As a parent, my life revolves around stages my kids are in. Rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, talking and, eventually, going to school, resenting your parents, driving a car, getting a job, and on and on. There’s always a next step to look forward to (or dread in some cases).

Right now, my toddler is in the “that didn’t really hurt, but you think it did, so I’m going to milk this for all it’s worth” phase. This phase begins when, after tripping and falling flat on his face or running into a table for the 8th time today because he was walking without looking in front of him, your toddler looks up at your reaction before deciding if he should cry or not.

As a first-time parent, your reaction is to immediately act concerned and run to their aide. By the second child, you’ve learned your lesson and know that kids are made out of rubber for the most part. If you don’t change to a “you’re fine, it’s no big deal” reaction, you’re in for some MAJOR drama.

Your kid will bring up the boo-boo every possible chance over the next few days and demand an Elmo band-aid even if there is no visible injury. And if he’s my kid, he will then refuse to put on the Elmo band-aid because he thinks it’s going to hurt. Or if you actually get the Elmo band-aid on, you’ll never be able to take it off, because, as you know, taking off a band-aid requires touching the area near the (invisible) boo-boo and that is NOT ok.

We are also in the “What is this?” stage. It doesn’t matter if you told him ten times yesterday that the object on the kitchen counter is a candle or that the movie his sister is watching on the DVD player in the car (you know, the one that we still haven’t taken out from our road trip two weeks ago) is Baby Noah, he WILL ask you again today, “What is this, Mommy?” And then he will act all enlightened when repeating that the object is, in fact, a candle!

So I shouldn’t have been too surprised when he pointed to a mark on my chin and asked me, “What is this, Mommy?” It was, of course, a pimple, because everyone in their mid-twenties with two kids has breakouts like a teenager (right?). I told him that Mommy had a boo-boo. He immediately went to the bathroom to get me an Elmo band-aid and didn’t let me forget I had a boo-boo for several days, no matter how much make-up I used to hide it.

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