As you may remember, Justin had an accident involving a treadmill, a box of winter clothes, and an idiot parent who was only three feet away. (If not, you can read about it here.) This story has taken an unexpected twist in the past 24 hours. It turns out that the “accident” was only the second most traumatic event Justin experienced this week. What has turned out to be far more psychologically damaging to both Justin and I was the process know as “Band Aid Removal.”
Justin has one large band aid on his elbow and another large one on his thigh. Both needed to be removed yesterday before I could give him a shower. A few times over the course of the evening, I casually mentioned to Justin that we needed to take his bandages off, but it wasn’t until I got off the sofa that he realized what was about to happen. He immediately ran off and I discovered him hiding under his bed.
I ended up closing his bedroom door just to make sure that he couldn’t escape and I began to negotiate with him. He was having none of that. Justin kept telling me “It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt.” and I kept assuring him that I would rip the Band Aids off quickly to minimize the pain. I then pointed to the ceiling with one hand, tried the “Hey – look over there” method, and then attempted to rip off the Band Aid with the other hand while he wasn’t looking. That failed and Justin yelled “NO DADDY, NOOOOOOO” while squishing himself into the corner of his room to get away from me.
I then tried again to coax him out with promises of toys and stories of how I had much bigger boo boos when I was a little boy, but he kept flailing his arm to try and get me to go away. (All of this while crying, mind you.) In a flash, I quickly grabbed his floundering arm, yanked him forward onto the bed, and attacked the Band Aid again. Justin was screaming bloody murder and began punching me in the face with his free elbow. I took blow after blow to the head while trying to get the corner of the Band Aid to lift off of his skin – but the damn thing was stuck! Finally, after pinning Justin down like an out-of-control prisoner on death row, I was able to tear off the Band Aid! Justin screamed as if I had just ripped his whole leg off. With all of his strength, he pushed me away and scampered back to his corner – all the while screaming “AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHH.”
There we were – Justin on one side of the room crying and nursing his wound and me in the other corner of the room trying to consol myself after “attacking” Justin. I kept telling myself that they had to come off or his bruises would have gotten infected. The two of us were in shock and breathing heavily like warriors coming off the battlefield.
GWE peeked her head inside and told us to keep it down or someone was going to call Social Services. And then she said, “Oh, and don’t forget about the other Band Aid.” Justin and I looked at each other and thought the same thing – “SHIT!”
Justin made a run for the door. I grabbed him by the leg as he was halfway out and I took him down to the ground in the hallway. Once again, I pounced on top of him as he screamed “GET OFF DADDY, GET OFF,” but I just couldn’t. I had to get that last Band Aid off! He screamed and kicked and I kept trying to find the edge of the bandage. With the heel of his foot, he blasted me in the forehead twice – but I would not give up! Finally, I heard RRRRRIIIPPPPP! I had it! I had the Band Aid in my hand.
With tears rolling down his cheeks, he scooted away from me, looked at me with distain and said. “I don’t like you daddy. You’re not my best friend anymore!!” And with that he stormed off looking for mommy.
I laid on the ground for an extra minute or two thinking – “I am such an asshole. He is never going to trust me again.”
Ten minutes later, he was fine. I was still an asshole.