Childhood injuries are common. Skinned knees, bloody noses, and stubbed toes abound. I always assumed childhood injuries being discussed by parents were boo boos accumulated by the child. Wrong. I have since discovered they are the badges of honor worn by parents. Until I had children at age 30, I had only one major boo boo. This skinned knee occurred from falling off my bike at age nine. It was so bad I couldn't get in the swimming pool all summer. Every time I got my knee wet, the scab fell off and I had to start all over again. You can still see the scar, which I sometimes drag out at parties if there is a lull in the conversation.

Major childhood injuries start to stack up once the child grows up and becomes a parent. Presuming the worst, I invested in boxes of ninja turtle, hello kitty, and race car band aids. The only people sporting these trendy colorful badges are my husband and I. We are not alone. I always see a mom or dad wearing a Barbie or Tonka truck band-aid at the grocery or on the soccer field. These injuries are the direct result of having children.

Last Thanksgiving, my husband was getting the cooler out of the garage in preparation for our trip to Cincinnati and he tripped over one of the boys' bikes. By the time we arrived in Cincinnati, his leg had swollen to the size of a small Buick. He couldn't put any weight on it and the shade of purple it had turned is known as "dusky sunset" in the Crayola box. We dropped the kids off at grandma's and drove on to the ER. $253.74 later, his diagnosis was a contusion, bruised ligament and bone, and total embarrassment.

My husband's accident was one of the worst to date, but there have been many shades of purple at our house. Two children ago, I stepped on a batman while in the shower and fell sideways. I was eight and one half months pregnant, so I could not see my feet or the tub toys. I twisted my ankle and got stuck. I was wedged in and couldn't get up. I waited 45 minutes for hubby to get home from work to get my unstuck. During this time I was yelling for the kids, who never showed up because they were watching Pokemon, to come turn off the very cold shower. My rescuer had the good sense not to laugh as he climbed into the bathtub to lift me out.

We have also stubbed numerous toes tripping over toys in the dark. I hate stepping on Legos the most. It is like stepping on jagged rocks. I have been flattened by piles of Bionicles, tripped by Power Rangers left scattered about, entangled by cords plugged into various gaming controllers, and skidded on multiple hot wheels. I even discovered one morning that I had been sleeping on a plastic green dinosaur hidden under the sheets, which left a brontosaurus bruise on my behind.

Childhood injuries are a misnomer since it is not the child with the injury. Next time I'm at a party, it won't be my knee I show to interested (bored) guests. It will be the scars obtained during my children's childhood. We might even be able to compare trendy band-aids.



Penny McCann-Washer is a transplanted Montgomery County resident from the big city of Cincinnati, Ohio.