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No Blood, No Bunnies

Maddie’s fallen and cut her knee
open a couple of times over the past few weeks – the first
time, as I wrote in a previous entry, was especially traumatic to
her. It was her first encounter with pain that we couldn’t
make go away, and in addition to the terror she felt over the
band-aid we put on her, there was also the panic of unrelenting
pain. So we did what any good parents would do.

We blatantly plied her with gifts in a desperate attempt to
distract her.

Less than a week before Maddie’s
first big fall, I’d bought a box of Annie’s Cinnamon
Bunnies – they’re like Teddy Grahams, but organic and
with way less sugar (to assuage my guilty conscience). I
didn’t know exactly when I’d need them, but always like
to have a little something in my back pocket for insurance.

So when Maddie couldn’t stop crying, I broke out the bunnies
for the first time. Let me tell you, it worked like a charm, and
five minutes later she was sitting snuggled on the couch with
Daddy, chowing down on the bunnies and only occasionally
remembering her knee.

I was afraid she’d remember them and ask for the bunnies as a
regular snack, but after that night she made no mention and I
figured we’d dodged a junk-food bullet.

Until the next time she fell.

About two weeks later, she again fell (what can I say – she
runs everywhere and it’s concrete) and scraped open the other
knee. Since she was wearing long pants and didn’t want Daddy
to look, he thought she was fine. That is, until she said,
“Need bunnies, Daddy.”

Sure enough, we peeled back the pants and saw a significant amount
of blood. Nothing a few bunnies couldn’t handle, though she
flatly refused a band-aid.

With that injury only a few days old, Maddie accidentally caught
the scab on a toy and peeled it off, causing a bit of bleeding. She
immediately stood up and said, “Uh oh! Bunnies!” and
began to run towards the stairs.

We need to set up some guidelines, I thought to myself.

“Maddie, will you let me put a band-aid on it?”


“Ok, then no bunnies. The bunnies are a treat that goes with
the band-aid. It helps the band-aid not bother you so much.”


“That’s fine, you can have bunnies right after your

“No band-aid.”

“You don’t have to have a band-aid, sweetheart, but you
do need a band-aid for the bunnies to come out.”


You get the drift.

She eventually decided she didn’t hurt that much and decided
to forgo the bunnies. It was a good thing we’d set up that
rule, too, because now every time she knocks into something –
bumps her head on a door, taps her elbow against a chair –
she comes running, saying, “Bunnies, mama! Need
bunnies!” and we have to go through the whole explanation all
over again.

We don’t hold fast to the “no band-aid, no
bunnies” rule: just yesterday she fell and really gashed her
knee open again, and we let her have bunnies without the band-aid.
We knew it was serious because it was a full five minutes before
she asked for the bunnies, so distracted was she by the pain. So
we’re taking it case by case, but the request for bunnies
keeps coming, along with all those toddler bumps.

Used to be, those bumps were fixed with a kiss. Guess the cost has
gone up.


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