On my own, I can not heal wounds – neither the physical or emotional kind.
I can not convince my kid that, on its own, the doctor and dentist’s offices are a fun place to be.
But with Band-Aids and stickers, all is right in the world. With Band-Aids, every scrape, cut or bruise is instantly healed and forgotten about because Doc McStuffins or Elmo or some Muppets character made it better.
I’ve tried to kiss away my kids’ owies, but it does nothing. My kisser doesn’t work as well as my mom’s did. Back in the 1970s and 1980s, my mom kissed away all my owies. I don’t think I ever wore a Band-Aid. I especially didn’t wear a Band-Aid with Miss Piggy on it. The only time I saw her was on prime-time television.
The addiction with Band-Aids runs deep with my kids, so deep that we caught our 4-year-old sneaking into the bathroom to apply Band-Aids all over her body (a body with no owies on it).
I had to take them away and we did an intervention. She’s shown me owies since then, but hasn’t requested a Band-Aid and she doesn’t seem to miss them nor does she seem to be having any withdrawals. Thank goodness.
Stickers are a similar story. If I take my kids to the dentist or doctor and they don’t get a sticker, they will fall down on the ground, cross their legs in protest and refuse to leave until they get one. Just one . . . that’s all they need.
I went to the doctor and dentist as a kid because I had to. There were no incentives or rewards for doing what the doctor said. You went because the woman you called “Mommy” said you had to go. For me, because of my medical condition, I had to go a lot as a kid. Visits to doctors for me often involved a trip to the lab and a blood draw. Ten-year-olds don’t like blood draws. I wasn’t promised a sticker. I was told to stick out my arm and be quiet. If there was a sticker involved, I would’ve shut up, stuck out my arm and made things a lot easier on my parents.
But now every time I take my kid to the doctor, we leave with a new sticker collection. It take my kids forever to pick out just the right one. If these doctor’s offices don’t have (forgive me) “girl-themed” stickers . . . OMG! End of the world. These nice nurses will hunt all over the office until my kids are satisfied.
The sad thing is that the stickers barely make it home. The back of the sticker comes off before we get to the car and it gets folded up and ruined before we leave the parking lot. Tears follow (mostly my tears).
A recent trip to the doctor with my 4-year-old didn’t go so well. I told her that she didn’t have a “sticker-worthy” visit. While I stand by my decision to tell her that, a crisis ensued and my kid was not happy with me for several minutes. She cried all the way home and then told on me to my husband.
My name is Angela and my kids are addicted to all things that stick. I hope you can help me with my problem.
Angela Borchert is a freelance writer who lives in Vacaville. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.