Tuesday, February 7, 2012
A busted lip – Dad's fault
Put down the phone and don't call social services. It was an accident. I was trying to herd the two oldest boys out the door and didn't see tiny Colin walking behind me. He was making a trip from the laundry room, toilet plunger in hand, apparently trying to clean the kitchen floor.
I took a step back, bopped into him, and he did a face-plant on the hardwood floor. The tears were immediate, but I didn't think he was really hurt. I let him cry for a few seconds before I picked him up to console him. That's when I saw the mouth full of blood.
That's also when I handed him to Mom.
I didn't totally abandon him. I got a facecloth, put it on the bleeding lip, apologized and left to usher the other two out the door. As we were heading outside, I remembered something one of my good friends, a mother of four, once told me. After I had described the scene where I nearly hit my son when chopping down a 40-foot tree in the backyard (a totally true story, but put down the phone again, I have since learned how to properly fell a tree), she said: "It's always the Dads who hurt the kids."
She said her husband caused stitches, bruises, bleeding, tears and injuries routinely when "playing" with their kids, especially their three boys. I suppose it's true. I remember back to my own childhood. Who slammed my sister's head into the ceiling while tossing her in the air? Dad. Who slammed her finger in the car door when she was a toddler? Dad.
Who "wrestles" with my boys and occasionally applies too much inertia? Yours truly. And yes, who nearly crushed his middle son with a crashing tree trunk? Yup, that was me.
It's not that we're careless with the kids. Sometimes we're just moving too fast to take all precautions. Sorry about that, boys. And sorry about the lip, Colin.
But don't worry about Colin, he'll survive. And he'll be tougher for it. It's just part of growing up. Right?