new set of crutches, or threaten to overbalance without the use of both upper limbs. They will quickly tire of your lack of co-ordination, and you will then be treated to a level of contempt usually reserved only for last year’s “must-have” toy which is slowly gathering dust in a forgotten corner.

When children hurt themselves though, it is as though the world is going to end, and they cannot be placated even for the most minor abrasions. And if there is any blood in evidence, you just have to write the next hour or two off. I don’t mean to sound like I’m uncaring but I really don’t understand why they make such a fuss. Fraboo is almost 6, Boy-Boy is 3 and Jo-Jo is 7 months. It’s not like they’re babies anymore.

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