Monday, December 21, 2009

Snoodie Go Boom

The Snood is currently sporting a fat lip, a 2-inch scrape across the bridge of his nose, and a golfball-sized carbuncle just short of his hairline...

...which means we're running just about par for the course this week when it comes to facial injuries.

The thing is, my kid leads with his head. Which, unfortunately for him, means encountering the world (and all the solid objects it contains) face-first. Back when he was still crawling, it seemed his only clue that it might be time to cease forward motion was the sensation of his head colliding with the wall. And it showed, as bruises, bumps, and bonks of all shapes and sizes began sprouting from Snoodie's once pristine visage at an alarming rate.

I clung to a desperate hope that, once Snoodie started walking, his consta-wounds would abate. I'm sad to report that quite the opposite proved to be true. It seems the fact that the Snood's 99th-percentile head rests atop a 34th-percentile body all but guaranteed that his face would be the first thing to make contact with the ground when his initial efforts at two-legged motion went awry. His early walking attempts went a little something like this:


And, sure, eventually the guy got surer in his stride.

The problem is that the only thing this sure-footedness seems to have changed about the situation is the velocity at which he wipes-out.

We were spending Thanksgiving in Texas just after the Snood had just started hoofing it with real confidence. David and I were all standing around outside with Snoodie's Grandma and Aunt Tess. All of us stood watching him happily toddle up and down the sidewalk, until he suddenly lost his footing on some uneven pavement and went down.

The assembled group rushed toward him in a panic, but I calmly assured them there was no cause for alarm! These sorts of things happened all the time! It wasn't until I went to scoop my crying son off the pavement that I realized that there was blood pouring from his mouth in large quantities and came face to face with the realization that we had ushered in new era of wounds - the bleeders.

Now, whenever the Snood and I are out on the town we are routinely greeted by a chorus of "Oh no, sweetie, you've got a boo-boo!" and "What happened to his face?" It's reached the point where I am seriously considering changing supermarkets for fear one of the concerned checkers will call child protective services on me.

But I've come to realize that try as I might to slow him down some, there doesn't seem to be any stopping my Snoodie. He continues to hurl his adorable countenance at the world with reckless abandon and has now decided that, like some mini-mountaineer, he will scale all surfaces he sees, adding distance to the ground as a complicating factor in his falls.

But as I look over the kids in my neighborhood, the scabby-kneed girls in princess gowns climbing trees and the scrappy boys leaping off their bikes to protect our houses from alien attacks, I try to remember that injuries are part of the growing process, and part of the bloody-good fun of it all. So, I do my best to let Snoodie explore as he wants as I keep my band-aids and bags of ice at the ready. Plus, I can always comfort myself with the knowledge that if and when I do need to change grocery stores, there's another one just a few blocks further down the road.