Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Scooter Incident

Natalia had an accident on her scooter. It was pretty dramatic. My girls love to play on their scooters and ride their bicycles, but they’re not huge risk takers and had not ever gotten hurt before this.  No lie. Not a skinned knee, no major falls, nada. 

So when Natalia decided to try to jump across the neighbor’s driveway while speeding downhill for the first time, it didn’t end well. She scuttered up one entire side of her body. Her knee, elbow, and hand were a mess, but that was not the worst part. Her shirt had lifted up when she fell and her entire side was scraped from her waist to under her arm. And it looked pretty bad.

After a shower to clean up, Natalia was treated with a variety of fabulous high tech multi-sized band aids, some with antibiotic on them, some for sensitive skin, and some that were waterproof. "Very advanced," she said, as she referred to the high tech band aids.

As we were talking, Natalia asked me if anything like this had ever happened to me.

And then it hit me. When I was her age, things like that happened to me ALL. THE. TIME.

Life was certainly different when I was little, but somehow I managed to make it to adulthood and I look fondly on my childhood. My friends and I would ride our bikes for miles (sans helmet) and arrive home for an afternoon snack or dinner at one of our houses. From time to time, I would fall and have to make it home with skinned up knees.

Getting hurt at home was not fun, but getting hurt at school was terrible! No fate was worse than a trip to the school nurse after getting a scrape at school. The nurse would get out her can of Mercurochrome spray that stung when it went on my cut and turned my skin an ugly reddish-orange shade. Yes, the mercur- root means that this antiseptic that contained mercury was also toxic.  I would rather clean my cut with some soap and water in the bathroom than go to the school nurse. 

Natalia’s eyes were filled with horror and disbelief when I told her about this.

Lucky for her, I saved the stories about rusty playground equipment without padded ground and metal chains on swings that always seemed to catch a finger or two for another day. 

We survived all kinds of things in a wonderful world that would be considered unsafe by today’s standards. I sometimes wonder what is worse…taking risks in life, or not taking any chances and being afraid of what might happen.   My BFFs and I explored for hours by ourselves without the benefit of cell phones, sweet scented antibacterial hand sanitizer, and we even drank water from the hose.  And we survived! 

You'll be happy to know that Princess Natalia is on the mend and is back on her scooter.  Both girls have a little bit of a thicker skin after the experience and want to explore the world a little bit more, although they're pretty terrified about the mercury-laced spray.  No worries, girls.  Your friendly school nurse can't even give you a cough drop without 75 stamped and signed forms!
What was your childhood like?  Did you play outside for hours with friends?  Do you think today's generation is more protected than previous generations?


pictures via my pinterest


  1. Reading your post brought back so many great memories of my childhood. Yes, I would ride my bike all day long with my friends. Yes, I would come home with skinned up knees. Yes, the mercurochrome was not our best friend.

    It was so different back then, and I grew up in another country. I do feel today's generation is more protected. Times have definitely changed.

    Thanks for sharing your story. I hope Natalia (love! her name) gets better soon. My son (6-year old) loves hearing stories from my childhood as well :)



  2. Yes. Outside play. The worst I remember was a "wipe-out" on a gravel parking lot while running the bases in a game of whiffle ball. :-) Took forever to heal but the salt water from the yearly beach trip always helped. :-) Glad Princess Natalia is back on the scooter! :-) xoxo

  3. This generation is coddled to the point of obesity! Most kids arent allowed to play outside around here and the second they get out of their parents' sight they get pregnant!

    Kids now need cell phones so their parents can reach them...I cant think of anything my mother ever needed to speak to me about when I was out playing....and she had no idea where I was!

  4. I agree totally! Kids today are so used to being entertained and sheltered, but just going out and exploring and entertaining themselves is so important!

  5. My younger son loves going out exploring, but NOT ALONE. Its just a crazy world. And when he rides his bike to a friend's house, he must call me when he gets there and right before he comes home.

    Mercurochrome and methilade. OUCH!!!

  6. Kids are over protected and for good reason in most cases. Gone are the days when they can just hop on a bike and take off for an afternoon. There are too many crazies out there.

  7. OMG... my mother used to put us on the public bus between baltimore and annapolis, so we could go down there to take sailing lessons. we were all of 10-12.

    i don't have kids, but i can't help but wonder about how these kids are going to function once they're on their own.

    my siblings and i went through europe when we were in our teens... i took my 10 year old brother cross country on a train when i was 17... and we learned that we could do anything, go anywhere, because we'd been well-taught.



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