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The Warrior and the Wimp

July 28, 2009

My boy is a warrior.

The other day I took the kids with me to this large grassy enclosure at the YMCA where I play outdoor volleyball. At the far end is the court, at another end a soccer field. In the middle there’s a great playground for the kids. Stretching out between all of this is a huge expanse of nothing but closely shorn grass, perfect for kids to run around on and act like lunatics. (If, of course, your kids are anything at all like mine.) All of this is encircled by a sheltering embankment of grass and a picnic pavilion with bathrooms that are always conveniently locked.

For some reason, my kids eschewed the playground in favor of more entertaining pursuits–riding the skateboard down this little road that leads down to this paradisical play area, riding a bike down the embankment, and playing daredevil on a set of bleachers that sit out in the middle of the field. As soon as I had given them all of the requisite Mom warnings–“Autumn, don’t ride the skateboard in those high heels! Sit down and do it!” “There’s a perfectly good playground over there–go hang on the monkey bars!” “Lawson–don’t eat those leaves!”–I was ready to let them do their thing and do my own thing.

It was maybe ten minutes later when Lawson came hurtling from the embankment, emitting a bloodcurdling series of screams. “They’re stinging me! They’re stinging me!”

I’m pretty sure I broke a few speed limits getting across the field to him. Somehow he had managed to ride a bike or skateboard (not sure which) across a yellow jacket nest, nestled down into a pocket of grass in the hillside. (I have never figured out why those bees build their nests in the ground like that–danged irritating, if you ask me.) I stripped Lawson down though, shook the bees out of his clothes and started counting. He’d been stung at least five times–already angry welts were rising up. He’d clawed his neck at one point in an attempt to get the insects off of him; a bloody scrape was rising.

I got him calmed down, redressed, and dosed with Benadryl, which thankfully another player had with him. By that point he was ready to play again, so I let him go.

It wasn’t fifteen minutes later that I heard his teary bellows coming from the pavilion. Down on the court, we eyed each other with some humor. “Is that an ‘oh, I’m having so much fun’ scream, or an ‘oh, I’m in dire pain and there might even be blood’ scream?” I asked of no one in particular. Since at least half of them were parents, there was general laughter all around, and then we all started jogging toward the pavilion. Lawson met us halfway, and showed off an ugly scrape high on his butt. Apparently Lawson thought that picnic tables might be great skateboard platforms.

“Well,”I told him, “I guess you learned otherwise huh?”

Tears done in short order, all of the kids returned to play, and adults followed suit, with some headshaking. “Well,” one of my teammates teased, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?”

We managed to make it through around twenty minutes, I think, before the next series of screams. This time Lawson came running with his hands clamped over his mouth. Blood was clearly visible between his fingers. I’m not completely sure what Evil Knievel stunt he tried to pull this time, but it was a doozy.

This time, after quite a little clean-up operation, Lawson sat. No More Pavilion. No More Skateboard. I figured I probably ought to start working to keep the bruising to a minimum.

Now Autumn, on the other hand…I do not have a clue how a child that is so strong on the tumbling mat can be such a wimp when it comes to getting a few vaccinations. She had a check-up today, and about mid-way through figured out that she was going to have to get a few shots. Well, she started crying about fifteen minutes before the needles showed up in the room and did not stop until after the first shot. I tried explaining the necessity for vaccinations, reminding her of how I received weekly injections for my allergies with nary a blink…all to no avail. It just kept coming. I’m talking dripping snot-strings and hiccups and red blotches…she pulled out all the stops. Lawson and the nurse’s expressions were priceless. It was a situation just this side of farcical–the first grader looking on as if to say “what’s up with her? what’s the big deal about a shot?” while the fifth grader blubbered uncontrollably.

To put the cap on it, after the first needle went in, Autumn stopped in mid-wail, emitting a little croak of surprise. Her eyes met mine and her jaw snapped shut. The nurse, hustling a little like they do with the infants getting the imms, slapped a Spider-Man band-aid on the site (definitely insult to injury, in Autumn’s eyes) and popped the next shot. Autumn moaned a little for good measure, but I could see that the pain was definitely not up to her imaginings.

So. That’s my warrior, and that’s my wimp. Gotta love ’em.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2009 8:03 pm

    Oh, I found myself running the gambit through this post…wonder, fear, trepidation, worry, surprise, laughter, more laughter, awe, and finally, laughter.

    You have quite the two diametrically different children there, Lori, it really does remind me of the two kids I did a photoshoot of in Spokane…when Laura’s son started to perform an opera with one of his shirts serving as a wig from the top of the stairs when I’d only just met him, I was thinking, “How does somebody get a kid this cool?”

    Looks like you got one.

    Or two…

  2. July 29, 2009 5:05 pm

    OHMYGOODNESS, I laughed and cried at the same time with Lawson’s adventures. All in one day? You deserve a Mommy Award for being so strong amidst his torments!

    I was like Autumn when ever the needle was about to come out, so I do sympathize with her over exaggerated dread of her shots!

    Over all, it was a great day, then, hey??

  3. hintonrae permalink*
    July 31, 2009 2:59 pm

    Jason and Cee–I think God takes the best and the worst of both parents and plugs them in to these children in varying degrees and mixtures…a little of this to make you laugh at yourself, a little of that to make you cringe…a little more of this to make you realize how dumb you must’ve looked doing that…it’s all part of the Master Plan. I’m not sure what it says about us that our children are by turns comedian and politician, drama queen and momma’s boy, daredevil and sissy, and teacher’s pet and poster child for ADD. It’s a wonderful muddle.

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