If your kid is anything like mine, I bet s/he is into Band-Aids.
It’s a strange thing to be obsessed with, especially when your kid loves Band-Aids while simultaneously being terrified of the things that actually require Band-Aids.
Every single time my four-and-a-half-year-old* bumps his knee or falls on his butt or bangs his funny bone or head-butts the wall– which is basically NONSTOP ALL THE TIME, because four-year-old* – he immediately panics, considers whether he should cry, and asks if there’s blood. There almost never is.
(They almost always consider crying before they actually cry. The cost-benefit analysis of wet face vs. potential cuddles and/or some unexpected treat serves as a child’s first brush with entrepreneurship, preceding even the traditional lemonade stand.)
I’m not trying to shame my kid. He’s four*; he’s entitled to be scared. I don’t like blood either. Or pain. (Contrary to Dalton’s legendary statement in the legendary Road House, pain does hurt. In fact, that’s the very definition of pain, Dalton, you moron.) But he’s a little too sensitive to the potential for bleeding, even when there is absolutely zero potential for bleeding, and just to be safe, he still wants – nay, he still needs – a Band-Aid. In every single situation. It’s like living with Nelly, assuming Nelly is still alive (I honestly have no idea) and assuming Nelly isn’t usually bleeding (I honestly have no idea).
Why do kids like Band-Aids so much? Two words: harmful and insidious corporate licensing. Wait, is that more than two words? Oh well, math don’t hurt.
The fact is, and this is the key to their appeal: Band-Aids are glorified stickers. Stickers with the Avengers on them, or the Ninja Turtles on them, or Batman on them.
Stickers are one of those rare childhood obsessions that make 100% of NO SENSE to anyone who isn’t a child, like bubbles, and Elmo, and GoGurt. I spend most of my time trying to keep sticky things off of me, and that includes my son’s perpetually filthy hands. But he wants as much stick as he can handle, especially if it comes with a cartoon.
He wants these glorified stickers on his fingers and his hands and his arms and his legs and his feet and his head. Last week he asked me to put a Band-Aid in his mouth. INSIDE HIS MOUTH. I said he couldn’t have one inside his mouth (I’m a good dad!) but that I’d gladly put fifteen OVER his mouth if it would get him to stop asking for more Band-Aids! (I’m a good dad?)
The best part of this obsession is either the way he thinks Band-Aids are preventative – as if they’ll stop him from bleeding before he ever starts – or the way it takes 30 minutes for him to choose the Band-Aid he wants, during which time I open every single one to show each image to him as he repeatedly says ‘not that one’ and then I slowly place those large, square Band-Aids over each of my eyes and ears in an attempt to block out my son’s incessant whining and imagine the sweet, sweet embrace of eternal sleep.
I guess I should stop complaining about such a harmless obsession; being addicted to Band-Aids is better than being addicted to drugs or “Calliou” or than being a “Band Aid” from Almost Famous. But I just stepped on one of the three-thousand LEGO pieces he just dumped on the floor and I actually AM bleeding and the only Band-Aid left is one with freaking Robin on it.
THANKS A LOT, KID.
*Shockingly, I am aware that he turned five last week, but this post originally appeared on Lifetime Moms a few months before his birthday.