It would seem that my daughter is having a contest with the sidewalk, and the sidewalk is winning. In the last week Kaylee has managed to trip over her own feet four separate times while standing on concrete, and scraped up her knees and/or elbows every single time.
The worst part? It’s not like she’s running around and falls. That would be normal for a kid her age (or Cameron’s age, or Brendan’s age, or my age…). No, in her case she’s generally standing still, or walking calmly across the sidewalk when she plummets to the ground. It’s not like I don’t know where she gets it from, I was just kind of hoping that this particular trait wouldn’t get passed along in the gene pool.
Because, unfortunately, she gets this from me. I am, by far, the world’s biggest klutz. I can honestly say that if there were an award for it, I would take the prize year after year. I have fallen down the stairs more times than I can count in my life. Never when I was in a hurry, most times just walking along normally and suddenly I’m on my back 6 or 7 stairs lower than I was before. I’ve fallen up the stairs. Yes, up. That one is accomplished by not lifting my foot high enough to clear the next step, and suddenly I’m sprawled on my face on the steps.
Steps are not my only enemy either. The story my family likes to best bring up at parties is my own hateful relationship with sidewalks. Back when Matt and I were buying our first house, my mom and I spent a sunny, springtime afternoon walking through model houses. There was a brand new, completely flat, unbroken sidewalk that went between the houses. As she and I were walking along that sidewalk I somehow managed to fall off of it and go sprawling into the grass. Upon hearing this story people always want to know how one falls off a dry sidewalk on a sunny day. To be honest, I have no idea…and I was there.
Back in high school I was a part of the marching band. I didn’t play an instrument though, I was a member of the flag corps. I’m not sure what made me think that I was coordinated enough to be able to march and twirl a flag at the same time, but all my friends were doing it so it seemed like a good idea at the time. I only stuck with it two seasons, and by the time I quit I am pretty sure I held the school record for the most injuries.
I tripped over my friends feet running for the bus after a competition and ended up on crutches for two weeks, I managed to smack a wooden rifle into my shoulder blade, I twirled a large bolt (which was weighing down the end of our flexible flag poles) into the base of my skull…and those are just the major ones. I can’t tell you the number of times I jammed a finger or ripped off a nail trying to catch the darn thing.
The point is, Kaylee is most definitely my child. Klutz to the core. The first time she fell this week we had been at the grocery store, and I was unloading groceries from the back of my car. She was wandering around our driveway talking about anything and everything. Finally the little statue I have sitting on my front porch caught her eye and she wandered over to talk to it for a few minutes. I was concentrating on getting the bags out of the car so my attention wasn’t fully on her but I do know she was standing perfectly still and talking. The next thing I know she is sprawled out on the ground, still over by the statue and crying her eyes out. If I had to guess she got her feet tangled up when she turned around to come back over to me. She ended up scraping her left knee and left elbow.
The next time she fell was the following day. We’d been to pick up the boys from school and had just gotten home. The first thing I do when we get home is check the mailbox because our mailman usually delivers the mail between 2 and 3. We are quite lucky because we have a community mailbox but it’s located at the end of our driveway. So, for us anyway, it’s just like having our own individual mailbox. At least one or two of the kids usually tromp down the driveway with me, and on this day it was Cameron and Kaylee. Somehow near the end of the driveway where the sidewalk connects to it she fell flat on her face and started crying. She didn’t scrape any new places that time but I’m sure it still hurt a lot.
The third time she fell this week was at my mom’s house. Brendan needed buttons to make a sock puppet for school, and I didn’t have any. So we’d driven over there because I knew my mom had an entire jar full. I lifted Kaylee out of the car and she started heading around it for the front door. Before I’d gotten the van door closed and headed around the car myself I heard the smack as she hit the pavement again. Sure enough I came around the front of the car and she’s sprawled across the driveway…again this time with two very red elbows.
The final one was last night. The boys school held an ice cream social. It was a pretty neat event actually, they had all sorts of carnival games set up, kids were running all around on the playground, they were giving out little toys at one booth, and you got to go and claim your free cup of ice cream at the end. We managed to get a halfway decent parking spot in the school parking lot (by the time the thing got into full swing people were having to park a few blocks away) and just had to walk from the car, around the side of the school to the blacktop.
We crossed the drop off lane and got to the sidewalk with no problem. Once on the sidewalk there’s a little brick retaining wall that goes up in stair steps to encompass the hill that’s in front of the school. Every elementary student I know can not resist climbing on that thing, and Cameron is no exception. If anyone was going to have an accident I would have put my money on him because I know there are a couple of loose bricks in the retaining wall and if he makes a wrong step…well you get the picture.
But no, it wasn’t my daredevil Spiderman impersonator who ended up getting hurt. It was my toddler who was trotting along on the sidewalk with mommy. She was walking along, and then suddenly she was not. She was flat on her face again and crying like there was no tomorrow. On initial inspection she didn’t look to be bleeding from anywhere and a quick reminder that we were going to get ice cream stopped her tears pretty quickly.
When we got home that night, she was still complaining about her knees hurting. I took her into my room to look at her knees and when I took her shorts off I saw she had scraped up both knees pretty good. Her shorts had been long enough to cover the scrapes, so I had missed them on my initial inspection. I got the scrapes cleaned up, and bandaged. Then, because I felt bad she’d been dealing with this for over an hour without my understanding I set her up in my bed to watch cartoons for a little while before taking her to bed for the night. And boy did she look pathetic.
It’s been one tough week for my princess…