Today did not end well for the poor little SuperToddler and me. Why do they have to be so everlasting accident prone at this age?! Yes, I know; they're called "TODDLERS" for a reason. They toddle, and they fall. They get too excited, and run faster than their brains can process the orders to their feet, and they fall. It's a heart-rending and exhausting age for mothers, I'm beginning to learn. But why does it ALWAYS have to happen right in the middle of a wonderful, smile-inducing giggle from them? Why does it invariably happen just at the moment that they're at their happiest? Again, I know; they call it "RECKLESS abandon" for a reason, as well.
Tonight, Brigid was watching one of her favorite shows, a final, savored episode before it was time to start the bedtime routine, when she suddenly slipped, hit the bridge of her nose on the corner of the coffee table, and stood up already launched into that "I'm sobbing so hard, I'm holding my breath, and I may turn purple any minute!" cry that lets me know that actual injury has occurred. She had only a small gash line across her nose, and the amount of blood was surprisingly tiny. I mean, it didn't bleed--you know, actual blood flow--so much as it just welled up, like tears you never fully shed because the movie was kind of sad, but not truly heart-rending. In other words, she's going to be fine, although she may have a black eye tomorrow, which I profoundly dread. That doesn't change the fact that the slightest sight of HER blood does things to my mind and body chemistry that the appearance of my own blood could never hope to match. I find myself wanting to phone for ambulances, worrying about septicemia, asking my husband if she'll need stitches--all while trying to stay on my feet because I'm having a bad old-fashioned case of "woozy."
None of this overreaction is helped at all by the things I lived through with two terminally ill parents. When you're constantly worried about two diabetics, for whom every little illness could be fatal, you learn some very unhelpful patterns of thinking that resurface any time your husband or child get a tiny sniffle or a paper cut. I'm going to have to develop a thicker skin if I'm going to survive as a mom, and I realize that, but when your OWN mother was the voice of medical reason in the family--"She'll be fine, honey. Oh, they just trip and get bruises and dings so easy at this age! It happens to all of them; don't worry."--just died seven months ago, your skin hasn't had much of a chance to thicken back up yet. I miss my mom.