My firstborn hardly ever hurts herself. She’s always been agile and sure-footed, a good climber, a strong runner, unlikely to topple over while carrying something awkward or when dodging our dog coming at her at top speed. She’s a bit on the cautious side, even now, making sure her shoes are strapped on securely before she heads out for an adventure.
Now our second child has none of these reservations and takes no precautions before throwing herself headlong (sometimes literally) into any new experience. Consequently, we’re dealing with a lot more injuries this second time around. It’s pretty rare that the toddler isn’t sporting a bruise on her forehead, a scrape on her knee, and/or some mystery bruise on her hip or shoulder. Mostly I see the problem as her trying to keep up with her sister’s ridiculously long 4-year-old strides on stubbier 2-year-old legs. But there’s also the issue of her lack of fear. She never seems the least bit concerned that she might get hurt. She never looks down at her feet, so she’s always tripping over toys, pets, our feet, or thresholds of doorways. The other day she pulled a rather spectacular skid down the front lawn and onto the driveway, resulting in two skinned knees, a couple of scraped knuckles, and a pretty impressive cut on her chin. None of which did a thing to slow her down. Of course, at the time, she was chasing her big sister and the neighbor’s 4-year-old boy around the front yard.
I can tell from the lack of drama after an injury that she has a higher pain tolerance than her sister, so maybe that’s a factor, too. But mostly I think she just doesn’t want to be left behind. As a baby sister myself, I can understand that feeling. But until she’s big enough to keep up without hurting herself, I’m thinking we should invest in a helmet (with face shield), knee pads, elbow pads, and maybe a padded room to safely chase each other around in.