Recently, my family and I were over at a friend’s house for their son’s birthday party. It was a party for a four year old, so there was a lot of fun stuff going on. There was a clown doing balloon sculptures and face painting. There were awesome little arts and craft activities and a bounce house. Of course, all the kids LOVED the bounce house. So, imagine lot’s of young children running around a picturesque yard with no shoes, squealing in delight over the endless fun of the afternoon.
And where there’s fun, there’s bound to be drama.
I was sitting on some patio furniture talking with friends when I see the hostess of the party run into the back door of the house with another mother and her child clutched in her arms. They were frantic. I could tell something bad had happened by the way the women were reacting and rushing the child into the house. A busted lip? A cut to the forehead? Did the child need immediate medical attention? Stitches? Who knows….it’s not my circus, or my monkeys. My kids were not involved, so I thought the best thing to do was to not over-react and let the adults in charge handle the situation.
A few minutes later, the hostess of the party (and I should mention she is a good friend and a great mother) poked her head out the back door and asked me to come inside. I gave my husband the ‘uh-oh’ look and walked into the house, where I was met with complete chaos.
Both my friend and the other mother were frantically rushing around and talking loudly in panicked voices. The child that I saw being rushed into the house, a beautiful little girl about five years old, was sitting on the bathroom counter with her feet in the sink soaking in cold water. She was crying uncontrollably. I didn’t see any blood or immediate signs of injury.
My friend says, “She stepped on a bee and we’re not sure what we need to do! We took out the stinger but she’s still crying and it’s swelling! I knew YOU would know what to do!” There was a first aid kit on the counter with all kinds of gauze, medical tape and bandages spread out everywhere.
What? They think I’m the most capable adult to handle this situation? When did I become the most adulty adult? When did I become the person you grab when you don’t know what to do?
I looked at the girl’s foot and there was no swelling. There was a tiny red mark where she had been stung. That’s it. She was simply terrified and carrying on because the adults in the room were upset. I guess I’m still surprised how many parents don’t realize that if you don’t lose your shit in front of your kids, more often than not, your kids won’t lose their shit either. I realize that sometimes it’s hard not to freak out when your child is upset or in pain. And it’s even harder to be objective when it’s your child whose experiencing something traumatic. But kids need to have faith that their parents can handle anything. They need to know that you are in charge and you are capable of seeing them through the tough shit in life. And when you’re five, your first bee sting is some tough shit. I guess my ability to keep calm in these situations is what makes me the most adulty adult. Sigh. That thought is so depressing.
I didn’t do anything heroic to save the day. I asked the sweet little girl what her favorite song was and asked her if she could sing it to me so I could hear what I was certain would be a beautiful voice. She immediately stopped crying, beamed her pleasure at me with a toothless grin, and began belting out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. While she sang, I put a Band-Aid over the red spot on her foot. All better.
Her mother threw her arms around me and hugged me so tight, thanking me for my help. I left the room and went back outside to sit by my husband. He asked what happened and after relaying the events to him I said, “That I’m the most adulty-adult at this party really scares the shit out of me.” 🙂