So, I officially just had one of those “becoming my parents” moments.
Noah came into my bedroom while I was getting ready this morning, holding his thumb out and whimpering. “Daddy, I need a Band-Aid,” he declared as he thrust the damaged digit so close to my face that everything became immediately blurry. I pulled his hand back to a point where I could focus without making myself cross-eyed, and asked him what had happened. He replied that he had cut his finger on a toy.
“Oh no,” I commiserated, sincerely empathetic. “Let me see it.”
I began inspecting his thumb. He looked at me with squinted eyes, waiting anxiously for my empathy to escalate into pandemonium over his boo-boo. There was no blood, no scratch, no sliver, and in fact, no sign of any physical injury at all. “I don’t see anything,” I told him.
And with that, he burst into tears. “Daddy, I need a Band-Aid!” he screeched through ever-growing sobs.
“But, there’s no blood,” I reasoned with him. “Band-Aids are to help when you’re bleeding.”
His crying intensified. “Daddy, I need a Band-Aid. There is too blood. It hurts really, really, really bad.”
Suddenly I heard the very words coming out of my mouth that my parents used to use on us when we were kids. “Do you want a psychological Band-Aid for your owie? Will that make you feel better?”
He looked at me and his panicked crying immediately settled into big sniffs. “Yes, I want one of those.”
I went and pulled a Band-Aid out of the box and told him to show me where it hurt. He again pointed to a perfect little thumb, free from any and all trauma. I exposed the adhesive, wrapped it around his tiny pollex, and smiled as he began to smile. “Does that feel better?” I asked.
“Yup!” was all I heard as he counced from the room, happy as he had been before the “big incident.”
I shook my head and couldn’t help but laugh. It’s always funny to me when my parents show up unexpectedly.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. Do your kids ever come to you with “owies” that don’t really exist? Do you have a similar or different method to treating them?