Monday, May 9, 2016

What No One Ever Tells You

There are a lot of things people feel inclined to warn you about when you have more than one child, such as:

  • they fight
  • the more you have the more they cost
  • they'll each think you have a favorite
  • they will spread infectious diseases to each other like wildfire
This is all true, but there's a phenomenon no one told me about.  I call it accident clusters.

Let me explain since you will probably receive zero matches if you try to Google my made up randomness.  In the last month, all of my children have suffered from injuries of the beyond-average variety.  There's been horrific amounts of blood, and I noticed that my Instragram feed probably makes people wonder if they should notify CPS.  Stitches, bruises, scars:  check, check, check.

We're not the type who try to keep our kids in a bubble to save them from harm.  They climb trees, ride bikes, hang upside down on monkey bars.  They sport bruised legs and scratches on a regular basis.  However, accident clusters are different.  The injuries are more severe, and all of the kids seem to suffer from a fairly big accident during the time of the cluster.  Just when you think it's over, it's not.  

I don't think bad luck is contagious, so maybe this is all somehow connected to the lunar cycle, but here are some questions to ask yourself if you're wondering if you may be in the middle of an accident cluster:

  • Do you have specific cleaners just to get blood out of clothes?
  • Do you feel the need to explain to strangers in the check out line at the grocery store that your kids fall a lot and you don't, like, beat them or anything?
  • Is your deductible for the year already met?
  • Do you and your spouse frequently comment on how grateful you are that kids' heads are so hard?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be in the middle of a cluster.  It looks a lot like dodging stitches when your son steps on glass in the garage, only to land at Children's weeks later because your daughter gashed her chin open on a rock. (Eleven stitches because she does not do things halfway).  It looks like hearing a thud when your toddler falls into the dining room table only to come home the next day and notice there is now also skin missing from her face due to an incident with a basketball. (I was gone for half an hour.  D said poor Ash was just minding her own business when she got smacked.)  It's being concerned about one toddler having a lump in her neck (swollen lymph nodes, but probably okay) and then noticing the other toddler is flat on the floor screaming her head off after slipping on a book.  

I would offer coping advice for the cluster periods, but I don't have any.  It's unrealistic to keep them inside because my kids are pros at getting hurt in the house.  Having them wear bubble wrap or helmets full time could actually make their movements more awkward and cause worse accidents.

I am going to start tracking these incidents to look for patterns, but I'm not hopeful.  The randomness is infuriatingly unpredictable, but at least you've been warned.

After the table incident, prior
to the basketball incident.

After stepping on glass intentionally because it had
been a slow day, so why not? (The glass broke
after he stepped on it.  He thought he could just
stomp it and walk off.)

Before she decided to trust the Lidocaine.  All she could
 imagine was someone with a sewing kit jabbing her
already hurting chin.

Eowyn says, "Hi!  I hit my head, but
you can only see evidence of chocolate

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