Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Bloody Swearing

Why is our twenty-three month old girl so drawn to the skate park?

Down our way there’s a wee park - swings, slide and roundabout; nothing fancy - with a green we use for a kick about. But if you go down a wee slope and cross some tarmac usually strewn with broken bottles you come to a set of concrete ramps, half-pipes and railings for the BMX and sk8r dudes.

Toddler Who Must Be Obeyed invariably disobeys us and makes for the skate park like a zombie sniffing fresh brains. It takes a few warnings before she sticks to the swings and slide.

One reason we’re keen to keep her away is the no man’s land of concrete and glass shards she’d have to cross. Another is the, ahem, choice language the sk8r dudes emit. Last time we were there a bunch of them seemed to be having a competition with the winning entry: “Arsecrapwillynipple.“ I had to stifle a laugh. What is wrong with me?

Anyway, a wee tumble at the weekend has perhaps persuaded TWMBO Mummy and Daddy know best.

I still remember the first time TWMBO had a bloody ‘bonk’ - I think she bumped her lip on something and it caused a bit of bleeding in her mouth. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so awful and helpless. Apparently when you have kids you’re responsible for them and other people frown if you don’t look after them.

A trip to the park involved an actual trip this time. She was chasing her ball and stumbled onto the concrete, leaving a red scuff on her chin. There was a fair bit of crying and cuddling and we went home to apply Germolene.

If you were to ask me to nominate a smell that reminds me of childhood it would have to be Germolene, the magic pink gunk that settles the trauma of cuts and bruises. In my day it came in a little round tin, like pink shoe polish. These days it’s in a squeezy tube and could easily be mistaken for toothpaste or pudding. But it still has That Smell. Like sweet bleach or something.

I stand by what I think is a statement by Calvin of Calvin & Hobbes: You haven’t had a good day if you don’t have grass stains on your knees. I lose count trying to think of all the scrapes my brother and I had as kids. I once put a rusty nail right through one of my feet. Not on purpose you understand. And my younger brother once fell from the top of a tree onto a rusty set of bed springs. It made us the fine strapping fellows we are today.

I have no idea what sort of palaver my two younger sisters got up to so maybe my tolerance of childhood injury needs to be recalibrated for my wee girl. Do I want her to blossom into a polite, intelligent and peaceful woman or the sort of bruiser you saw on Cell Block H?

And what happens if at an appropriate age she takes a liking to skateboarding or BMXing? In parenting terms it is the Perfect Storm. Excuse me while I read her a few more bedtime stories about kittens and fairies…

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