My kids are resourceful and self-sufficient, often to a fault. Like this past Saturday.
Hal had taken the dog out on a leash and ended up falling on the gravel driveway when she took off suddenly. He had a mild scrape on his arm, noticeable but not much blood. He pointed it out to me and I said, “Yep. Looks like it hurts.”
Maybe I should have done more but honestly, it wasn’t that bad. And we were busy trying to get some important outdoor work taken care of before the thunderstorms arrived. But he’s nine and nine-year-olds need injuries to be worthy of medical treatment.
So when I later called to him and tasked him with moving some slender yet long pieces of wood, he arrived holding a wet paper towel against his lower forearm. He fussed, saying, “How? How? I can’t. I can’t. How am I supposed to do this?” For emphasis, he waved his elbows around to demonstrate neither hand was available.
“Put the paper towel away so you can use both hands. It’s not that bad,” I responded, glancing up at the darkening skies and pretending I didn’t feel little raindrops.
He did as he was told and then I lost track of him as I went about other tasks. Sometime later, I found myself on one side of the tractor, my husband sitting on it, and Hal and his brother on the other side. Hal had one of those extra-large Band-Aids on his arm but was still holding on to it, wincing and taking in sharp breaths. He seemed to be in even worse shape than before.
“What’s wrong with you?” his daddy asked.
“He scraped his arm on the driveway earlier. It wasn’t a bad scrape though,” I said.
“Well it hurts!” Hal said, “And now it really hurts even worse since I put some Icy Hot on it.”
There was a moment’s pause while we both processed what he had just said.
“Why did you put Icy Hot on it?” we asked. “You don’t put Icy Hot on wounds like that!”
“Yes you do! Icy to dull the pain and hot to relax it away,” he said with complete sincerity.
“That’s for your muscles!” my husband exclaimed, rubbing his bicep and shoulder in demonstration.
“Well I didn’t know!”
“Go wash it off, sweetheart. Wash it off quickly.”
My husband then turned his head to me. We locked eyes, each struggling between incredulity and humor.
Let me rewind to a couple of nights before real quick. Hal had melted down over the quantity of strawberry we expected to be consumed if he put them on his plate. He felt he was done if half the strawberry was consumed. We explained that he should eat all the red parts or he was wasting the fruit. The reaction was so strong and visceral that his siblings had openly laughed as he left the table. Their laughter had been contagious such that even as I struggled to not, I was dissolving into laughter as well. My husband had glared at us all, shamed us for laughing at him, and made us see it from little Hal’s perspective.
Ok, back to the tractor and the same little boy using Icy Hot on his scrape. My husband mouthed wow and we both started the parental silent laugh. That’s the one where the situation is hopelessly funny but it’s best if you don’t laugh. The same laugh I had failed to master with the strawberry incident. I looked to the ground to keep myself in check.
And that’s when I heard it. My husband has a full, loud laugh. When he really lets loose, it’s something to behold. I’m fairly certain that laugh followed Hal all the way back into the house.
Poor kid. Seriously though – funny enough that he had put that ointment on his wound. But knowing the product’s slogan and reciting it back to us put it all over the top.