Things That Go Bump In The Night

I have learned very quickly that the easiest way to find children Archer's age is to count the bruises on their faces. Or the bumps. Or the scratches or the band-aids or the rashes or the bee-stings or the rusty nails sticking out of their foreheads.

Before Archer, I just though every parent was abusive. All of the children running rampant in the streets with bruises and scratch marks down their necks, their parents stressed out and angry. It seemed fishy to me, all the local children, bruised and broken.

So I accept my karma and smile sweetly at every person who gasps in horror when Archer comes running down the street, bruised and bloody with scratch-marks and goose-eggs decorating his face like a Christmas tree.

Today, Archer came face to face with a little-girl exactly his age with the same yellow bruise in the same spot on her forehead. It was a match made in toddler heaven and her Dad and I watched as they went running down the sidewalk, tripping and falling and bleeding all over each other.

"Awwww. Isn't that sweet?"


We've all heard the "you must have dropped her on her head"s or the "that dude was dropped on the head as a baby one too many times" but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't matter how many times a child was dropped on his/her head. Kids are resilient, man. Their threshold for pain is not only impressive but on the verge of immortal. No wonder they're so fearless! No wonder they go running down cracked-streets falling on their faces, banging their heads on brick walls and poking their eyes out with sticks, laughing all the while!

And you know what? No matter how much you childproof your kitchen or yard or bathroom, toddlers will always find a way to fuck their shit up good. In fact, they will not rest until they catch themselves on fire.

Ah, to be young again, with a goose-egg the size of Texas.



Anonymous | 3:18 PM

It runs in the family, but might have skipped a generation. Hal is almost scarless... When I was a kid in the Bronx, the md's and the nurses in Morrisania's emergency room knew me by my first name. They knew my phone number and would call my mom to come and get me after I had been cleaned and bandaged.
Be wise--buy some Johnson and Johnson stock!

Keri | 3:50 PM

Ooohhhh, OUCH. Currently, Lochlan is sporting bruises on his cheek. Toddlerhood is dangerous!

Leigh C. | 3:53 PM

The worst was when some six year old girl took my little guy down a big playground slide before I could effectively respond. He was crying his eyes out when I got to the bottom of the slide, and I thought it was just pain from his cutting a particularly nagging tooth. The next day, he wasn't putting any weight on his right leg, and when he was, he was crying (he'd cut the tooth by then). Initial X-rays said it was a sprain, and he was in a cast for a week. The orthopedist cut the cast off, x-rayed it again, and found a hairline fracture, which meant his eleven-month-old leg was in a cast for two more weeks.

The little guy's predicament brought out the reminiscing from all the moms and grandmas in my synagogue. Best comment I got, from a mom of two sets of twins: "Gee, he's a little young for a skiing accident."

Leigh C. | 3:56 PM

BTW, the other goose-egg pic of Archer reminds me of Eminem, somehow. Or possibly early Sly Stallone as Rocky. VERY early...

Wendy | 4:01 PM

I use to worry what other people thought when my daughter would get a black eye, bruises, and scratches. Mostly, right before taking portraits. I was sure CPS would come knocking on my door and take my child away. That was until I noticed all the other kids in her preschool class. They all had the same wounds. Now, it doesnt bother me at all, which is good since my son has taken up throwing himself backwards on the wood and tile floor. He does this when he is hungry, tired, or not getting enough attention. I hate the noise it makes, but I do my best not to show him my angst.

Archer is still very cute even with the goose egg.

Anonymous | 4:09 PM

Omg! that's almost the size of his booger....

Anonymous | 4:40 PM

Ouch! I'm still awaiting the worst, but since Xavier mastered stair climbing today, I somehow see and ER visit in my near future :)

PunditMom | 4:50 PM

That is one MONSTER good egg! He's the man!

Namito | 6:27 PM

Meanwhile, over here on the east coast, we had the goose-egg in the EXACT SAME PLACE. As did at least 4 other daredevil toddlers at our playground.

Doesn't slow them down a bit, does it? And let's face it, it's not like they have a long way to fall or anything.

Did make me wave my fingers in front of her eyes to see if she followed them though. (She did).

toyfoto | 7:38 PM

That is one impressive egg. This is going to sound awful, but apart from covers on outlets and some homemade barricades at the tops of stairs, we didn't child proof. We figured it would just offer a false sense of security and, some stupid part of me wondered how will she learn to stay clear of things if she has nothing to stay clear of?

Gina | 7:39 PM

Holy hannah that is huge! I am glad you have a good outlook on this... it's a sheer sign of their age for sure. I never judged kids in that 1-2 range... walking is rough on those dudes. Walls and door jams just find themselves bashing toddlers in the head!

My kid has 3 bruises on his head right now. I have no idea how he got them... well I sorta do, but I didn't witness it happening. Ah, to feel no pain... another reason to miss my childhood.

Awesome Mom | 7:51 PM

If I had a dollar for every time I got one of those looks I would be rich. Currently Evan is sporting a black eye and a lovely forehead bruise. Harry has an old healing bruise on the side of his head. I just tell people that ask about them that my kids got into a bar fight. I love the reactions I get from that.

toyfoto | 9:01 PM

I've been thinking about what I said earlier, and I must also admit -- for the sake of honesty -- that childproofing our house would have meant moving. We live in a barn, old nails coming up from the floorboard every now and again and everything. We wouldn't have known where to begin.


Toyfoto- between you and me, I think childproofing is bullshit anyway. Totally impossible. Kids always find a way.

ms blue | 9:44 PM

He looks so grown up, strong and extremely brave. Between the bruises and bumps, it's fun to wear cool Band Aids just because they are stickers. Like body art.

As a parent, I only panick if there is blood.

Bobita | 9:47 PM

Seriously, I laughed myself to the point of incontinence while reading this post! You have painted the perfect picture of toddlerhood. My 20 month old currently has a black eye, a scabbed-over cut on his cheekbone, a bruise on his other cheek and a scabby rugburn on his forehead. My husband suggested we not leave the house for a few days...until at least one of the baby's tumble-wounds heals!

But, of course, he still loves to court matter the cost. I guess no price is too high to feel the rush of pure joy and adrenaline whilst dangling from the banister or jumping off the table or scaling the bookshelves.

Ah, to be young (and invincible) again!

Anonymous | 4:33 AM

wow, that's a whopper! I feel bad enough now when 6 month old scratches herself - am convinced everyone thinks it's me.

Anonymous | 6:29 AM

Ooh, poor Archer. What a bump. Max has managed to somehow bruise the end of his nose--it's a terribly vivid purple. He looks like a nearly-19-month-old alcoholic.

Anonymous | 6:41 AM

The hard part of their bumping and bruising and bleeding is knowing when to be worried and when to tell them to dust it off. Maybe that's why my parents, during my softball years, breathed sighs of relief when my coach moved me to catcher. My face was covered with a mask.

I'm with Jana. I only panic if there's blood or an audible crack of the head on some surface.

Poor Archer. That's a huge bump.

Mamalang | 7:58 AM

That is a huge bump...we all have a ton of stories to tell I'm sure. My husband was like grandpa...the ER would just call his parents to come get him (can you imagine that in this day and age?) My now 4 year old had his first broken bone at 2. He jumped off a set of bleachers and created a green twig fracture in his foot. Luckily no cast and it healed quickly, but there it was the first one.

Good luck!

foodiemama | 8:09 AM

thats one goose egg!
kids are crazy and definitley bounce back quickly...when gus broke his foot it was amazing what he could do on a full leg cast...we were a little in awe cause i'd be totally wimpering in a corner if it was me, haha.

Anonymous | 1:56 PM

In addition to suspecting us of ramming our childrens' heads into hard surfaces on purpose, the childless seem to think we also ignore the very existence of Kleenex, as if we prefer the river of snot that keeps running, running, no matter how often you wipe it.

BabyonBored | 4:05 PM

That kid gets cuter and cuter. It must be tough to be you!

Anonymous | 4:12 PM

Yeah, I was just talking about this about my little one the other day. Apparently you need to fall from, like, a second or third story to do any real damage.

I was in the emergency room so many times as a kid that whenever I'd get hurt, I would get a greeting like Norm got in an episode of CHEERS every time I went to the hospital.

petite gourmand | 5:36 PM

archer is one handsome little guy.
Goose egg and all.
a total heartbreaker when he's older I'm sure..

Anonymous | 8:19 PM

The little man had a grody black fingernail on his pinky for a month. Sadly, I don't even know how it got there. When he cries, I just assume he's smacked his head again and rub there. When he was an infant, I was forever underestimating the space between me and the doorway and smacking his head into the door frame. My best gal said she did the same thing all the time when her son was a babe. It helps their skulls thicken up, no?