Wednesday, November 14, 2007


That's the sound of the stick bouncing off Bitty Girl's head. The stick that just left the hands of her brother as he threw it down. We both heard it - THWONK! She looked up at us, startled, slow-motiony, before her face twisted up into the cry of pain and surprise. I think I said, "Oh my God, what was that?" and am hoping I didn't swear at him. I ran over to her, as she was crying harder now, determined that she wasn't bleeding or hurt badly, and gave her a hug. That's when I noticed he was crying harder.

I know he didn't throw the stick at her on purpose. They were both holding sticks, she imitating his sword-waving, bad-guy shooting, and banging on the basketball hoop pole to make music. I asked her to put her stick down, and he tossed his down too hard without noticing that she had walked over to set hers down on his stick pile. Thus the location issue of her head at the bottom of his stick's path of descent.

I felt a mix of anger and pity for him. I was mad that he threw the stick and that it hit her, because he should know better. But I know how it feels to watch your actions unfold and hurt someone, and then not know how to take it back. And I felt torn--I needed to comfort her because she was the one who got hurt, but he was much more upset than she was. And I felt mildly irritated, because he was crying and crying. I wanted to say, "Shut up - why are you crying? You're not the one who just got beaned with a stick!!" But I didn't.

She calmed down quickly and then we both hugged him, although he continued to cry for a few minutes. I said, "Did that scare you?" and he said, "Yes. I didn't throw it at her."
I said, "I know. She's ok, see? But do you see why I ask you not to throw sticks?"
Sniff, sniff, "Yes."
We talked about how it could have poked her in the eye or scratched her face or cut her head, and how we were lucky it was just a little bonk.

She was fine except for a little bump. It wasn't her first and it definitely won't be her last. So it ended up being a good lesson for all of us, and I had that sigh of relief and word of thanks for the guardian angels that it wasn't a direct poke in the eye or a big split open scalp wound or something that would have completely ruined our nice afternoon.

I think her life motto might be "That which does not kill me (or impale or lacerate or seriously wound me) makes me stronger." At this rate, she's going to be superhuman by the time she hits kindergarten.

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