Today Maarten was not paying enough attention while speeding down the road on his bike. He crashed into the back end of a parked taxi cab and had a terrible fall. There he was standing at the front door explaining to me what had happened. In his own words:
"I was on my bike and I looked back just for a second and then I looked and there was this car and then I crashed into it. This is how I fell on my arm and bam went my thumb and then I went under the car and my bike skidded ontop of me and I couldn't get out. I was trapped under the car and there was this nice lady and she lifted up my bike and pulled me out from under the car and I had to cry but she was really nice to me and then..."
Indeed, when I looked at his excited talking expressions and gestures with his arms, I could see how badly injured he really was. It could have been much worse I knew. His left arm was scraped badly on its underside, he had gouged both of his knees, his left thumb was purple and swollen twice as big as normal and on the left side of his head just above his temple he had a beauty of a bump which was a black and blue dome poking out. It could have been worse, so I should be thankful, I was thinking.
So what do I say as a boring parent trying not to sound overly concerned? Just comfort him is all and let him explain it all to get the extra energy out. Just listen and nod my head and show concern. Give him a hug afterwards. I felt like asking him why he was so careless and why he wasn't looking like he should have been. But I didn't. Our conversation went instead something like this:
Me: "so then what did you learn from all of this?"
Maarten: "well I just looked back for a second was all."
Me: "yeah, but what did you learn?"
Maarten: "real quick is all and then real real quick back but the car was there."
Me: "you learned that it is not such a great idea riding your bike while looking behind you, right?"
Maarten: "just a tiny itsy-bitsy second was all not even half a second."
Me: "yes I understand, but that's all it takes now."
Me: "so will you be more careful next time?"
Maarten: "yes, next time I will try to look behind me much more quickly if I have to."
Maarten: "less than half a second less than half a half of an itsy bitsy second is all, okay?"
So I bent down and gave him a big hug, trying not to hurt his sensitive injuries by accidentally squeezing him in the wrong places.
He is such a wonderful and cute little boy that I would hate it so much if anything ever happened to him. But these kids have to grow up and become independent on their own with us parents trying not to get in the way too much.
Maarten: "can I have a Coke now?"
Me: "sure, if you let me have a sip."