On March 19, 2007 by Eden M. Kennedy

Yesterday I dropped Jackson off at a birthday party. I had two solid hours until pickup so I spent my time off the leash ogling teenage boys at Nordstrom. No, actually I had to return something to the men’s department for Jack, ogling today’s youth was bonus.

Do you ever have the feeling about an hour after you’ve left your child somewhere that you should have pinned your cell phone number to his chest?

Before I’d even made it back into the party a parent on the sidewalk told me that Jackson was okay, though he might have a black eye later. They found some ice for him and five minutes later he was running around again.

Jackson: “Why did you leave me? Where did you go? I needed you!”

Me: “Sorry, kid. Here’s five bucks.”

I took him over to Chaucer’s and let him choose five little $1.00 Dover books. Then we picked up some take-out food and went home.

Me, pointing to Jackson’s slightly swollen cheekbone: “Tell Daddy what happened!”

Jackson: “I was bouncing in the bounce house and then my eye bonked into Kyle’s head.”

Jack: “Girls love black eyes.”

Jackson: “Really?”

Me: “It makes no sense, but it’s true.”

Jack: “It makes you look like a tough guy.”

Jackson: “Man, I hope I get a black eye.”

It was only a greenish lump this morning, which was fortunate for me. Last week Jackson’s kindergarten teacher took me aside and told me that at lunch the kids had been talking about how their parents spank them when they’re bad. One kid said his dad whipped him with a belt; Jackson stepped up and declared that his dad beat the crap out of him every day.

“Uh, he doesn’t do that,” I said, trying not to look nervous.

“I know,” she laughed, “if he came to school with bruises on his face it would be a different story.”



33 Responses to “Timing”

  • They called my aunt down to the principal’s office since my cousin told them “my mom yells at me too much.”

    She said right back to them, “yes that’s because I don’t hit her enough.”

  • I live in fear of the day that my two-year-old enters society. He always looks like we put him in a rock-polisher every night, and I CAN’T GO TO JAIL.

  • heh. That reminds me of the time when someone called DHR on us (a ridiculous misunderstanding about a mosquito bite!), and then the day before our social worker meeting, our daughter was jumping on the bed (!) and flew into a window sill head first. Talk about timing. A giant purple goose-egg on the forehead and two black eyes.

  • Don’t worry about it. Somehow,I doubt Jackson fits the abused child’s profile. Teachers-at least good teachers-know how to tell.

  • That is a RIOT. As long as it doesn’t have an unfortunate ending.

  • I can’t stop laughing!

  • I am dreading shorts-season when the teachers can get a good look at Declan’s legs. ;)

  • My mother had some surgery on her nose the same week my father redid the deck, so we had this woman all in bandages all over her face and a man with totally banged up knuckles. Nice. The neighbors STARED and neither of them wanted to leave the house.

    About you, though: I’m glad Jackson’s all tough. And I’m glad you ogle the teenage boys, because I like having things in common with you. Even if they’re very, very bad things.

  • I used to cry when I got a bad grade and tell my teachers that my dad was going to kill me and bury me in the back yard. I was mostly exaggerating for effect and kind of as a joke, but it never occurred to me till now that this might have been a bit of a problem for my parents. I should probably apologize to them. =)

  • This is why I should invest in the company that makes arnica gel. That shiznit has saved me from explaining away many a black eye.

  • My son broke his arm (bummer) at school (total bonus). The ER doc was all, “I find it HARD TO BELIEVE this happened the way you claim.” Well, it happened in front of 3 teachers and 15 kids and I was 5 miles away. And I had witnesses. What a world.

  • Don’t feel bad, I pinched my son’s finger in the door this afternoon at school. It was bleeding and he was screaming! Agh, guilt will get you a Sonic milkshake :)

  • He he kids hey! They are so cute. Just out blog hopping, what made me stop here was that I realized that you have been blogging since 2001! I never knew blogging was around that long!

  • Not to be a downer, but I was actually abused as a kid by an uncle who babysat me after school. I remember coming to kindergarten one day with two black knees (in a skirt) and my teacher never asked me what had happened. There was another little girl in the class who also had a black eye around the same time, and I remember us both telling each other we had had accidents. It’s scary to be thought of as a potentially abusive parent, but it’s kind of heartening to me that teachers are paying more attention now than they did a few decades ago.

  • he he…good thing those nasty emotional and verbal abuses don’t show bruises!

  • OMG, I love how it wasn’t clear why the post was called “Timing” until the last line. Wonderful!

  • I worry constantly about that – Boyo is always saying how daddy beats him up because they play wrestling and all sorts of violent macho games, and then he falls down/runs headlong into something/etc. and ends up all bruised and battered. Someday DCF is going to be called on us, too.

  • At least your story can be backed up by other kids and adults. My sister once threw a peanut butter jar at me, and I got a black eye. My mom, the social worker, had to explain that one.

  • My sisters and I used to head-butt (but?…anyway, ram our heads into each other for FUN) each other just for the heck of it, slide/tumble down the stairs, AND rough house just for fun, all the time…We were always bruising each other.

    It’s a good thing we loved each other so much- I guess that’s either a story of why only children are a good idea or sisterly love, but….there ya go.

    Free Miffy!

  • 1. I’m glad he learned the black eye rule early.

    2. My brother had had enough freak accidents by the time he was four that we had to start taking him to different emergency rooms.

  • Okay, I’m really sorry but….


    That’s hilarious.

  • I actually remember us boys standing around and comparing the rain of pain inflicted upon us by our parents. Things would naturally get blown out of proportion occasionally, but only slightly. Growing up on and around farms, the one that sticks out is “My dad ran over me with a combine”. That kid grew up to be a great dad and husband….a really nice guy; in case any politically correct types want to yell about the dangers of running over your children with combines.

  • I left my daughter with friends once so I could go have hot monkey love, and it turned out she broke her arm while I was gone. Truly guilt-inspiring, and I had no idea that karma could catch up with a person so damn quickly.

  • Ugh. Boy 1 constantly has some sort of cut/bruise/healing stitches on his person. Always. He practically has his own room at ER. I always feel defensive when they ask what happened this time… “Well, I was hanging him from the ceiling by his toes, and he fell.”

  • A friend’s boy told someone that every night after supper she takes him outside and beats him with a shovel.

  • Is it a coincidence that the author of those Dover Books is Paul Kennedy? Or do you have a famous author cousin?

  • A few years ago when we were at the doctor for what we thought was eczema, the intern made some lame excuse to leave the examination room to refer to a book. She walks back in with the head of peds (at an Army hospital, no less) and he confirms it is in fact eczema. Then he looks her in the eye with a fairly evil stare and says, “And THOSE are just normal bruises for a 3 year old boy to have.”

    I kept my mouth shut for fear I might get my (then) husband in trouble, but was thinking “WTF??” the entire time.

  • My bro, a ER doc, says disciplinary beatings should always be administered in creative ways so as to avoid bruising or lacerations…according to him, all doctors are just looking for aggressive parents from whom to remove their children. He recommends Chinese water torture, hair pulling and extended forced fasting. Stays under the radar that way. (you know I’m only kidding, right?)

  • That Is So Funny!…I think I posted this last night or early this am…and then deleted to see if the delete thingit worked and then forgot to repost it. Yeah, I think that was me. Was it?

  • Were you returning something you bought at Target in 1998 to Nordtroms? Because that’s what I do. I’m a policy taker-advantager.

  • Then there was the time supermum somehow banged her eye on the edge of a shelf and acquired a real shiner. See, you already don’t believe me, do you?

  • Jackson sounds like a great, healthy, non-abused child, but abuse is so prevalent that teachers really do need to be on their guard. Teachers may be occasionally responsible for embarassing moments for good parents, but they are also there to stop abusing parents from inflicting pain on their children. Often adults never do ask, or never do have the time to notice. Children suffer, and are damaged for the rest of their lives, however long or short those might be.

  • When I met the man who later became my husband he had the most beautiful baby blues and one striking black eye. He took an elbow playing hockey.

    I agree that it makes no sense, but it is very true.