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Monday, December 13, 2010

Why Won't You Listen To Me?!

Boy, have we had a challenging week. 

I was standing in my local newsagent on Saturday afternoon, purchasing a card for the bride and groom of the wedding I should have been on my way to that day, when I heard a little girl start to wail behind me. I turned around to see her wedged awkwardly between her stroller and the gift cards stand, unable to move.

I turned away to hand over my money for the wedding card, and I heard her mother move towards her saying, "Why did you get out of the stroller when I told you not to? Why would you do that? Why won't you listen to me?" and I couldn't help but smile with the irony.

You see, only an hour and a half beforehand I had asked that exact last question to my 3 year old after he picked up our hand blender and cut his finger so deep, that the blood was gushing out and even a gauze bandage wouldn't stopping the bleeding. Hubby had rushed him off to the emergency department at the hospital, blood running down the 3yr old's arm as his finger bled - and we didn't know at the time how bad it was or whether there would be nerve damage or if he would require stitches.

The 3yr old is certainly no stranger to the Emergency department. He's always pushing the boundaries. It's a wonder he isn't greeted by name when we go there. In fact, we were only there a week ago with stomach pain that seemed so acute, I was convinced it might be appendicitis (thankfully, it wasn't).

Hubby was attempting to make the 3yr old a milkshake. I was hovering around in the background - doing this and that - getting ready to head to the shops to pick up a gift for the bride and groom's wedding due to start in a few hours. I'd have been more organised had I not just spent almost an entire week stuck at home because the 6yr old had been sick with what appeared to be either a virus or a mild dose of chicken pox (he's been vaccinated, but they can still get it - he's fine now).

I heard Hubby warn the 3yr old against touching the blender. Then I walked in to the kitchen and saw him with it, and told him to, "Put it down! It's dangerous and you could cut your finger off with that." Less than a few minutes later, I heard a tremendous wail from the 3yr old and walked back in to the kitchen to find blood dripping from his hand all over the floor. Washing his finger so we could assess the damage (as soon as his finger was removed from under the water there was so much blood we couldn't see anything), I said to him in exasperation, "Why won't you listen to me?!"

Fortunately, it doesn't appear his finger has had any nerve damage, and he didn't require surgery to have stitches. The doctor placed some kind of butterfly clips on his finger and bandaged it up. Now we have to keep it dry for the next week or so. (Yeah. That's gonna happen.) Oh, and we missed the wedding ceremony, but made it to the reception. Boy, did we enjoy that first glass of champers. ;)

He's 3 years old. Almost 4. I've had two kids already, so really - I know that for the most part, he should be getting the whole what's-dangerous-and-what-isn't thing by now.  He should also be listening to our warnings and doing what he's told more too. But sometimes, the only way certain kids learn is if they experience the dangers for themselves. Suffer the consequences, if you like. It doesn't mean you should stop the warnings and the lessons about knives and sticking your fingers in pencil sharpeners (would you believe the following day the 3yr old stuck his finger in one, twisted his finger like a pencil and tore off a corner of his nail? Sigh), but unfortunately, I think we're just going to have to accept that our 3yr old is more of a cause and effect kinda guy. I will continue to tell him, until I'm blue in the face, the stuff he should definitely not be doing, but I'm thinking it's not going to have much of an impact. He is who he is, and he's going to have to find out for himself.

Wish me luck, people.

Do you have kids? Have you ever had an instance like mine where you warn them about not doing something, but they do it anyway? Were you a cautious kid yourself? Did you ever find yourself in hospital after testing the boundaries?


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