Is It Christmas Or a Case of Self-Inflicted Child Abuse?

From as near as a few feet, my daughter looks like she’s taken marker to her face and created a Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer mask.
Hold up. It isn’t even Halloween; we aren’t calling Christmas into the Sager household just yet.
Get close enough, and the odd reddish brown marks on her nose and forehead take on the unmistakable look of giant scabby mess.
That mess arrived on Saturday, courtesy of scene play-acted in every house in America at one point or another.
Parent to child: “Stop bouncing the ball in the house.”
Child (rolling eyes): “But it bounces when it hits the floor. It’s not me.”
Parent to child: “Well stop letting it hit the floor. And stop chasing it.”
Child (with withering stare): “I have to get it.”
Parent to child: “We don’t run in the house.”
Child: Loud sigh . . . “OK.”
Five minutes of silence.
Child screams.
She bounced the ball. And chased it. And ran in the house.
And ended up slip sliding on the rug, her face stopped from planting itself on the floor by a garbage can.
Blood spurting everywhere, tears running down her face, I was too busy cuddling her to say I told you so.
But I should have seen it coming.
Like every parent who’s said “no running in the house” before me, I saw the end and it wasn’t good. But this case was especially fraught with disaster.
It was Saturday.
Sunday was picture day at soccer.
Doesn’t look like this one will make the Christmas card. Even if she’s got the Rudolph look down pat.


  1. Shit – this happened in my house this week (right down to the "It's the ball, not ME" part)

  2. It is hard to get your child to stop bouncing a ball since it is the most addicting toy that cannnot stop bouncing. Sometimes you just have to take away the ball.

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