Makes Me Sigh, Parenting Gone Awry

The Band-Aid

Betwixt and between. This is the confounding, ill-fitting space that Sean and I occupy this summer. We are two mismatched, uncomfortable dance partners.

He is tired, but doesn’t want to nap. He is hungry but doesn’t want to eat. He cries for Mommy to kiss a boo boo, then pushes me away. He wants a band-aid instead. I fetch a band-aid. I try to apply the band-aid to the invisible boo boo. For a split second I imagine he is admiring my skill, that he is pleased with my effort. I half expect him to look up at me and smile with gratitude. Then he breaks down sobbing. I have done it wrong. The world is near end. He wanted to “oh-oh-oh-puh-puh-en the band-aid him (sob) selphs (sob).”

I want to please him, to see him smile – when I am not wanting to scream at him, “Hey Buddy! Knock it off!” I don’t scream out loud. As I’m rummaging around the medicine chest, I scream inside my head. I return with another fresh, unopened Curious George band-aid. He mauls and mangles the paper covering until it is ashen gray. He holds it out to me crying in frustration because he can’t open it. I try to help him and only anger him in the process. He pulls it back like a game of cat and mouse, grumbling “I do it MYselfphs!”

We do a dance of helping and not helping, offering and rescinding, asking then denying until the band-aid is free from the package and plastered on his knee. Curious George is upside down, crumpled and battle worn. His smile is now eerily crooked and torn — which is exactly how I feel.

12 thoughts on “The Band-Aid

  1. Are you certain Sean isn’t a small girl child called “EvaJun”?

    The whole independence v. clinging is happening at our house too… right now independence is winning, but, i think because it cheats.

  2. Oh man, we are there, too, with our 3-year-old son. Only now my 18-month-old daughter is catching on to the game. I keep asking my husband, “WHY are our children so fussy??? Are WE that fussy?” Oh, help. I feel your pain.

  3. There are days I know exactly how he feels. I want help, but I don’t want to ask for it. I ask for help, but don’t get it. I don’t ask for help, but do get it. LOL. Rest assured soon enough the mood will pass and he’ll be your sweet sweet boy once again!

  4. Every mother is aware that children Sean’s age go through stages. . .what they don’t tell you is that the stages arrive unannounced in the dead of night. You put your sweet angel to bed, and a banshee awakens the next day bent on making anyone (including themselves) miserable. Other commentor is right. . .it will pass. . .and come back. . .and ebb and flow.

    This time, bless YOUR heart.

  5. That story put a smile on my face, at your expense I’m afraid. Too cute! This phase will pass but I can’t promise you that it won’t wear you out. 🙂

  6. Antique Mommy, rest assured that this dance has a purpose. It is a dance you have been doing and will continue to do till I don’t know when. The difference is, when the kid is sixteen the music is somewhat different. It is a bittersweet blessing. Imagine the pride you will feel the day Sean is able to tackle that bandaid all by himself, in addition to the sadness that he won’t always need you to fix his boo boos (invisible and otherwise). That is until you start finding bandaid debris in every nook and cranny in reach of a two year old.

    You are doing a great job with great humor and I really enjoy reading your blog.

    I may see you in KC for the lunch of bloggers. I’m Shalee’s lurking friend. (but I’m not nearly as creepy as that makes me sound….)

  7. Oh, you have described the struggle so well! I feel your pain–and his as well. It is awful not to know what you really want. Hang in there, AM!

  8. This reminds me of the “dance” we so often do with the Lord. As we run crying to Him for help with our booboos (real or imagined)only to insist on taking care of it ourselves. Your patient willingness to wait until he was ready to be helped is so much like our Lord. Thanks for the analogy.

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