I often lament the extent to which I have totally given up on things I used to try and prevent. One of these things is fighting and physical altercations. Sure, I correct any overt aggression but in general if they squabble and there is no blood or unconsciousness then I don’t worry too much. What choice do I have when sometimes, the kid who dishes it out also takes it back just as hard and doesn’t bat an eye? Now, add the fact that the younger kids are each tougher than the one before. (Except for Prima who is the resident ballerina and a fragile drama queen.)
Don Threeto, America’s favorite mini-gangster girl, has continued to impress me with her toughness this week. Most physical impact situations involve play that turns too rough and after a collision there is some crying and we have to investigate.
Situation #1: Don Threeto crashes into something or someone and we rush to see what the damage is. Her nose is bleeding slightly but she insists nothing happened. Maybe she walked into a wall and is embarrassed. I may never know but I ask anyway.
“Are you okay?”
“…” Her eyes move from side to side avoiding my gaze and she shrugs her shoulders and says, “Can I go play now?”
That’s pretty gangsta so I let it slide. The nose appeared intact so what do you do? No one seemed to see anything.
Situation #2: I see the kids spinning circles in the living room and I give the obligatory “Stop. No. Don’t do that.” I go into the kitchen and, within five seconds, hear a thump followed by Lady Bug screaming. I sigh deeply and trod back to the living room.
Sure enough Lady Bug is sitting on the ground with a red spot on her cheek where it undoubtedly made contact with something hard. I scan the situation to try and piece this together because I don’t expect anyone to fess up. Prima has a wide-eyed look that tells me she wasn’t involved. She is panicked that she will be in trouble and lose her iPad. Don Threeto is curled up in a ball on the couch. Her face is pressed into her knees. She is trying to hide from me by disguising herself as a throw pillow. I pick her up to talk about what happened and I see that her eye is red along the area between the eye and the eyebrow. She bumped heads with Lady Bug and got the worse end of the deal.
“Why is your eye swollen.”
“It isn’t”, she says but I can see clearly that it is swelling shut.
I try to give her a chance to just talk, “….Okay. Do you feel okay?”
“I feel good daddy. Do you feel good?” She smiles and looks suddenly concerned about my well being.
Now I wonder if I am hurt? She is trying to redirect. I have to remind myself that they did this to me earlier in a conversation about boogers. I snap out of the mental trap. “I’m fine. Are you sure you didn’t just smash your face into your sister.”
“Why is she crying?”
“I don’t know.”, accompanied by holding her hands up and shrugging shoulders again.
Lady Bug shakes it off and resumes playing and the red mark is almost gone. Don Threeto has an impressive black eye. I think proper consequence has already been dealt out so I let this go too. I still can’t believe that she would basically get punched in the eye and not even flinch at telling me she was fine. A day later and the eye is half shut from swelling and she is still mute on the issue. Acts like nothing ever happened. Hard core.
If you let your kids roll with the punches then this post is for you. You’re welcome. I don’t know what to do about it either.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.