Wednesday, February 23, 2011

unruly soapbox: i blame pro wrestling

I keep having to field the same annoying question, over and over. So in case you don't know us well enough to have already heard the story, let me go ahead and tell you.

He was run over by a herd of buffalo.

Yes, that's why t.rex is sporting a raggedy, smelly, steps-on-your-toe-and-breaks-it cast in filthy tomato red. We were out near the buffalo wallow, picking violets, when a rampaging posse of pachyderms just ran the lad right over.

I forgot. It was pachyderms. It was really an elephant trampling at the circus.

No, wait. We were ziplining. Over a pit of sharpened stakes.

Seriously, though. These are just a few of the answers I've given when nosy strangers ask why my two-year-old son is in a cast. And I simply cannot begin to fathom how anyone thinks it's any of their business.

I find myself wanting to smile and say, "So, how much money do you make? How old are you? How much do you weigh? Does the carpet match the drapes? Are those real?"

But I don't, because I know that every person I meet might one day look at the inside back cover of one of my future books and think, "I saw that lady at TJ Maxx, and she was a biotch."

We're trained to be polite. To open doors, to smile, to say hello or excuse me. But somehow, people have forgotten that asking about an injury is a deeply personal question that one shouldn't have to answer on the fly. My son broke his leg in what is considered the #1 most common way for a toddler to break a limb, but I'll admit it right here: I'm still terribly embarrassed that it happened on my watch.

Dr. Krog and I want to raise fearless kids. We want our kids to understand that playgrounds are for playing, and we'll let them try anything they want to, as long as they are doing it themselves. If t.rex wants to try climbing a ladder, I'll stand right under him and catch him if he falls and show him where to put his feet. And, yes, we accept that accidents sometimes happen. But we want our kids to play hard and learn hard and get right back up when they fall down.

And it's apparently working, because they do.

And it has been noticed that the cast hasn't slowed t.rex down, not one iota. He's just as fast and just as into everything as he was before. The main difference is that he doesn't smell as nice, because he hasn't been fully immersed in the bathtub in three weeks.


My point is this: If you see someone with an injury, it's not of your freakin' business what happened.

Instead of getting all nosy, why not ask how the mom is doing? She's probably suffering more than the kid, anyway.


Validation said...

Baby wipes make great substitutes for not being able to bathe (an army secret).

Anonymous said...

We're going through a lot of baby wipes. But... it's so hard to get all the nooks n' crannies. Like an English muffin. But instead of butter, it's stink.


Nicholas Denmon said...

English muffin stink; gross.

Mrs. Beer said...

"Does the carpet match the drapes?" Bahahahaha

stephanie constantin said...

I totally asked you what happened didn't I?!?

dk said...

Clearly its all the violent video games and the fact that we're letting gay people get married and stuff. Duh.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie, if we've discussed our jeans sizes and our kids' digestive habits and you see us at playgroup twice a week, it's totally fine.

If you are ringing up my kid's glittery shoes at TJ Maxx, not so much.


Alice Istanbul said...

Sometimes people who are rude need to be treated rudely in return.

Sorry to hear about T.Rex's ankle. I know another 2.5 year old who just broke her ankle, too. It must be going around...

urfaqhesse said...

you guys are wonderful parents. :)

Anonymous said...

Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

Delilah S. Dawson said...

I see your BUFFALO and raise you a herd of WILDEBAI.