Covered in suds I reached up to rinse my hair in the shower, then I heard it – a loud THUD and then a wail. My heart stopped, I slammed off the shower and flung open the door.
The girls are old enough now that I can let them play upstairs (where my en suite is and where the baby gate is closed) while I shower and not usually worry. They tattle on each other quite nicely and if the other is into any trouble I hear about it long before there is a major issue. We’ve kid proofed it and seriously, at 2 and 4 I can’t really put them in a playpen any more. In fact, I think that may be more dangerous, knowing them anyways. When we’re home on our own, my showers are short, wash rinse, condition rinse, stand for 15 seconds remembering what 15 minute showers were like and out. My ears are always perked listening for signs of trouble and this morning that’s what I heard. What had happened? Who was hurt? Did it need a bandaid, a kiss or an ambulance?!
So, there I stood in all my dripping wet, naked glory when in walked a tear soaked Audrey, wailing like only she can. (She’s a tough kid and doesn’t cry easily, but when she does, the whole world had better stop and take note of the fact that she’s devastated)
Hot on her tail was Bethany, with a concerned look on her little face and her hands over her ears. (She HATES when Audrey cries, both the sadness and the noise)
“What happened?!” I demanded, trying to keep the soap out of my eyes, and not completely soak the already slippery tile.
“Audrey hit her head on the wall Mom. She was walking backwards and she banged her head on the wall when she hit it”
Ahhhh yes, so it goes. These days Audrey has been walking into everything. She is at the stage in her life when she’s in such a hurry to do everything and see everything she completely ignores what’s in her path and either bails or smacks into something, like a wall. Bethany went through the same thing at this age and we spent months with either a bruise on her forehead or all over her shins or both. It lasted about 6 months and then she finally got sick of it, and started looking where she was going. Most of the time.
And while I really dislike this stage, I knew it was coming and I know it will pass. In fact, I experienced this stage as a child, as I’m sure did you, except for me, this stage lasted about 18 years. Hence the nickname Magoo and the chip in my front tooth (running full tilt with a dog on your heels into the cross-bar of a swing set is unpleasant. Trust me.)
I surveyed the damage from afar and assessed it as minimal and the tears as more shock than pain. Normally we’d have had a snuggle for a minute and she’d have been fine but my soap covered dilemma was preventing that. Just as I was beginning to explain to Audrey she’d have to hold on till I was done, Beth did something totally unexpected.
She reached out for her sister and hugged her, “You’re ok sweetie. You need to be brave, I’m here. Do you want to play Barbies with me? Come on, you can hold my hand”
And out they walked, hand in hand, tears forgotten to play Barbies in Bethy’s room (which now for some odd reason, looks as though a hurricane hit it).
I stood there for a second, shivering, in awe. This rarely happens, and 5 minutes ago they were screaming at each other over a dumb blow up penguin we won at the carnival last summer. Then it passed and back in I got to rinse the already drying shampoo out of my hair.
It was like a glimpse into who they’ll one day be and it gave me hope! For all the fighting (which happened about 20 minutes post shower) and attempted bullying (Beth tries, Mommy squashes it. No bullies, especially to your baby sister) they really do love each other!
I was proud of my big girl, and I told her so. She’s growing into quite the special little girl and her compassion for her little sister will always melt her Momma’s heart. And I was proud of my little girl for letting her sister love her, and for hugging her back rather than slugging her.
Now if only I could get her to stop using Audrey’s hair as a “mane” when they play horses…