Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Accidents will happen, they say. However, I am sure that, for a boy (or man, I'm just adding), no accident is as serious as when they lose face in front of someone else. Even the most privates-clenching insult is nothing as compared to the fact that, although not seriously hurt, they are the source of great mirth for someone else who witnessed their moment of falling short.
Sam was flying around merrily on his scooter on the deck today, as both he and Paddy do on occasion. Yet today, they had set up a challenge course, racing in and out of the other various vehicles that make up the parking lot that doubles as our deck. All three kids park their trikes there, as well as a large yellow tipper truck, two ride-on motorbike toys and a toy scooter belonging to Little Miss Snoopy. As you can imagine, the course was relatively hazardous with all of this lying around. Scooting too fast around the corners, Sam somehow managed to catch his back wheel on a tricycle and came off, head over heels, landing at the feet of his astonished brother. Although unhurt, his brother's obvious lack of sympathy for his plight made the whole situation ten times worse and he let off a yell that one would only expect to hear if he had fallen off the roof.
His brother did not turn a hair at his performance.
Eager to encourage a bit more of a show of empathy, I told Paddy he had to pick Sam up and bring him inside to the couch, and then get him a drink and see if he was okay. Paddy duly helped him to the couch and fed him the juice, asking him if he was fine, but Sam's wails continued unabated (a bruised ego is one of the worst injuries a man can acquire). I sat next to Paddy and offered a suggestion: "You could try patting him on the head to calm him down."
Paddy was horrified at my words. "But then all of his hair will wear off." He obviously remembered my story of when they were both little (in God made some heads perfect, the rest He had to cover with hair...), and was obviously dismayed that I could suggest something that would so blatantly exaccerbate the situation.
I could not hold in my laughter at his comment, and, seeing his mother acting insensitively, Paddy also began to laugh too until we were almost hysterical together. What kind of a mother laughs in the face of misfortune? But unfortunately, the more I tried to stop, the more we laughed, and the more offended Sam became, and what was originally a little accident now was the biggest accident in the world. However, on further examination, Sam's snorts of distress began to sound unmistakably like snorts of laughter,until all three of us were giggling together on the couch, accident forgotten.