By a Nose

It finally happened. My four-year-old broke my nose with his head. Let’s be honest, we all knew it was only a matter of time.

It was totally my bad. I was trying to be cute and messed around with bedtime routine. Such an egregious breach of protocol deserves a broken nose. Now, never arrow straight, my nose is a whole other kind of crooked, and I only have myself to blame.

So, what happened?

It’s pretty simple really. I had just finished playing Pit Fall on the iPad in the other bed. I had a good run. Dodged a few volcanic rocks, jumped over a few alligators, swung on a few vines. You know how it is. We had just moved the ceremonial bedtime train into the real bedroom.

The four-year-old had just laid down in bed, on his right side facing the center of the room, knees tucked to his chest, head on blanket. Either Mommy or I carried him in there or he climbed in on his own. I don’t quite remember; I’m still a little woozy. 

Here’s where the me being cute part comes in. The bedtime protocol is clear. It mandates that we (Mommy and I) both sit down on the floor and pull four books out from under the bed: Cat and the Hat, Hide and Squeak, I am a Bunny, and Are You My Mother? Then, we display the four books one-by-one to the four-year-old with Hide and Squeak presented last. Four-year-old shakes his head in response to each of the first three books offered before ultimately settling on Hide and Squeak. Offering Hide and Squeak as anything other than the last choice is completely unacceptable and results in the universe collapsing on itself.

After Hide and Squeak is chosen, Mommy or I turn the pages while four-year-old recites the memorized text. Then I stand up, say my goodnights and gracefully exit stage right. Mommy stays behind and lays on the floor until four-year-old gives into sleep before removing herself, ninja-style, from the bedroom. I’ve actually never seen that last part, but that’s how I picture it. Mommy usually moves like a ninja.

Anyway, before the presentation of books, I did the whole, “Haha! I’m going to lean over and kiss you goodnight now and pretend we’re not going to do all the other stuff that we do every night. LOL.” Unfortunately, as I leaned over, four-year-old popped up onto his knees and the top of his head made acquaintance with the bridge of my nose. Crack! 

I grabbed my face dramatically, stifling an audible cry, as my eyes began to water profusely. 

“What was that crack?” Mommy asked. 

Was that a serious question? Maybe I was hearing things.

I sat down, dabbing at my nose with my finger, checking for the blood that was almost certainly about to start gushing at any moment. Being the trooper that I am, we carried on with the routine as scheduled. My only concession to my narcissism was the continual checking for blood (that still wasn’t coming, dang it!) and a few deep and profound sniffles. 

After I finished up my portion of the production, I rose to my feet, said my traditional goodnights, and staggered out. 

Where was the blood?!? It should have been all over my hands by now, Lady Macbeth style. Turning a bit crusty and brown at the edges and leaving a crimson trail down my upper lip. I have to say, I felt a bit robbed.

I retired to my traditional spot on the chaise downstairs and wallowed for several moments in the unfairness of it all. 

It probably isn't broken, I thought. It didn't really hurt enough and the after effects, sadly, weren’t dramatic enough. 

Later though, when Mommy ninja-ed her way downstairs, she took one look and said, “Oh, it’s broken. I heard the crack. Plus, your nose doesn’t usually go like this.” She placed her finger to the tip of her nose and pushed it off to one side in grotesque fashion. 

I, however, remain unconvinced. My nose has always been weird. Either way, I’ll take it. Tattoos may be memories and dead skin on trial, but as they say, a broken nose is the true mark of a successful parent and person. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s what they say. I’m still a little dazed.

What do you say? Broken, Weird, or Both?