Today after gymnastics, Gia walked through the door and upon seeing me waiting for her, instantly burst into tears. I asked what was going on and she began clutching her leg and suddenly developed a limp. Through hiccupping tears she managed to get out “My(sob) Knee(hiccup) Got(breath) Scratched.”
I found this strange because I had just watched every second of her gymnastics class through the open air upper deck which not only allows you to see everything, but to hear everything as well. Because even though I am the type of parent who whines about needing time to myself, I am also the kind of parent who will sit on the edge of my seat with my eyes glued to my child for an entire well-supervised 45 minute class period. And I was certain I hadn’t seen a single stumble or fall that resulted in a scratched knee.
Anyway, despite all this, I looked at her knee and indeed saw four individual scratches. The skin was barely broken, certainly more mild than a skinned, bloody knee, of which she has endured multiple and never cried with the drama she was performing now. Her teacher wandered over with a concerned look on her face and if a bandaid would make it “all better”, at the same time conveying to me with her eyes that she had no idea why her knee was scraped up.
After I was able to coax her outside and into the car in tears, I attempted to piece together a story of how this mystery scratch occurred. What I was able to ascertain was a story involving another little girl “pretending to be a dragon” (?!) and scratching her with her nails. I asked G what she said to this little girl when she scratched her and she replied “Nothing. I was busy drinking the spit in my mouth.”
Things were relatively calm when we arrived home. That is until G remembered Gam Gam was at our house watching little brother and would definitely need to hear the story. I could already tell she felt her story deserved about a million percent more sympathy than she was getting out of me, and Gam Gams are basically made for shit like that.
She refused to walk up the stairs until I told Gam Gam the story (obviously to give Gam Gam time to compose herself after hearing of the tragedy that had befallen her precious granddaughter). As I finished the explanation, Gia rounded the corner with a look of sorrow on her face, and the limp in full effect. She requested a “cold piggie” (pig shaped ice pack) and a fresh bandaid. She wanted the ugly plain skin colored bandaid off of her skin ASAP and an Oh Joy! for Target bandaid in its place IMMEDIATELY.
I was left with two choices. Slowly peel the current bandaid off, or, you know. Rip it off.
Given that my child is prone to the dramatic (I’m sure you couldn’t tell this yet and I’m sure you have NO IDEA where she gets it from), I chose method Rip It Off, reasoning this would reduce the sum total of whining and crying I would have to endure, as it would be over in a split second, rather than prolonging it by gently pulling it back, millimeter by millimeter.
Retrospectively I am certain there was no “good choice” in these options, but still.
Bloody murder screaming ensued.
My poor little 7 month old took one look at his sister bursting into tears and in a split second his panicked eyes went from me to Gia to me to Gia and that little lip quivered and he was in full out wail mode. The kind of crying reserved for Major Physical Trauma.
Not one to be outdone, my daughter went from Wail/Cry Screams to straight up No Breaths Taken I Am Currently Being Murdered Screams. Also known as her secret power that makes mommy and daddy straight up lose their minds.
Somewhere in the midst of this *sound* I attempted to clean and bandage her “wound”, delirious with double Murder Screams coming from both children.
After the bandaging, it was time to get out of the leotard and into normal clothes. By this time, the limp had rapidly devolved into paralysis and my child was unable to walk. Also unable to wear pants.
The screams got so bad I tried several tactics including but not limited to:
- Stern talking to (“Gia. Time to calm down. We don’t need to scream.”)
- Gentle compassion (“Come here, honey. Let mommy give you a hug.”)
- Threatening vomit (“Do you want to throw up? Do you? You are going to make yourself throw up, you are crying so hard. Is that what you want? DO YOU WANT TO PUKE???”)
- Retreating to my own room (AKA, Giving Up)
But I still had to deposit my child into my mom’s car, to go spend a glorious afternoon at Gam Gam’s. By this point, not only was my child paralyzed, not wearing pants, and screaming bloody murder because of her 4 microscopic scrapes on her knee, the act of putting on a coat was physically impossible. “ONE ARM ONNNNNNLYYYYYYYYY!!” She screamed hysterically. “I CAN ONLY DO ONE ARM BECAUSE THE OTHER ONE IS BROOOKKKKEEEENNNNNNN WAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH”
My mother, who deserves a gold medal in the Patience Olympics devised all kinds of “fun” ways to convince her to put her coat on. None of which worked. I threatened the prospect of forcing my daughter to stay with me for the rest of the afternoon rather than going to Gam Gams, and WOULDN’T YOU KNOW IT, that broken arm magically repaired itself and put itself into the coat.
789637 minutes later* my mom picked up my paralyzed, pants-less, Oh Joy! for Target bandaged, dragon-scratched daughter up and carried her “like a baby”** to her car.
My daughter. Just call her Kerri Strug.
*perhaps a slight exaggeration
** at the request of a paralyzed 3-year-old