My 9yo daughter’s not a doctor… but she plays one at bedtime.
Or rather, when I’m reading to her before bedtime.
You see, the last few evenings (nine to be exact), she’s been carefully nurturing me back to health. Not that I’ve been sick or wounded or anything – that’s the 5yo.* And the 21mo.* No, nine days ago, while the 21mo was “helping me” make dinner in the kitchen, I managed to drop the food processor onto my finger, bruising it underneath the nail. I know. Ridiculous.
Perhaps inspired by her recent trip to the ER with Liam, Paisley decided to administer some much needed medical attention on my damaged body.
And has continued doing so for the last week and a half. Turns out she is very serious about the healing arts.
Night 1: My own Florence Nightingale bandaged my finger together (very, very gently!) with a ribbon she’d found in the playroom. I left my fingers tied together (they were completely useless – she ties a good knot) for more than an hour after tucking her in to bed, worried that she’d come downstairs and berate me.
Night 2: Dr. Paisley moved beyond my bruised finger (which she still tied together with the ribbon), affixing four Band-Aids on my left arm. “You have so many cuts, Mama. Like a warrior. You should be more careful.” Please note: I have no cuts; she covered up some rather dark freckles. I was smart to keep all Band-Aids on and ribbons knotted; she did indeed sneak downstairs, “to say goodnight to Papa.” Sure…
Night 3: Re-covering my left arm with Band-Aids (this time with five, including one Hot Wheels Flame Skull “Tattoo” Band-Aid – very cool), my little medic moved on to my right arm. Interestingly, she ultimately removed all but one of the Band-Aids on the right arm (for aesthetic reasons? I don’t know. Maybe she just didn’t “feel” the first three?). As I steered her toward her bed, she admonished, “You can take these off, but not until morning.” I was glad she’d forgotten to tie my fingers together (but only because she’d left the ribbon downstairs), as it’s much easier to pin pretty pictures on Pinterest when my fingers are free…
Night 4: Special treatment tonight: strips of silk were wrapped around three fingers (two on the right hand, one of the left hand), and secured with Curious George Band-Aids.
Night 5: The healer cried. And cried and cried and cried. Because she COULDN’T FIND ANY CUTS TO TREAT (!!). I told her it was because she’d taken such good care of me the last few nights, but she only sniffled disdainfully at my attempt to cheer her up. She settled for adhering three Band-Aids to my left hand and arm, but I believe she went to bed that night secretly hoping I’d sustain some major injuries for her to treat the next day.
Night 6: Deciding that the original injury (my still-bruised finger) needed some looking after, she painted my fingernail with nail polish. Oh, yeah! And then, of course, she had to paint the other nine nails…
Night 7: As the fumes from the layers and layers and layers of nail polish that she’d applied the night before were, shall we say, a bit overwhelming, I suggested (ever so subtly) she use some hand cream and give my damaged digits a hand massage. Bliss!
Night 8: My gentle nurse returned to searching for any possible cut she could treat. Right arm: two Band-Aids. Left arm: One Band-Aid. Ankles: One Band-Aid each. She sharply, if politely, requested I change into my loose-fitting pajama bottoms for the next night: she couldn’t push the skinny jeans I was wearing up more than an inch or two past my ankles, and was grouchy that she couldn’t examine my legs for any potential gashes that might need tending.
Night 9: Turns out I didn’t need to get into my PJs… ‘Cuz there was nothing. Nope. Nothing. We just read. No search for injuries, no attempts to bandage non-existent cuts, no knotting of ribbon to bind my fingers together…
And I was sad. Not just kinda sad, but really sad.
I’m not ready for our little game to end. I quite like spending this quality time with my precious daughter, who is growing up too fast for my liking, but who thankfully still enjoys playing make-believe games like House and Doctor with her Mama. I reveled in her innocence. And I enjoyed that I was her playmate of choice.
Though it used to drive me bonkers watching my kids waste an entire box of Band-Aids on their toys and various surfaces of the house, I’ve long since realized that if my children are content playing with a box of sticky, cartoon-covered, plastic strips of gauze-y goodness rather than coloring on my walls with permanent markers, then bring on more Band-Aids! And if the “toy” my daughter wants to “take care of” this time is me, than I’m more than happy to oblige.
As bedtime nears, I’m not sure what will happen tonight. Maybe we’ll just return to reading as usual, and I’ll be okay with that (honestly, I’m just grateful she hasn’t “outgrown” me reading to her). Or perhaps my inventive daughter will have come up with yet another elaborate game for us to play (and I’ll be happy with that, too, as long as it doesn’t involve any more visits to the hospital).
And maybe, just maybe, I’ll see the return of my little doctor.
I better stock up on some more Band-Aids, just in case.
* The 5yo was in the ER at Seattle Children’s Hospital after splitting the back of his head open 16 days ago: Not What it’s All Cracked Up to Be (Or, I’ll Take My Eggs Scrambled, with a Side of Stitches).
* We were back at Children’s with the 21mo, though we “downgraded” to Urgent Care rather than returning to the ER, five days ago: Please Tell Me They Deliver Margaritas.
On a separate note, I’d like to thank Suzy Platt (you can read her blog here) for nominating me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award and The Sunshine Award, and I’d also like to thank Soapfi (you can read her blog Soapfi, and Other Stuff here), for nominating me for The Liebster Award. I am very grateful for their support and kind words… I seem to have found a lovely little blogging community, and I couldn’t be more pleased. Thank you to you both.