Growing pains

Clearly, our 3-year-old has hit a growth spurt.


She's a bottomless pit at mealtime, even eating the veggies she usually picks out of her pasta and the meat she usually rejects because, you see, "it's covered in meat!" And I swear there are some mornings that I think, while I'm getting her dressed, that she's gotten bigger since the day before.


But a curious symptom of this particular growth spurt is a bout of clumsiness. I guess it's akin to being a gangly teenager and knocking into everything as you get used to your longer arms and legs and changing body. Nora is still toddler-shaped, of course, but she's getting bigger, so suddenly she's conking her head on stuff that used to be out of her way and tripping on things (or her own feet) every time I turn around.


It's made me and her dad nervous wrecks. Two weekends ago she tripped over a dog toy while running crazily in the living room and dove headfirst into a kitchen chair, which produced a giant goose egg on her forehead and a bit of a black eye. She was over it in about a minute and a half; her dad and I had the shakes for a full day. Just a few days later, she crashed into some shelves, earning another bruise to the head and more frayed nerves for her parents. And those are just the big boo-boos. If she's not biting her tongue during meals, she's pinching her fingers in stuff or getting paper cuts from reading books. It seems there's always something lately, all the time.


Luckily, she's a pretty tough cookie and gets over being hurt really quickly. But her dad and I suffer longer and, perhaps, more deeply. For every bump and bruise, we get more white hairs, more skipped heartbeats, and a worse case of nerves.


We try to tell her to WATCH OUT! And please BE CAREFUL! And SERIOUSLY? AGAIN? But that doesn't seem to help. We lecture her about being more aware of her surroundings so she doesn't get hurt, but, shockingly, that doesn't seem to be working, either.


So I guess we just wait this one out, and make sure we're well stocked with band-aids for the kid and soothing adult beverages for us.