Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Generation Y, Sandwich Generation… they all pale in comparison. Today’s youths face issues us old fogies can never comprehend. Namely, they are wusses.
My own children are a crystal-clear demonstration of this new ruling class. They are unimpressed with tales of long hikes in the snow (uphill both ways, barefoot). Tell them that there were no superhero band-aids, though, and they recoil in disbelief.
I fear that in their bid to become poster children for their generation, my kids are going to empty my bank account, kill themselves, and drive me insane. Not necessarily in that order.
To my mind, the predominant problem here is this notion of entitlement that plagues these kids. I have no idea who taught them that they can get hurt.
[*looking over my Mama crib notes* Hmmmm… “Get down from there RIGHT NOW!” … “Well if he told you to SET YOURSELF ON FIRE, would you DO it??” … “It’s not safe to run with scissors!” … “Because it’s NOT SAFE, THAT’S why.” Ummm… *crumpling paper and tossing it behind me*]
Anyway, as I was saying before I, uh, saw something shiny over there, these kids are absolutely slaves to the notion that 1) injury is everywhere and 2) it’s bad. And it’s not so much that this would be a problem in and of itself; especially if, say, it kept them from doing things like walking on the back of the couch as if it was a tightrope. But while it does not appear to act as a deterrent to hazardous behavior, it does result in nearly constant complaints of grievous injury at the hands of others, and the immediate demand for attention to these war wounds.
“I NEEEEEEED A BAND-AID!” Who knew it would become a virtual battle cry?
The manifestations of this syndrome can vary, of course.
Monkey prefers to claim mortal strikes early and often. If someone (perhaps his sister) brushes by too close to him, he begins to wail. “She hit me!” I try to ignore him. He then ups the ante. “She PUNCHED me!” This is usually accompanied by a keening howl–head thrown back for maximal effect. Now I must react if there’s any hope of stopping the noise.
“Honey, you’re fine. Stop it.”
“Nooooooooooooo! I’M BLEEDING!” And he’ll hold out a random body part for my inspection. I’ll look him over, and then I have to pick one from my standard stock of responses:
A) “No you’re not.”
B) “OH MY GOD! It’s a… FRECKLE!”
C) “I see. Then did she run you over with the car? Hit you with a baseball bat? Rip out your eyeballs?”
… and then I’ll spend the next half an hour running away from his insistence that I fork over a band-aid for his imaginary gash.
Chickadee, on the other hand, waits for genuine harm to evoke her perceived latex birthright. Today was a banner example: She was racing down the driveway at full-tilt and tripped over her own feet (that’s my girl!) and skinned her knee in a most impressive fashion. It was a largish area, a classic skinning. One layer of skin sacrificed to the asphalt; a moderate amount of blood; good coverage but very shallow.
Now, I’m happy to tend to such a matter appropriately. It needed cleaning and perhaps bandaging, yes. But it was a play in five acts, starring Chickadee (a.k.a. Sarah Heartburn).
The Tragedy Of The Mortal Skinning
Act 1 (Exposition): Behold! I am dying!
Act 2 (The tension mounts): I am now crippled, and incapable of walking inside for treatment.
Act 3 (Zenith of action): I demand that you nurse me back to health while I scream if you bring any object within a ten foot radius of me.
Act 4 (Denouement): Now I shall languish on the couch. You may kiss my bandage.
Act 5 (Recap): Time to recount the harrowing tale on the phone to Daddy!
Not an hour after The Knee Ordeal, Monkey launched himself at me as I walked down the hallway, and managed to clock his ankle on a doorway hard enough to draw a tiny circle of blood. He was positively triumphant.
Fortunately, the antiseptic wash, antibiotic ointment, and band-aids were still sitting out on the counter. Come to think of it… they hardly ever get put away.
I can hardly wait until the first time one of them needs actual stitches or breaks a bone. Coming of age these days isn’t so much complicated as it is… ummm… bloody.
LOL! My favorite thing here is the rule of bandaid reciprocity. If anyone in the house has a bandaid, then everyone gets a bandaid! “I beeding,too, Mommy! I need banaid”
Kids are definitely not as tough as they used to be. When I was growing up, we only stopped playing to get a band-aid if the flow of blood was making our bike handles too slippery. I once walked home instead of biking because I’d fallen off and for some reason, it really hurt my side when the bike went over a bump. Turns out I’d fractured a rib. No biggie. I just read a blog entry where a kid couldn’t focus on the rest of her day at the zoo because her dress was brushing her knee right where she’d skinned it. I feel sorry for my future kids already… they won’t be getting much sympathy from me.
“I need a Band-Aid” is rivaled in my house only by the screech of “Ice! I need iiiiiice” for whatever imaginary boo-boo has struck. I don’t remember making this much of a fuss over cuts or bruises. Is it something we’re doing or not doing? Too much attention, not enough attention? I try not to get irked but I find it irksome.
For some reason my daughter has decided her foot hurts. She’s constantly saying “it hurts!” and holding it up for you to see.
Only she forgets which foot is supposed to be hurt, so you never know which one to look at. Sometimes you have to check both.
It’s kinda funny because her vocabulary is still rather limited. Luckily she can’t say “band aid” yet…
LittleJuJu swears that each tiny cut and scrape (whether imaginary or true) is going to do him in. It drives me insane that when he plays outside, he has to come in every ten minutes for me to inspect a mark on his body and assure him that it will not be the cause of his demise.
Seriously – When I was growing up, one of the neighbors nicknamed me “Sarah Heartburn” – no joke! I’m sure my mother could commisserate with you. My kids have inhereted the drama queen gene, too. This morning my five year old had to get blood drawn (she’s getting her tonsils out next week). On the way home she was whining about how her arm hurt and I said (in my nicest mom voice), “You’re ok, baby.” She said, “I am NOT ok. My arm hurts. Do not tell me that I am ok when I am NOT ok.” Alrighty then. I stand corrected.
You ever get a song in your head and it Just. Won’t. Stop?
Over and over and over again?
Sometimes it helps to let it out. Wanna know what song has been stuck in my head?
(c’mon, you want to know, don’t you?)
If I had a hammer
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening …
all over this land…
Would that be a large hammer, or a small hammer? Because we know who owns a large hammer, don’t we? (snicker, giggle).
I’m not sure they’ll ever grow out of it. My daugher is 18 and she STILL gets as much mileage as she can out of an injury. How dare you ask her to empty the dishwasher when her ankle hurts. It was amazing that it didn’t prevent her from walking into the kitchen to tell me that she couldn’t go to the kitchen to empty the dishwasher – but then she got a bomb pop out of the fridge and went back to the living room. My son, however, is a year older and he has to be practically maimed to complain about an injury. The current generation is batting .500 in my house.
Ok. Try this. (Caution! Parental Sadism ahead.)
Get a really big box of really cheap bandaids. The plain ugly kind that don’t come off easily. When someone doesn’t really _need_ a bandaid but insists that they do, put one of these on. And then, OH! You need one here too! And this mosquito bite needs one! Cover them up with industrial-strength-sticky bandaids.
Later, rip ’em off heartlessly, so the wound won’t get infected by the dirty-left on-all-night bandage!
Pour everyone shots of Tylenol PM to calm down and sleep afterwards.
At least it will give them bandaid fear instead of bandaid covetness. (Covetness? Did I make that up?)
The first time you can give them magic markers to draw superheroes/turtles/fairies on their bandages themselves. There shouldn’t be a second time.
My son is the king of clutz. He’s 8; he’s had stiches 4 times, a cast twice, and more bandaids than I can count. Sigh.. Dr Jackson at the doc-in-a-box knows us by name.
I did, however, cure the “oh oh it’s a school day” stomach aches. It took me about a week and 1/2 a bottle of castor oil. ;)
Woo-hoo! Castor Oil.
That’s the spirit!!
Take away the rewards of being pseudo-sick/hurt.
sorry that i’m coming to the game so late, but you’ve made me think pretty nostalgically about my youth. there were four of us, three boys and me. after a certain age, we didn’t report injuries, because we’d get in trouble for having done something stupid to get hurt in the first place. i think that cut down severely on the incidence of injury-reporting, though certainly not the incidence of injury. that said, before that special “certain age” I was a regular drama queen. the merest touch would break my bones, i was so fragile of constitution.
i don’t check in with your blog every day, though i really should, because it’s always inspired something in me: a laugh, a sigh, a tear.
i hope it keeps a-comin