My little Annabelle is quite the dramatic child. She never gets hurt, but rather is always within minutes of death. Julian doesn't just push her down, but instead "THROWS her to the ground using ALL of his muscles, nearly breaking her bones!!". Ezra didn't accidentally scratch her with his too long fingernails, but he does "try to RIP HER SKIN OFF with his CLAWS!"
Every pain is accompanied by eardrum shattering shrieks and screams of anguish, and as much as I want to be a good, caring Mama to her and help her feel better, I'm guilty of telling her to "STOP SCREAMING, NOW" before I even glance at her wound of the day.
Yesterday, she tried to do better. She has realized that screaming only frazzles me, and that talking through the pain gets my attention. So when she fell from the swing set, scraping a layer of skin from a small area of her back, she ran inside with wide eyes, determined to not cry, but talk about what happened.
I wiped the dirt from her back and applied a thin layer of Neosporin to the area. She asked me to blow on her skin to make it feel better and as I did, she yelled out in pain to soothe herself.
"THIS IS THE WORST PAINFUL THING OF MY LIFE!"
"I CAN THINK OF HUNDREDS OF BAD THINGS THAT I WOULD RATHER FEEL THAN THIS PAIN!!"
"I'D RATHER BITE MY OWN HAND OFF THAN FEEL THIS PAIN ON MY BACK!!", she screamed, while biting her fist.
"I'D RATHER CHOKE MYSELF (simulated choking herself with her own hands) AND THEN UN-CHOKE MYSELF THAN FEEL THIS PAIN!!" (un-choke, because only death by choking could be worse than this pain)
"I'D RATHER BE OUTSIDE ON THE MOST FREEZINGEST DAY IN THE WORLD THAN FEEL THIS PAIN!!!!!"
And to be honest, that's when I knew that Annabelle was truly hurting. You see, my kids have come to hate Winter. Winter was no big deal, a rather fun season when we lived in the South. We got to wear warm clothes for a few weeks, experience one or two snowy days, and a few freezing days that allowed us to "ice skate" from sidewalk to car. But now that we are here, in the land of 6 month long Winters, my kids hate it.
Last year, as we usually do, we went to Arkansas to visit family during Spring Break. We left behind icy temps and enjoyed a week in the sunshine, grilling dinner and eating outside, rolling around in the grass, riding bikes in my parents driveway. We returned home to Iowa at 2am one morning, greeted by large mounds of dirty snow along the highway and piled in our yard. Julian woke up and realized that we were home, and grumpily said, "Why did Daddy do this to us?" "THIS", being, move us to a land where Winter was a real season.
While we try our best to make Winter fun, with frequent sledding excursions and lots of hot chocolate and building forts inside under covers on the worst of the snow days, in my kids eyes, Winter will always be just slightly better than "BEING THROWN FROM THE SWINGSET AND RIPPING ALL OF THE SKIN FROM YOUR BACK UNTIL YOU CAN ALMOST SEE YOUR BONES!!!"
At least, according to my dramatic daughter, who was stung by a wasp on the playground today. Lord help us and her very patient school nurse.