It’s been the most accident prone week on record in the lives of Mole and Hedgehog. First, Mole fell over backwards off her trike, hitting her head on the pavement. We were on a mini outing, trying out our local cycle way that runs past our house, which seemed a better way to spend the afternoon than sitting through yet another episode of Twirlywoos.
The problems started when Mole and Hedgehog wanted to ride in different directions. It also didn’t help that Mole likes to peddle at a furious pace like a road runner, disappearing into the distance, while Hedgehog moves about two steps before falling into the hedge. Also, there was a hill involved. I learned that hills, wheels and 3 year olds do not mix. I also learned that they always need to wear a helmet. It doesn’t matter if they are on a cycle way and doing about 2 miles an hour.
As Mole sat on her trike and it started to roll backwards down the hill, a look of panic appeared on her face. 20 yards away and holding onto Hedgehog, there was little I could do but watch in silent panic with her. There was quite a lot of blood. My patience and my nerves for this ridiculous outing totally worn out, I abandoned the trikes to carry Hedgehog and a crying Mole home, to assess the damage.
After washing the blood out of her hair in the bathroom, I felt so guilty that she got the full invalid treatment, with chocolate on the sofa, full access to my phone and as many episodes of Twirlywoos that her heart desired. I felt a bit better when a friend of mine told me about the time her 4 year old son had gone head first into a hedge off his bike, and had to be pulled out by his feet.
The next day, Hedgehog fell off the trampoline head first. It had the safety net around it, and she still managed to fall off it. I was just relaxing with a cup of tea, watching them through the French windows, thinking, they’re finally able to play independently for a few minutes together and not kill each other, when Hedgehog took a kamikaze dive down the ladder. So not quite independent enough for the trampoline then.
The day after that was their first day at nursery, and so Mr M&H proudly dropped off two toddlers with head injuries, filling in their accident report forms, to go in our file as the first of our black marks before they call social services. The balance was partly restored when preschool reported Mole’s first accident, which involved being hit in the eye with a plastic dinosaur while playing in the wendy house.
But it didn’t stop there.
Today, Hedgehog had 2 run-ins with the grand-parents’ cat, which she stroked a bit too enthusiastically until it told her to feck off with its claws, and then back at home she fell off the sofa, shortly followed by the dining table bench. She’s fallen out of her bottom bunk bed about 5 times, mostly because she likes to torpedo Mole with her head, and Mole, not being impressed with this, pushes her off the edge.
At first, we put Mole in the top bunk, but we found that Hedgehog just tries to climb the ladder to join her. She gets to the top rung where she can’t quite reach to hoist herself the final leg, then cries until someone comes to her rescue. So then Mole thoughtfully joined her in the bottom bunk, and most of the time they top and tail together so contentedly under the duvet, that we leave them to it.
A friend of mine told me about a trick where she uses the polystyrene noodles you get at swimming pools, and puts this along the edge of the bed under the fitted sheet, creating a kind of barrier to remind the toddler of where the edge of the bed is. I haven’t been organised enough to get hold of a noodle yet.
Anyway, they both seem to be going through an especially accident prone phase, and they have not yet learned any kind of coordination or spacial awareness. Hedgehog hits her head on the radiator while bending down to find her shoes, and Mole literally tripped over her own feet while attempting to walk in a straight line the other week.
But their language skills are amazing, streets ahead, so that’s the good news.