Ouch: Surviving the Bumps and Bruises of Toddlerhood

injurySometimes I wonder how anybody makes it out of toddlerhood alive. Toddlers seem to go through some tough times when it comes to bumps and bruises. Vivi’s in the middle of that time now and sometimes I can’t help but cringe when she falls.

The other day while Vivi was playing around near the dinner table, she turned around to run off back to the living room where her bunny was waiting for her on her new indoor trampoline. She began moving towards the trampoline as soon as she began turning, so when she was fully turned she was pretty much in full speed ahead mode.  Unfortunately, there was a support beam that was between her face and the trampoline.

Vivi slammed nose first right into the beam and then she fell backwards onto her butt. For the next few seconds we experienced the silent rumbles as Vivi gathered all the breath and power she could before she let out an ear piercing scream. I quickly gathered Vivi up into my arms and rocked her until her world was back to normal.

Usually we try not to react when one of the kids falls down or bumps their head. We’ve found that if we react quickly to scoop them up or react by creating a cringing expression it scares the kids and makes the injury worse than it really is. We became masters with Addie at avoiding a reaction whenever she would fall. If other people were around to witness the fall they would react and then look at us like we were uncaring parents because we would calmly walk over to Addie and stand her back up.

We were caring parents it’s just that an excited reaction scared Addie. Most of Addie’s falls didn’t end up with her crying. So far that has worked with Vivi too, but when Vivi slammed into the beam nose first, I couldn’t help but cringe.

When I was 12 or 13 years old, I was goofing around with my sisters in my parents’ kitchen. I decided to run from the kitchen into the living room and so I began to turn around to head in that direction. I began moving towards the living room as I began that turn just as Vivi had the other day, and once I was fully turned I smashed nose first right into a wall. The result? A broken nose and some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. So when I saw Vivi smash into the beam the same way that I had done a few decades ago, I couldn’t help but cringe for the kid.

The difference between me two decades ago and Vivi’s experience, was that Vivi was up running around 5 minutes later as if nothing happened. It makes me wonder if toddlers have some sort of superpower that runs through their veins that allows them to heal within minutes and wipes their memory of the bad experience.

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