Thursday, January 27, 2011

making the boo boos better

Nicola over at Which Name wrote a post today about ice/heat packs she made for her kids and their boo boos. Aside from thinking this fabulous idea, it made me think about my kids and their intense love of band-aids. If my daughter stubs a toe.... it needs a band-aid.

I remember a friend of mine telling me her children always wanted band-aids when they were kids and she was more than happy to sticker them up as it seemed to make any problem better.
I also remember when I was a little girl and my dad would draw "a dolly" (a little face) on my band-aids when I had one on a finger so that I could have a little friend to talk to while wearing the band-aid. That always made me feel better.

Then it reminded me of one my proudest moments when I was working at  non-for-profit Daycare years ago before I was married and a mama.
I worked in a class of 16 children from ages 3-5; "The Rainbow Room" and I was the official band-aid giver of the class.

One of the little girls in the class, (we'll call her Jennifer) was a very troubled little girl who came from a very dysfunctional home situation. She was part of the daycare as an intervention from Child Welfare had demanded she be put in a program that would provide some good care and stability for the poor thing.
Despite our best efforts though, Jennifer was in and out of our facility as her mother would periodically disappear and Jenny was temporarily removed from her mother's care.
One day while Jenny was living at home and had been coming to the center, she arrived with some very troublesome burns on the palms of her hands. It's still disturbing and heartbreaking to me, so I will spare you the details of the story she told us about how her hands were burned but the wounds had been inflicted by the burners of an electric stove-top.

We called her social worker and I was given the job of administering first aid to those poor little hands.
Naturally Jenny was TERRIFIED of me touching them and tried to keep them balled up her sleeves.
With a lot of coaxing and reassuring I finally got to clean them with clean cotton and warm water and applied burn ointment with Q-tips. But when I tried to apply a gauze bandage she started shrieking and crying and tried to run away. Over the next few minutes I talked her down of her ledge so-to-speak and using all my powers of persuasion, I convinced her that the bandage could be the coolest thing ever. We could put some tape on the outside of it and decorate it however she wanted. It was a very sweet moment to watch her warm to this idea and then even become enthusiastic picking out markers and stickers (even a little glitter glue) to decorate the tape of her bandaged hands.

Most of all I was proud of how this little girl trusted me not to hurt her when a lot of other grown-ups in her life did. and I was moved by the childhood essence in her that still couldn't be squelched no matter how much she had been forced to grow up beyond her time.
Now I've been a mama myself for a few years now, and I am still humbled by the trust of my little's when they come to me with the total belief that I can fix any pain they have. There are miracles in a mother's kisses and hugs, there is something special and even a little fun in all the special attention of being lovingly tended to and of course there is  magic in a band-aid. (especially those ones covered in cartoons).


My little Ava Grace after she fell and skinned both her knees when she was a babe. Double knee band-aids!


  1. okay, now I am bawling in front of the computer. Thank you so much for that reminder. (And it seems trite to say after that post, but my kids like band aids just as much as ice packs. I put them in the "reward bucket" because they like them so much they choose them as treats. And my daughter likes when we decorate the brown ones, too.)
    Thank you for this post!

  2. Touching Ashley! Pretty, cheap band aids are a modern delight. They fix so much. One so hopes that the little "heart" you mentioned, has known "fixing" as life moved-on.

  3. What a heartbreaking story. I too used to work in a daycare and we had some foster children there whose storeis would break your heart.



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