When Kids Attack

Kim Bongiorno essays

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Whenever I see ads for Ultimate Fighting Championship cable specials, with their talk about how tough these guys are, I laugh and think to myself, when I see one of these fellas wrangle a stubborn, planking two-year-old into a 5-point-harness car seat against her will? THEN I’ll be impressed.

Parenting is no job for sissies.

I have been sporting thoroughly bruised shins since my son was born. First, it was because my field of vision was blocked by constantly bouncing and carrying a wailing newborn in my arms. Then he learned to run–usually straight into me at full speed. Add a baby sister to the mix before his second birthday, and I have stumbled over, around, and through my kids since 2005–more than I’ve walked in straight lines my entire life.

Nary has a parent survived the first year without slashed cheeks from razor-sharp baby fingernails or a black eye from an oversized head gone rogue. Then there’s the two years of toddler tantrums that have you ducking at whatever’s tossed your way (Spoiler Alert: You rarely duck in time).

When my daughter was three, she surprised me with a hug. It resulted in her scooping out a sizeable chunk of my right cornea with her fingernail in the process. It looked and felt exactly as disgusting and painful as you are imagining right now.

One of my son’s overzealous hugs once resulted in a cracked volar plate of my right-hand index finger. It took a full 18 months for it to heal. A rather inconvenient injury when you are a right-handed mom of two very young kids.

I’ve been knocked down, almost knocked out, had my feet stomped on countless times, and even had a piggy-back ride choke me to the point of seeing stars. All of this from two little people who love me so much they simply can’t stay off me. Their hearts would break if they realized how many injuries I have sustained in this job of raising them.

Parenting is no job for sissies.

– Kim Bongiorno

Despite all these bumps, bruises, cuts, and scrapes, I can say with my whole heart that my kids have healed me much more than they’ve hurt me.

Sure, they’ve pulled my hair and ripped out earrings, but they knocked down the walls I spent thirty years building around me. They crashed right through them and made me more huggable. More loveable. They’ve forced me to prove to myself that I can be patient and understanding. That I can parent my children in a way I always was scared I might not be able to.

Yes, they’ve poked me in the eyes, but they’ve also made me see childhood in a lighter, happier way than I ever knew possible.

My kids have healed the wounds of my past, making me a stronger woman. A more trusting person. A great parent. They have been a better salve for me than anything I’ve ever found in our home First Aid kit. And trust me; I dig through that thing pretty much on a daily basis.

About the Author

Kim Bongiorno

Kim Bongiorno is a writer of humor, fiction and memoir. Her blog is , her books are listed on , and she is always available on .

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