The Real Boo Boo Cure…

Recently I went to my local drug store to buy some health and wellness items.  Bandages, eye drops, headache medicine, burn ointment…you know, the stuff that seems to disappear all too soon in my house.  Me?  Accident prone?  No, I consider myself more of a survivalist.  As I wandered down the aisle I noticed all the kid friendly stuff.  Bandages with cartoon pictures.  Toothpaste in tubes with Disney princesses all over it.  That got me thinking about the tried and true methods of our parents and grandparents to heal our boo-boos and other hurts.  It also made me laugh at my fanciful methods.

My cabinet at home is full of items that will help unclog my intestinal tract and if that gets too expunged then there is the one that will help stop the migration south.  There are little pills for so-so headache days and there are the extra strength ones for those dismal air pressure headaches.  There is the liquid pink potion to help with stomach pains and the fruit flavoured tablets for heart burn and indigestion.  There are the tablets to be used in case one of us has an anaphylactic shock.  It hasn’t happened yet, but one never knows right?  Add to this menagerie the cold fighting liquids, the herbal remedies, and the muscle and joint ointments and you have a cabinet full of illness fighting goodies.  Thinking back to my childhood my parents did not have such a full cabinet.

My childhood home’s main bathroom was where the “medicine” was kept.  Here is an inventory of what was in that cabinet:

  • bandages (Elastoplast brand because my father said these were the only ones that adhered well enough).
  • the everything pill – Aspirin – both children (little pink pills) and adult (yucky, chalky white pills)
  • iodine – used on any scraped knees, elbows, or puncture wounds.  It was red and had a little eyedropper for application.  Once applied it burned and burned and then tinged your skin red.  If the wound refused to clot then (and ONLY then) you would be given a bandage.  (If you ever had an everlasting-Elastoplast bandage ripped off, you would never, ever want a bandage again).

That’s it.  Nothing else in the cabinet.  There were no special kiddie bandages.  Nothing with cartoon pictures at all.  How did our generation manage to survive without the special first aid items that are out there now?  I have put a new spin on first aid making me more of a Witch Doctor than your regular mommy-type doctor.

I do not buy the special first aid bandages.  Also, my bandages are not to be applied to invisible or internal wounds.  Yes, they make a child feel better because now they have a memento of their boo-boo.  Everyone can parent the way they like, but I find this to be futile.  You give them one bandage and suddenly they’ll be returning asking for more until you have more of a mummy than a toddler.  I prefer the dramatic approach.

EXAMPLE:  CHILD FALLS WHILE RUNNING:

METHOD 1:  The wailing begins.   He/she is in unbelievable pain.  No doubt about it.  The tears are streaming in big fat drops and rolling down his/her cheeks.  Usual first aid is the Mommy Kiss:  Mommy kisses the boo boo and all is well.  My method:  “Come here sweetie,” I coo.  “Is it this leg?” I ask, pointing to the left leg.  “Shall we cut it off?”  Little boys LOVE that one!  Totally in for it!  They rest their leg on my thigh and I pretend sawing back and forth with the side of my hand.  The giggles erupt and all is well.  And no bandages were used.  Little girls usually give me the glare of death and skulk away.  Again, no crying and the irrefutable pain is suddenly forgotten.

METHOD 2:  The crying begins.  He/she is suffering like no other human being ever has.  “Oh my,” I say with hands on the sides of my face, staring in astonishment, “I guess you won’t be able to take the dogs for a walk with your broken leg.”  “I can walk the dogs!” comes the determined exclamation as child gets the leash and heads for the dogs.  Being able to do fun stuff will cure what ails them.

METHOD 3:   The sobbing begins.  He/she will not survive this wound.  If I have tried the sawbone solution or the distraction method and neither have worked, then I pull out the big gun.  The tried and true sure fire way to heal them.  Magic.  I put my magic wand on the injury and with some flair and dramatics I “heal” their injury.  They look at me shocked, stunned, and very silent.  They are also miraculously cured.

Now, some may say that I shouldn’t lie to children.  I don’t think it’s lying.  I tell them I will cure what ails them and I do.  That isn’t a fabrication.  It’s true.  They were there and watched me and they felt better.  WIN WIN if you ask me.

What makes my magic even more special is that MY wand is a Harry Potter wand.  I bring the special box out of hiding and have the child watch me slowly open it and reveal its contents.  The wand sits there, magically of course.  Also, no child is allowed to touch it because it is MY magic wand.  Eventually, when they are older, they can get a wand that magically selects them.  This way, no one fights over who gets to play with my wand and my wand will be safe for future use when fatal child injuries occur.

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I am hoping that one day, when they are grown up, they will recall these fanciful things I used to do.  Maybe I’ll be the crazy Baba which is fine with me because it makes me unique and memorable.  Childhood goes by too quickly and I love letting them live in a world of magic and fantasy while they can.

Bandages or Harry Potter wand?  You now know the real boo boo cure.

The Next Generation..

Nope, not talking about Star Trek in case that is what you were thinking this is about.  I have been in the midst of assisting my niece with her wedding which will happen in a couple of weeks.  This weekend I shall be attending another family wedding (second cousin).  Next year will be an exciting time as well as we have two family weddings that will be full of nervousness and adventure as The Debater and The Artist shall have their much awaited nuptuals in the spring…April to be exact.  Then The Wiz and The Baker shall be enjoying their fall wedding in October.  Yesterday, on a long drive home from my niece’s place, I thought about all these beautiful youngsters (ahem…adults) and what the Next Generation is going to be like.

In the eyes of parents, it doesn’t matter how old your child is, that child is always about 5-7 years old in your eyes.  From birth, you watch them, you teach them, you correct them, you encourage them, you praise them, you give them grief and they give you grief back.  It’s the way of the world with parents and children.  Even once they have their own kids, you watch them and encourage them in their parenting and you are so proud as you observe the blossoming growth of your grandchildren.  You watch them nurturing their children, teaching and educating them and having that beaming pride look when their youngsters do something and achieve something on their own. 

This weekend we were watching The Princess and Little Kennie run around and laugh and giggle.  Kennie is going to be two years old in a couple of weeks.  We have noticed over the last little while that, besides imitating and mimicking what we say, she has learned how to vary intonation in her wording.  She came up to a little statue that we have and said, “Hi Princess.”  Where did she come up with that?  Yes, Little Kennie is growing up and getting an identity of her own.

As parents, we get annoyed with OUR parents when they treat us as if we don’t know things.  We will try to do something and suddenly we are doing it wrong.  We are adults with lives of our own and children of our own.  I am now beginning to understand this challenge. Your kids are always your kids no matter how old they are.  If they run into hardships you want to jump in and put a bandage on it by helping out in some way.  You want them to be healthy and happy and you would give your own life to make sure that they would never have to suffer. 

I realize now that sitting back and watching is something that, as a parent, is of one the hardest things to do.  Before I jump in with “the answer” I think about how I would feel if FIL or one of my parents came and pointed out if I was doing something wrong or instructing me on what would be better.  Would I appreciate the interruption and the advice or would I just wish that they let me do things on my own?  Yes, that is how I am learning to become a better parent. 

Being a parent of small, crying babies, older people would always say, “Oh, this is easy, wait until they are older.”  What?  At least then you would be able to sleep all night right?  Wrong…you hit the teenage years and oh my…you just wish that you could jump ahead 5 years and get over that hump in their lives.  Dealing with their right to independent lives while you struggle to keep order and sensibility in their lives.  AAAAGHHH!  You sleep even less then as they are going out with friends and coming home at two in the morning.  You actually get even less sleep than you did when they were newborns.  Really, if you survive that you can survive anything right?  Well, then they become adults…in years only.  They will always be your children.  Now you have to learn patience and have them learn adult things on their own.  Sure, you will be there when they need you, but sometimes the adult growth pains are even harder to watch than the bumps and scratches they got as kids.  There is no magic bandage or salve to fix some things and all you can do is sit back, watch, and hope that things you taught them will help them figure out the trivia of adult life.  If you are really lucky, you can actually sleep and not worry too much about it.

Yes, this may seem like a sad or depressing topic, but it is actually quite heartwarming in my mind.  I have learned much about being a parent of adults (oops…almost said adult children).  There is a wonderful sense of happiness and pride when you see how happy they are in their lives.  They live, they laugh, they love.  Sure, there are bumps in the road, but having those bumps makes them appreciate the repaved roads of life that are smooth and wonderfully happy.  The wonderful homes.  The great nights out full of fun.  The family get togethers where everyone laughs about silly things they used to do because, at this age, you can laugh about the silly childhood things that were done.  They are now adults, those were funny stories.

I am so happy and proud to be able to take a deep breath, sit back, and watch our wonderful future society unfold.  We wll have with such amazing new adults in it.  This is the next generation and it looks beautiful.