New Zealand Woman’s Weekly




Our eldest daughter has been at school for two years. No dramas. Our youngest daughter lasted one and a half days before my wife got a call to say she’d fallen off the flying fox, injured herself and needed to go to the doctor. She had the next two days off school to recover. On doctor’s orders.

After a weekend of recovery and rehab, we started afresh. We dropped our girls off at the wonderful primary school they attend. That was day three for our youngest and it was just after lunchtime when we got a call saying she had tried to escape. Apparently, she had fallen down some steps, injured herself, got upset and tried to walk home to Mum.

We managed to resist the urge to race in and collect her, believing it would send a message that escape attempts were a good way to summon parents. Instead, we collected her and her sister after school, then had a lovely afternoon.

That evening, my wife and I sighed with relief as we plopped into our lounge chairs with a glass of kid-anaestheti­c and toasted the fact we had successful­ly got her into bed unharmed. It was at precisely that moment she screamed out from her room after burning her hand on a hot light bulb.

Painful, yes, but apparently a couple of burned fingertips are great for show and tell.

And that, thankfully, was all we heard about on day four. She managed to make it through the rest of the week relatively unscathed before falling down Nana’s steps on the Saturday.

Why is this? Is there a clumsy gene? A take-stupid risks gene? Some sort of personalit­y trait that says when in doubt, fall down the stairs? How can two little humans be so different at injuring themselves?

It’s fair to say life has a hint of stress with daughter number two. Barely a day goes by bandage-free or worry-free.

I blame her older sister.

She’s lulled us into a false level of expectatio­n: we thought the odd scrape, once a month, was the norm. That you drop your children at school in the morning, pick them up in the afternoon and the space in between you work. Or nap. Or nap at work.

Not with number two. They say you can’t wrap them in cotton wool, but I did try – it was mufti week and I told her she could go as a sheep. Sadly, her Supergirl costume won out and Megan and I spent the school day nervously waiting for a call. Thankfully, there wasn’t one, but she did come home with a sore foot and no cape.

A friend suggested all of this would make a good story at her 21st, but I have a feeling she will provide other stories.

I really hope not, but there’s a nagging voice in my head saying by the time she gets to

21, we’ll have more stories than the Empire State Building.

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