Among the rites of passage that I did not foresee upon becoming a mother: walking purposely down an aisle of the drugstore and being disgusted by the paltry selection of band-aids. “You call 80 band-aids a ‘family pack’? I’d scoff. “Get serious, Proctor & Gamble. 80 is barely a week’s supply. Who has time for your games?”
And then I’d have a faint flashback to my pre-children self, when an 80 pack of bandages would have lasted me until 2092. And it would give me pause. For about 10 seconds, until the next time one of my boys would bash himself and need a band-aid.
I don’t know about your kids, but mine are heavy users of band-aids. Something is always bleeding. And cause and effect rules are optional when it comes to these gashes. The other day, my middle son opened the back screen door and screamed in pain. I spun and looked. He had stiffened one leg, and as I watched, blood started gushing over the top of his foot. I made inquiries. Did the screen door scrape over his foot? No. Did he get scratched on a nail? No. What happened then? “I don’t know!” he wailed. And we never did figure it out.
That’s how it is over here. My boys’ bodies just seem to spontaneously sprout these mini-blood geysers, the origins of which are often shrouded in mystery. I guess they come by it naturally; sometimes my husband will come home with some festering wound and glance at it with curiosity when I point it out. It’s not a bad thing, I guess. I’m glad they don’t suffer from pain more than they do. But… it’s weird.
I remember a mother of three adult boys, upon seeing my mystification at the boy blood everywhere, telling me that usually when people think of blood-stained sheets, they tend to think of girls (because of menstruation). “But,” she said, “there’s blood on boys’ sheets all the time.” How does it happen? “It just does,” she replied.
And I’m just here to confirm that sage voice of experience. I’m easing into this reality, trying to keep pace mopping up the gore and buying as many value-packs of band-aids as I can. What else is there to do?