Children are resilient. It’s a fact. Luckily my daughter is especially hardy, but then she has to be – I’m her dad.
In her short life thus far, Missy has been exceptionally fortunate. She has avoided serious illness, just the odd cough or cold. She eats well, sleeps relatively well, she has lots of little friends she can bite and scratch, and life is generally good.
Well, except when she’s with me. When I’m put in charge, things will just naturally go wrong. When I’m given the top job, things like this happen:
Missy loves to go fast. She sometimes gets in her stroller and goes running with mum. Same for her tricycle or anything that has wheels. Recently I was taking her for a spin around our outside deck in the stroller. Now clearly as we were in the safety of our home, there was no need to strap her in, after all we were just having a bit of fun. Missy did have fun… Till she tried to stand up – and I instinctively stopped.
According to a bloke called Isaac Newton – a particle in motion will stay in motion unless acted on by an equal or stronger force.
OK, so Missy is the particle, the stroller is in motion and the safety restraint the equal or stronger force…oops.
A slow motion, catapult style, launch followed, Missy heading directly for a step – expertly coming to a complete stop using her face as a brake.
Never have I seen so much blood flow from such a small person. As luck would have it, no broken teeth, just a cut mouth and a remorseful dad. Whisked away by a higher authority while my wailing daughter pointed accusingly at Bad Dad, blood and tears letting me know that mum might want a word, after the dust had settled.
I did learn from that experience and so a couple of weeks later found myself with Missy up on my shoulders, riding high and away from all trouble. A playground beckoned and Missy loves the swing, it doesn’t get any simpler or safer. The swing was the enclosed type, so there was no danger of falling off, and as I had my accreditation as “Responsible Dad” recently restored, we went straight for it. Easy, just walk under this monkey bar and….
The “dong” sound was heard for, I suppose, a decent 100 meters. I could see park dwellers, hands on their mouths in shock, mothers shaking their heads in disbelief and my wailing daughter being whisked away, yet again pointing accusingly at Bad Dad.
And so a lump, bump, or scrape is born, just another day of being my daughter. In years to come, assuming I don’t cause any permanent damage, will Missy remember these and future events? Well, probably not, and anyway, she’s the forgiving type. I suspect most fathers rely on the compassionate nature of children to forgive and forget, and while I (and especially my wife) wish these events didn’t happen, they do, and I learn from them, vaguely.
Children are resilient, but really, you should just trust me on that. It’s not worth the blood and tears to find out – as well as my blood and tears – after mum’s “had a word”.