I think a great gift for new parents would be stock options in Band-Aid. Let’s face it: if you have a young kid, Band-Aids are practically an accessory. They come in different sizes and skin tones – though I still have to wonder who has a Sponge-Bob-patterned epidermis.
In my early days of parenting, I was anti-Band-Aids. Tough kids don’t need ‘em, I reasoned. So I made a rule: no Band-Aids unless you’re bleeding.
I thought this was quite clever, and it worked well enough when my twins were two. Our consumption of Band-Aids was below average. The rule enabled us to rake in a savings of about fourteen cents a month, enough to buy 1½ mojos.
When my cretins were nearly four, however, the Scrimp-on-Band-Aids, Save-for-College theory went south. One warm spring day, we went to the front yard where Vivian and William played with sidewalk chalk, which is the perfect craft for an Anti-Craft Mom like me since it involves no clean up (unless your kid runs onto the road and gets schmucked). But I digress.
So there William and Vivian were, playing hopscotch on their crooked squares. I think I was flinging grape-sized gravel off our lawn. And then came the screams. I don’t even remember which kid it was, but there was a knee injury. I inspected it, lest the screams make the neighbours suspicious.
“Mommy,” my child sobbed. “I need a Band-Aid.”
The knee looked like classic rug burn: pink and inflamed but not bleeding. “No blood, no Band-Aid,” I said.
I went back to flinging gravel pieces.
I’m not sure how much time passed until I noticed my kids were abnormally quiet.
I looked up and saw them huddled together, inspecting something closely.
I walked over.
Both twins were using their fingernails, scratching Twin A’s sidewalk scrape.
“What are you doing?” I asked.
“Nothing,” they chimed, the mantra of the guilty.
“Are you picking the scrape?” I asked.
Four eyes looked up at me. One voice answered, “We’re trying to make it bleed.”
“So I can get a Band-Aid,” the other added.
Excellent. Another parenting strategy that failed. I am a mother who encourages masochistic behaviour. That’s up there with my plan to bring two kids to Build-a-Bear to buy one kid a stuffed animal.
Thankfully tomorrow is another day, which means there’s a small possibility that I’ll do things right and a large possibility that I’ll do something that fast tracks us to family therapy.