I’m a big believer in the fact that we baby our kids waaaay too much. It’s why God gave me a boy first…I never could have handled a girl. I would be all sweet and dainty with her and I hate that shit.
Abe licks concrete. He doesn’t notice when he’s bleeding. Last night he walked into the living room from the back yard and threw dog poop at me. That’s not an exaggeration of that story. It is exactly what happened.
So when he falls down I’m all, “Walk it off, son.”
And when he falls down, he gets a “boo-boo.” I started noticing other kids with boo-boos lately. They all get bandaids. I couldn’t figure out why Abe never asked for bandaids until a girlfriend asked me for a bandaid for her little girl. She wanted a pink one. Or one with Hello Kitty. And you know what? I don’t buy those, so I was a total let down to her kid. All I had was normal bandaids. Abe doesn’t even know what colorful bandaids are, and for that I got the mom-guilt and worried that he might be totally missing out because I never bought Dora the Explorer bandaids.
AND THEN I REALIZED WE’RE TALKING ABOUT BANDAIDS.
You know what bandaids were when I was a kid? Pieces of brown plastic. They weren’t some flexible plastic or, better, fabric bandaids. They were just plastic with adhesive on one side. That sticky part wasn’t just a nice, Hey I’m going to stick to your skin to cover your wound until you’re ready to take me off, kind of sticky. Bandaids stayed on my body through showers and the swimming pools until someone in my family decided to RIP it from my body, taking a decent amount of skin with it. Removing the bandaid was worse than the initial offending boo-boo. There were no “antibiotic” bandaids. My mom squirted the antibiotic directly onto my boo-boo and then slapped the bandaid over top it, so if it stung I had no way to scratch or blow on it. And the color of the bandaid, a weird not-found-in-nature brown wasn’t near the skin color of anyone I knew. It’s not like it blended in so no one would notice my boo-boo. Essentially, bandaids were brown duct tape with a small, scratchy, bathroom paper towel.
Bandaids were a status symbol when I was a kid. Those things meant that shit went down, and you wore them for WEEKS to remind every kid in the neighborhood that you didn’t just fall off that bike. You were PUSHED. If it was a big boo-boo, Your blood seeped through so everyone could see this was an injury, not some, “I fell so my mom arbitrarily tossed an Elmo bandaid in the general region of the pain despite my never having broken the skin.” Kids stopped and asked. “Hey, what happened to your knee?” And a lot of times the answer was so horrifying, you couldn’t even tell them except to say, “I was in the woods…”
Now we have every Tom, Dick, and Harry starring in their own selfies on bandaids everywhere. Barbie has a bandaid. The Cat in the Hat has a bandaid. SPONGEBOB SQUARE PANTS HAS A BANDAID. And kids everywhere NEED bandaids now because it no longer serves any real purpose. It’s just like a sticker, only one that showcases their weakness and constant need for external validation.
So you know what? I buy the plastic, cheap, sorry-ass bandaids for 99 cents and when Abe says he has a boo-boo, I look to see whether or not there is enough blood to make it to his sock and ruin one of the few pairs with both socks still in our possession before I run for a bandaid. Otherwise, I just wipe the blood off with a leaf and we all move on.