Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Battle Scars

God certainly knew what He was doing when He designed babies to be fast healers. Every since he was tiny, Ryan has been scratching his face or knocking his head against something or banging his wee feet into the changing table or even accidentally biting his tongue with his brand-new teeth. And now that he’s both mobile and extremely curious, there seems to be no end to the scrapes he gets himself into. Just a few days ago he managed to hurl himself off the changing table. He often tries to pull himself up on things that aren’t attached and bonks himself on the head. He trips over his own feet when half his body gets ahead of himself as he marches along. He’s launched himself off the side of the couch once or twice. He forgets that he can’t stand up for more than a second without holding onto something and careens into walls or tables. He pinches his fingers in drawers and cabinet doors. He’s come very close to falling down the steps, or through the screen door, or out the open sliders. He gets himself wedged under a table and coshes his head when he tries to get up. He stands up on his tiptoes to look over things but then loses his balance and so far has just barely missed clocking himself in the chin or the mouth. (It’s inevitable he clocks himself eventually – it’s in his genes. I have a scar under my eyebrow from walking into a table as a baby, and my mom’s dining room table has a lovely semicircular imprint of my top teeth from an ill-advised attempt I once made to peep over it.)


Some of his battle scars aren’t completely his own fault, I must admit. When we were at the airport last weekend, waiting to board our flight home, I let him crawl on the carpeted area near the gate. He would crawl a few feet away then I would “chase” him, grab him by the feet, and haul him back to me while he giggled uproariously. Unfortunately, one of those times his T-shirt rode up and I gave him a horrible rug burn right on his tummy. Luckily, even just a few days later it’s nearly healed. As is the bump on his head from the other day when we were roughhousing on the couch and he managed to overshoot my arm and went right over the end of the couch onto his head. Being somewhat neurotic, I’m probably more careful with him than some mothers might be, but he still manages to bonk himself silly every now and then. It’s just part of growing up.

But above and beyond his battle scars, I’ve been getting my share as well. My latest is a small goose egg over my left eyebrow from catching a lamp that Ryan knocked over - with my face. I continually have bruises along the sides of my legs from blocking drawers and cabinets from being opened by little hands. I’ve had a few fat lips and near-nosebleeds from an overexcited head bob. There are often a few sore spots on my scalp from strong little fingers clutching my hair. And I’m not even counting the endless sore muscles from hauling around my wiggly, 32-pound sack o’ potatoes.

But they’re battle scars that I’m proud of. I’ve earned them keeping my little monkey safe, playing with him, teaching him new things. So I don’t even mind that I don’t heal as fast as he does. I’m happy to wear my battle scars as a badge of motherhood!

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