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.
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.