0 days without an accident

When you write a blog you invariably end up looking at quite a few other blogs, which is only fair if you expect anyone to spend time reading your own trifling offerings. Well it turns out that people who write blogs are pretty fond of lists.

In fact some bloggers seem to exist in an alternate reality solely comprised of lists. I expect this is because lists are pretty easy to write. And quick. Don’t underestimate the importance of speed when you’re trying to churn out articles on a regular basis. Particularly when you’re fitting it in between nappy changes.

Happily, I’ve managed to avoid a glut of lists so far (with the exception of my post on the things I least enjoy about being a full-time father). However, today’s post demands one as will become clear.

So here are Lola’s top five accidents (only some of which resulted in a visit to A&E):

  1. Fractured humerus

This probably has to go in first place on the basis that it involved the breaking of bone. Lola achieved this by falling off a raised platform in the playground of her nursery school. She did this the week before her school portrait was being taken. Impeccable timing. She had a cast on for several weeks afterwards which is clearly visible under her cardigan in the photo that takes pride of place in our living room.

  1. Face-plant on concrete steps

This only just lost out in a photo finish with the broken arm. Maybe it should be in first place. After all it did earn her a pair of distinguishing scars on the bridge of her nose and left eyebrow – those are hers for life. She got off lightly really given that she fell onto a concrete step at school without bothering to raise her hands to lessenthe impact.

As I was at work, I didn’t witness the immediate aftermath but the picture her mum sent me was suitably harrowing. When I opened it on my phone, I briefly mistook it for a photo of Terry Butcher coming off the pitch after England’s Italia 90 qualifier against Sweden. Had Lola appeared like that in an eighties slasher movie, the British Board of Film Classification would’ve banned it for excessive gore.

  1. Cabinet falls on foot

We’ve never quite got to the bottom of this one. All I know is that Lola returned from school one day having developed a hobble. Removal of her shoes and socks revealed an aubergine bruise extending the width of one of her feet. Apparently a free-standing cabinet had fallen on her.

Do these things happen to other kids? From what I can tell, Lola picks up more injury slips than any of her classmates. In fact now I think about it, school seems to be the place that Lola goes to have accidents.

  1. Stair fall resulting in a black eye

This was the most recent one, about a fortnight ago, and the tumble that gave me the idea for this post. Lola managed to fall down our stairs at home and give herself a black eye. How one does that, I’m not exactly sure. Since there were no eye-witnesses (although everyone in the house heard it) we only had her account to go on. She claimed that she fell, I quote, “sideways”. It’s a shame no one saw it; it sounds like it was quite a move.

  1. Swing in the face

Lola kicked off her career collecting injuries at a young age. She’d only just started toddling when she walked into the path of a swing in the park and caught it full in the face. Since that day, whenever I’ve stood near swings I’ve always thought how much that must have hurt.

These are only the top five accidents. The time that Lola drunk water laced with slug pellet residue at our allotment should also get an honorary mention. Not a physical accident as such, but the ‘CAN KILL IF EATEN’ warning did prompt a visit to A&E. And also the time she scolded both her hands by washing them in boiling hot water.

In short, if accidents are character-building, then Lola has more character than a Dickens novel.

You might reasonably ask why I’ve felt it necessary to present the Grand Guignol of my daughter’s collected calamities. After all, what kind of parent goes to the trouble of ranking their child’s accidents on the basis of severity and/or whether they resulted in permanent facial scarring? It’s a good question, one I should probably set some time aside to reflect on.

Nevertheless there is a purpose to it. I simply don’t get why Lola has so many accidents and need to understand why it is – or if it is simply a question of perception and in fact all kids are on first name terms with the reception staff at their local A&E.

I understand that children have accidents – they’ve not been using those limbs for as long as the rest of us – but I question whether all kids are so unsteady on their feet as my eldest.

Are some kids, and by extension, people, genuinely more accident-prone? Is this Lola’s life now? Destined to be a net burden rather than net contributor to the NHS? And what, as parents, can we do about this? Get her walking lessons? Send her out in elbow and knee pads? Lock her under the stairs?

It concerns me. I’m fairly laid back about most things, but we are talking about my little girl’s wellbeing here. Perhaps she’ll grow out of it; perhaps she never will. I’m wondering where and when it ends. Will she be tripping over the curb every other week when she’s a pensioner?

One thing I’m sure of is that she’s not getting the bow and arrow she wants for her birthday. I can just see it now, a recreation of the Bayeux Tapestry with Lola as King Harold.

Nor is she having the horse.

Despite the title of this article, Lola has now gone more than zero days without an accident. She’s probably up to about ten, which, by her standards, is good going. Yet I’m fairly certain that the next one is just around the corner or, indeed, at the bottom of the stairs.


For more of this type of thing, you can of course follow me on Instagram.




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