The kids had a great weekend at their Bema’s house. (Yes the family has weird nicknames; this one is short for Big Ma, or my mother in law.) You can tell they enjoyed themselves by the number of bloody openings their bodies are covered with.
The Girl prefers to not wear shoes as she tears around on several (fenced) acres with the dogs, whom she affectionately refers to as wolves since she watched Babe last month, and they are the same breed as the sheep dogs on that movie. The dogs lavish her with affection, and occasionally frustrate her with their over protectiveness. When they decide she shouldn’t go a certain way, or they all want her to pet them simultaneously, they will surround her with their bodies and keep her trapped between them until she screams in frustration and we go running outside and rescue her by calling the dogs. This is part of their inherent herding instinct; small things should be carefully guarded and kept safe. They take their job seriously these dogs she is never without canine companionship. She adores them, and they her even allowing her to feed them by hand from their food dish.
(The summer of 2005 my children became convinced that they were dogs. The girl, then 18 months or so would eat dog food, lay down with the dogs in the grass, and lick water out of puddles on the ground. The Boy would come tearing out of the house barking at the top of his lungs whenever a car pulled up in the driveway. He thought it was great fun to chase around with the dogs.)
The first of many small wounds inflicted this weekend were the inevitable bloody stubbed toes. They happen at least a couple of times a month, so no one mentions them that much. Her legs and arms are covered with minor little scrapes and cuts from plowing her way through trees and bushes. Then, last night she decided to try something new, something every child on that property has tried, and damaged themselves in the process. The main driveway onto the property is a long straight paved hill; it is quite steep. At the bottom of it is an automatic gate that keeps short people and animals from going onto the road, and strange people and animals from coming in. You see where this is going don’t you?
The Girl decided to try riding a little push car down the driveway. She made it all the way to the bottom without falling off. The push car lacking any handy sort of braking system, she substituted with her face by slamming it into one of the upright bars on the gate. The sound of screams as she ran up the hill was enough to get us all outside. She now has a big bruise on her cheek, a scrape above her eyebrow and another on the top of her forehead. I will be a while before her pretty face forgets it’s sudden encounter with that gate. It was her uncle, the Genius Husband’s youngest brother who went and got the push car and pieced together the events of the story. He would know, since it was 6 short years ago that his five-year-old self attempted to ride down the same hill, and his 5-year-old skull bled impressively for quite a while. While we all had sympathy for the girl, we congratulated her on having come through the ordeal with so little blood, and no lasting scars. Well, her uncles actually thought that last part was a draw back, after all scars are cool and make for great stories, she won’t even have a trophy to show.
About half an hour later the Boy came in with blood on his knee, and bruises everywhere. The other knee had already fallen victim to running past a part of the sea kayak his daddy is building that was sticking out a bit and slamming his knee into it while tearing out a small gash.
I hadn’t realized when he was quizzing me so carefully about how the Girl got hurt that his motives were something other than concern for his sister. As soon as she was taken care of, he had decided to go out and try the EXACT SAME THING, expecting that he could succeed where she had not. He did not make it all the way down the hill, but fell and tumbled off at some point before the bottom, tearing up his kneecap and adding to his bruise count.
They also have managed to contract some sort of weird skin fungus that their uncle had. It just looks like a pimple at first, and then turns into a lesion and then starts to scab, and then just looks absolutely disgusting and keeps spreading. Their uncle had it when he came back from Thailand this summer, or he got it at the Dojo where the Boy takes Judo because he works out there too. Either way, in spite of how careful he has been, and we have been, the Boy has it behind his ear, and it looks awful. I found it last night when I was tucking him in and felt it as I touched his head. This morning I realized the little zit like spot on the Girls face, on the opposite cheek from the gate incident, is also an outbreak of the mystery rash. The kids have now had their wounds thoroughly sanitized, bandaged to keep them from touching anything else and spreading it, and now resemble mini refugees with all of their bruises and bandages.
At least they had fun. (Though not nearly as much as I’m going to have sterilizing their pillows and bedding and clothing and bath tubs and towels and oh, anything else that may have come into contact with that rash.)