Sunday 10 May 2009

Black, blue and red all over

It's a thing with children...and I suspect boys especially, that they are prone to cuts, bruises, scrapes and aches.

Arriving home on Thursday I was greeted by a somewhat downtrodden and sullen lad. My quizical look was answered by the raising of arms to reveal some nasty scrapes on one arm, and evidently some pain in the other. He had decided to take his bike for a spin in the forest, and in one of his attempts to leap over a mound had gone head over heels and handlebars. Fortunately the gound was softish, and he always wears a helmet. Of course, some of this is my fault, for giving him the camera to video his exploits....sadly he didn't capture the crucial moment. I've always been concerned that solo-cycling is not a good idea, but I'm loathe to limit his enthusiasm and adventurous spirit. Life is not a rehersal is a phrase that's often bandied around in this house. Mind you it would be good to get to the intermission, and an encore would be even better.

Over excitement and and over abundance of enthusiasm have got him into scrapes before. At the olympic size swimming pool, the K2 in Crawley, with friends, he spent ages jumping off the top board doing somersaults and back and front flips, until he mis-judged the distance, coming down on his back with a noise that would wake the dead. I've never seen a water burn before. It's a sight to behold, and the pain was excruciating.

At a very young age, he came in through the front door, and saw me standing in the kitchen at the far end of the corridor. His pace was phenomenal, and it would have been better if he could have managed the corner, instead of running slap bang into the wall. Blood was everywhere, and there was a very quick trip to the Whittington Hospital A&E. The doctors thought his nose (such as small imps have) was probably broken, but there was nothing they could do; fortunately it healed well, without even a visit from social services.

In the first term at Bancroft's I was summoned to the school on more than one occassion due to bangs on the head which made it unwise for him to travel by public transport. And we have never quite got to the bottom of a pretty severe cut on the hand, that even two years later is still visible.

So all these things have caused some heartache, but I'd rather that than a child wrapped in cotton wool, too scared or dull to go and do anything adventurous. Indeed if it means his grown up years will be spent doing madcap adventures, that give me sleepless nights and anxious days, then I shall be a happy Dad.


  1. Perhaps some steel plates installed to prevent damage to the right frontal lobe - home of the highest functioning bit - would work as a threat to think twice (at least) before emarking on foolish risks.

    Calculated risks fine, it is foolish risks that are not worth it.

    He is certainly lucky he didn't lose his front teeth going over the handlebars like that. A cousin of mine had false teeth at the front from the age of 12 thanks to a very similar accident going over the handlebars of her bike. She was carrying too may bags home from school on the handlebars in her case.

  2. Being a parent is so hard, isn't it?! You have your heart in your mouth for a lot of the time, but just hope that with the law of averages nothing bad will befall them.

  3. I totally agree with your point of view. You have got to expose your children to danger (in a controlled way, of course) to teach them how to deal with it. Kids have also got to learn that the taking of rash risks has consequences.

  4. Hi
    Is your lad below average height. I was, thus I was forever competing. result, six if I remember right different lots of broken bones. great fun. (Broke by collarbone at least one going over the handlebars!

  5. Well, at least he's out exercising and not slobbing out in front of the TV. I think that's offered as a cold comfort type of thing. How's the revision going?


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