My daughter's friend told me this. Maybe other parents would panic, but I know Natalie. She's always getting hurt to the point where she rarely cries unless it's really bad.
"Is she bleeding?" I asked, putting on my shoes.
Her friend shook her head. "Nope. But she says her arm hurts."
I headed down the street to Natalie, who was walking towards the house. She had her bike and was sniffling.
"My arm hurts," she told me.
I asked if she could bend it. Wiggle her fingers. She could.
"Oh good. Not broken," I said. I broke my arm as a kid. I jumped off a swing. It was a contest. I had to prove I could jump from the highest point. The good news is that I won. The bad news is that I landed on my arm and broke it. I was in a cast for a few weeks. But I wouldn't say I was accident prone. That was the only time I was majorly hurt.
"What were you doing?" I asked, taking the bike.
"Racing with my friends. My bike hit a curb and I just went flying." Natalie sighed.
I shouldn't have been surprised. My daughter has always been a bit of a daredevil. I should have known from an early age that she'd keep me on my toes.
For example, when she was a little over a year old, she started climbing out of her crib. I lowered it. She figured out how to climb out of it. I found it strange that a kid not yet two was already in a toddler bed.
I'd have gates around the house and she figured out how to climb them, and climb the kitchen counters.
When she was nearly three, she got a cyst on her leg that became infected. It was MRSA, so we had to stay in the hospital while she got antibiotics through an IV:
She got countless other bumps and bruises. When she was 5, she was running around before Pre-K and fell flat on her face. She got a nasty bruise on her forehead. I was worried about a concussion, but we lucked out:
We had to go to the ER when she got a terrible cut on her side. I don't even know what she was doing. One minute she was running around, the next she showed me she was bleeding down her side. She had to get that special glue to close it.
Then she managed to get a hole in her head. She was running around and smacked it against the corner of the staircase. It was frightening. I thought she was going to pass out on me. She had to get staples to close it.
Many times her friends have come to the door saying she's been hurt. She was once riding her scooter, lost her balance, and went straight to the ground. I found her mouth completely bloody. It was like the end of the movie Rocky.
So when I saw Natalie after she had fallen off her bike, I was grateful that I didn't see any blood. I thought she was fine.
The next day her arm was swollen.
"Guess where we need to go?" I said to her.
"The ER," Natalie sighed, because she remembers being there.
On the way there, I asked Natalie to please be more careful in the future.
"But I was racing," Natalie explained.
"Yes but...how do I know when you move out that you won't be like, 'Oh, I think I'll jump off the bridge?'"
It was quiet.
"Natalie," I yelped. "You're supposed to say: 'I won't ever do that!'"
Natalie shrugged. "You never know."
At the ER we found out that she broke her wrist, so oops, my comment on it not being broken was incorrect:
She was given a brace and I was told to make an appointment with ortho. (She insisted on a photo with the bluebonnets. Like "lalala, got a broken wrist, no big deal." She loves nature.)
"Please be more careful," I begged as we headed home. "I know I can't bubble wrap you, but believe me, I wish I could."
When you have an accident prone child, you have to deal with more blood than you ever thought you'd ever encounter. You deal with tons of splinters. Bruises. Scrapes.
You also become really grateful for insurance.
Natalie is now in a cast (pink, naturally) for three weeks, and then she'll return to the brace for another two.
She's still playing outside, because I can't keep her inside forever. Trust me, I wish I could. I've just asked that she take it easy. If a race comes up, decline. If a tree climbing contest is brought up, DECLINE. (She's done that and fallen off a tree before.)
I'd like to say that this will be her last injury. I hope it will be. But I know my kid. I know she doesn't like to sit still. She won't turn down a challenge.
She keeps life interesting, that's for sure.
Do you have an accident prone kid? Or were you one?