My dad stopped by today to see the kids. They were giggling and playing when boxes when I came downstairs. It was super cute to see him get down on their level, and they were clearly eating it up. Dad and I got distracted and talking about other things, and suddenly the box Tess was hiding and got tipped over by her brother. She tips right into the corner of a chair. The screaming started immediately. Before I could grab her, dad scooped her up and gave her a big hug. Suddenly I realized the screaming came with blood – lots of blood. in my “Oh my God my kid is bleeding!” panic, I froze. Poppi calmly said, “It’s a head wound. They’re always bloody.” And I instantly calmed down and remembered that he was right: head wounds are supposed to bleed a lot. I’ve heard that before.
I dashed to the kitchen and grabbed some paper towels. As I squashed it onto Tess’ head, which was now very bloody, dad asked if the paper towels were wet. I had to answer that no, I wasn’t that smart. Poppi kindly guided me through how one handles a toddler head injury.
He started by stopping the blood. He spoke so calmly, and told her how brave she was. He recommended I get her a Band-Aid. Not a bad idea under the circumstances. My offering of a boo-boo bunny? Less useful. As he escorted Tess and I through this little scenario, he ended up calming a sniffly yet still bloody child, complimenting her on her choice of Band-Aid.
I have to laugh, because I now feel like a confident parent. I feel like I’ve got this. Yet here was this grandfather’s schooling me in parenting in the kindest way. I’m glad he popped by. I appreciate the lesson even though he didn’t intend it that way, and seeing my dad take such good care of my kids makes me laugh. I apparently was not up to the challenge! I’ll be working on my reactions time.
As Poppi got into his car, the kids called out his name through the window and waved. The relationship between kids and their grandparents really is magical.