I should have known better. The younger one’s energy was beginning to become more and more frenetic. His eyes darted all around him, unable to focus on anything.
I had the older one on my back, and was defending myself from his strong little arms from folding my windpipe like a plastic keg cup. He squealed with sheer delight as I gurgled and honestly gasped for air, silently wondering if I would now ever get them to go to sleep.
Then full speed, the younger one, with the speed of a jack Russell and the weight and height of a fire hydrant ran at me fist extended, the way a knight rears and charges at a joust. I watched in horror as time slowed down and my knees were unable to bend in time.
And it found its mark with fierce swiftness.
I remember pains from growing up. When younger, painful moments are now just a blur with the rest of things. Yet they are still there.
Falling out of a pine tree and getting the wind knocked out.
Loosing the front tire of a bike on a bluestone driveway, and having the doctor pull rocks from the hands.
Peering through a thick cardboard mailing tube on the suggestion of an older brother, only to have him smack the other end, and give me the most perfect black eye.
However parenting has created a whole new set of painful moments. Some are emotional, when they get old enough to do some things and not want your help. And others are ones that draw blood, leave bruises, and take longer to scab over.
I cruel irony is that the older you are getting as a parent, the more frail your body is becoming, while the stronger and more cruel the injuries from your children get.
There are the back and shoulder issues you might start to have when you find yourself carrying a car seat, ergo, Bjorn and other trappings of infants. That pain can quickly be elevated by carrying the then toddler around on your hip, as they always seem to get tired of walking at the farthest point from your house, car, wagon or bench.
Once you have your second child, headaches become more frequent as your brain is not given adequate time to ease into an extra average decibel you will have in your home. This is followed by an abrupt loss of hearing. (I have recently learned that this loss can be acute enough to filter out both children, and husbands)
Then there is one of my personal favorites, stepping on a small toy something in the dark of the night while going to the bathroom. The bottom of my feet bear the marks one might attribute to fleeing a home barefooted, through broken glass in an emergency. But in reality the scarring is due to the razor sharp edges of a Lego space ship. (The real pain of the situation, was that the next day I was charged by the older one of “Lego cruelty” and forced to rebuild it without plans)
As he removed his quivering, sharp fist from my midsection, I must have lost all color in my face. I would not know as my eyes had closed and tears sealed them shut. I dropped to my knees and then my front, forcing off the older one off. Luckily, he had my soft neck and spine to break his fall.
As I lay in the fetal position with a pain siren ringing in my ears, I had both of the boys; ambivalent I was immobilized still trying to kill me by jumping on my bent knees, or pulling my scalp off my skull. But slowly, the realization that I was out began to set in.
“I think he’s dead!” The older one chuckled as he slapped my on the face to check. (And he’s the one I am hoping will be a doctor…)
“Dad! DAAAAAD!” They younger one screamed into my ears. “You dead, Dad?”
I groaned. The older one went to tell mom that they had finally killed me, (she would be unable to hear him) and the younger one lay his body across the top of mine and hugged me. Because sometimes, I think they do it, just so they can care for you.
“I wuv you daddy I will safe you and git you band aide for you pee-pee.”
“Thank you. I will be ok. I love you too.” I managed to whisper.
“Let’s read me some train book.” He suggested, showing a rare merciful side
“Good idea. Go get it, ok?”
He ran off to his room, and I lay there, letting the carpet imprint itself on the side of my face…and healed.