You're reading this. So, somehow, you survived being a kid and the dangers that haunt early childhood.
It seems that even in this over-protected, helicopter parent type of world, kids still get hurt every day.
For instance, my son, Jude: He finally did it, he finally fell off the bed.
Somehow, no injuries or even scar to tell about it. I consider this a rite of passage in my house. Like growing your first armpit hair or shaving, or even losing your first tooth, you haven't passed my childhood test until you've fallen out of bed at least once. I can remember plunging off the top bunk into the abyss 4.5 feet below and coming out of it unscathed. I know my brother did this countless times.
But that's what I'm talking about. How does one survive early childhood. I'm not even talking about the minefield that is school, high school, love, and beyond (that's another blog for sure).
Surviving being a child (and in my current scene, a child with 2 other siblings to distract the parent) can be tough, but is it this toughness that defines us later in life?
I can vividly remember the first time I was scared for my son's (Owen) life. I was putting away dishes, and him, being a helpful little toddler, was removing items as fast as I put them in. Sometimes helping Daddy isn't helping at all.... but that is neither here nor there. It is cute at its core, but really frustrating when on a timeline to get tasks done. Anyway, here I am putting dishes away and turn around - and my son is wielding a knife the size of him. I mean, it was huge. (as a disclaimer it likely wasn't as big as I remember, but as fish and knives go in stories, it gets bigger with time).
So here I have this toddler, so innocent, attempting to duel me. It's awful how scared you get- , you can just yank it away, you or your kid might get cut, But you gotta get in close. You dig deep, go tactical, and get your best mission impossible on to get close enough to this somehow perfectly classically trained knife fighter (how kids learn knife skills is beyond me) and secure his knife hand enough to distract him with a rice krispy treat and encourage him to go the way of light.
For Cora, it was on a walk. We had a wagon and Cora loved to ride in the wagon. So, later in the night as we are on out evening walk, pause to grab the mail and Cora attempts her first swan dive. Head first. There is the unmistakable sound of when a child's head hits the pavement. It sounds like a cabbage that someone heel stomped on the ground, a wet, squishy, and sickeningly softish sound that can only mean trauma. Cora, leaning out of the wagon went head first in the pavement and then her legs scorpioned over her head and she landed on her back. As a physical therapist I knew immediately that this was it, she had a brain injury, a spinal cord injury and she was a goner. She had a goose egg forming on her head so fast it was a baseball by the time we got back to the house. And then it happened. She smiled and stopped crying. Just like that. Took a damn header into the concrete and just rallied like nothing happened. Seriously? I'm having a heart attack and you're laughing?! Turns out kids are stupid flexible ( they are made of cartilage of course) and no spinal cord or head injuries were sustained (I did all my concussion testing).
It shocks me how kids survive, but it impresses me too. It gives me confidence in all my erroneous parenting ways that my kids will be alright in the end. And that gives me hope. I just pray it is with all their arms and legs and toes and other digits.
How have you challenged your child's survival skills?