Ya'll, I don't even know if I can do this story justice.
So if you live with little kids, you know that two-year-olds crumple in a heap in the grocery store, three-year-olds scream "NO!" in your face, and four-year-olds whine. Whine whine whine. Whining in the morning, whining in the evening, whining at suppertime. Always with the whining. I try to be patient with it, really I do. I try to account for things like hunger and my mood and whatnot, and to teach a more appropriate response ("You don't get anything by whining. Take a deep breath, then try again." Does anyone else say this 28 times a day?). But I'm only human. And with a teething baby, an almost-three-year-old perfecting his belligerence, and a whining four-year-old, sometimes I'm just over it. Enough already with the whining.
Yesterday afternoon was one of those days. The boy had whined since lunch. By 4:00, I had used up all of my allotted patience for the day. After much droopiness and - yes - whining, he finally resolved himself to playing on his own for a little while with a beach ball from the dollar store. Seeing that all three of my children were occupied or asleep (a rare moment around here), I called Georgia's Mom.
Cue ominous music here.
Georgia's Mom and I are talking talking, and I hear a crash from the boys' room. Asher walks down the hall whimpering and (wait for it) whining, hand to his head. He says something about a broken something from the beach ball. It's a dollar store beach ball; how bad could it really be, right? I insist it scared him, and that we'll clean up the mess when I'm off the phone. He continues to whimper about his head, and again I tell him he's fine, no need to whine, and would you like to watch your tv show while I finish my phone call? Of course. I turn on his current favorite program and go back to the back bedroom, where I whisper into the phone how much my child is WHINING today and I just don't know what to DO with the kid and his incessant WHINE. A few minutes later, I say good-bye and hang up. I walk into the living room and see Asher, sitting in the recliner, engrossed in his program.
As a trickle of blood congeals on his forehead.
Apparently a light from the ceiling fan broke over my child's head (from a dollar store beach ball?). He wasn't hurt badly enough to need stitches or anything, but he had two or three little cuts on his head from the whole ordeal. Two or three places where blood was matted to his little blond curls. The curls I had insisted were fine.
The boy was bleeding from the head and I'd told him to quit whining.
There's a lesson in here somewhere.