I am not the type of mommy who fawns over her child when they fall on the carpet and then coddles and carries on until their child is subdued with kisses and lollipops for a little ole rug burn.
I am of the wait and see school. If my kid falls I wait until they cry to react. It takes a great deal of effort not to react, and often, not to panic-- especially when you see blood. Sometimes I even wait until they cry and then I ask them nonchalantly, "are you okay?" Generally they say yes and get up and go on playing. I have found that if you panic they panic and get scared. What good is that for anyone? Or worse, they quickly learn that getting hurt is one way to get mommy's attention and are overly dramatic about every little bump and scrape.
It isn't that I am not concerned for my children but I don't want them learning to cry wolf. If they are genuinely hurt I want to know that but if it is that they just want attention then fine, I can and do give that to them. This is life. If you fall down and you're fine then get up and brush yourself off and get on with it. I just don't see it doing anyone any good to carry on over every little spill a child takes.
Certainly there have been times, like the time Carmella fell backwards off the bathroom counter and smacked her head, that I threw up my heart and caught it in my hands. But I have managed, every time, to remain calm while I perform my head and are-your-bones-broken injury assessment tests on them. These tests are not all that different, I imagine, than the field sobriety tests are: Carmella can you touch your nose? Can you move your head this way? Now that way. Beau walk for mommy please. Open and shut your hand. Wiggle your fingers. Let me look at your eyes. Can you follow mommy's finger without moving your head?
Even the time Carmella slammed Beau's fingers in the door and they came out flat and accordion like I remained calm while I called the pediatrician. Yes, he can wiggle them but they are completely flat, I told them while taking deep breaths and keeping my back turned to Carmella and Beau. I was beyond freaked out at the sight of them but I couldn't let Beau know that who had barely even cried. Luckily, his fingers puffed back out and were not even bruised. The kid is a marshmallow.
I just cannot freak out every time they fall. If I did I would have been hospitalized for a break down before Beau was even 8 months old. For awhile there he always had goose eggs on either side of his forehead. I had actually began to suspect he was growing horns instead of knots.
Yesterday when I was dropping Carmella off at her class Beau was lagging behind. He apparently ran into one of the large white columns in the church and fell. I heard his dinosaur flashlight clatter to the ground so I stopped and turned around. He was laying splayed out on the church floor but not crying. I started to ask if he was okay, did he need help. But before I could a woman who saw him fall scooped him up. I asked if his pride was hurt. He started to explain that the column knocked him down when the woman interrupted him and snapped at me "It looks like it hurt, a lot" and gave me this look that said you are an uncaring bitch of a mother.
Obviously, to her, I was not giving the situation the attention she thought it deserved. And obvious to me, she is one of those moms that hugs and kisses her child when they fall on pillows. In response to this blatant judging on my mothering skills I scooped Beau up and started the requisite fawning over and asking him if he wanted me to kiss his boo boo and if he was going to be okay and I hugged him and kissed him and talked to him in that annoying baby talk voice. I was even annoying myself but not as much as I was Beau who all the while struggled desperately to get down because he, of course, was fine and wanted to walk.
I relayed this situation to Tara and I explained that I just can't be the kind of Mom that woman expected me to be. I think those people are ridiculous. I guess I am just an uncaring mother I whined to her, fishing.
Of course you are not, Tara said. You are a sarcastic mom.